Not so easy, evacuating elders

Not so easy, evacuating elders

Since the fire in the Old Age home in L’isle Verte last week which appears to have claimed the lives of 32 people, an owner of a similar residence is telling his story about how difficult it is to evacuate elders from their rooms in such dwellings when there is an emergency.

The owner of a Seniors Home in Lac Mégantic, explained to the media on Saturday that during their railcar explosion on June 6th of last year, he was called upon to evacuate his tenants, all around the age of 80-85, as a precautionary measure when half the town caught fire killing 47 people.

He was met with severe resistance every time when asking the residents to leave the building. He explained that older folks prefer to stay in their rooms with their belongings rather than leave without simple things like their dentures or favourite clothes etc. They also tend to deny that a fire or any other emergency is happening to them and often don’t even respond to alarms and /or knocks on doors, as warnings to exit a building, he added.

There have been four serious Senior Home fires since 1996 in the Province not including L’isle Verte, so it’s probably time to install some measures such as fire drills, and evacuation drills etc. in order to help save more lives if such events ever reoccur.
………………………………………………….. Staff Writer

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