RAs learn more than stop, drop, roll


Photo by: Thessalonia Thomas

Student Resident Assistants learn important fire safety from FMU Campus Police and Florence County Firefighters.

Alex Turbeville, Assistant Editor

Florence County Firefighters taught Resident Assistants (RAs) proper fire safety protocol for the FMU dorms before students moved in this semester. 

Lieutenant Christopher Moore of FMU’s Campus Police led the training. During the safety training, fire marshals taught RAs how to use fire extinguishers to put out small fires by lighting a small propane fire in the parking lot and having them extinguish the flame.  

However, for larger fires, sophomore RA Thomas Dixon said the first step for anyone should always be to call 911 before trying to extinguish any fire on their own.  

To prevent fires, Dixon said it is important that students should never leave the kitchen while they are cooking, as this is the primary cause of fire alarms going off on campus. He also said students should follow housing policies about open flames to prevent any fires from happening, and always know where the nearest fire extinguisher is to prevent a fire safety crisis.

“I do feel like I’m better prepared to handle situations now that I’ve gone through this RA training,” Dixon said. “During an emergency situation, I feel like I would go through the motions quicker and without hesitation now that I’ve had hands-on experience.”   

Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life David Wolfe helped organize the training. 

“As part of an emergency response team, I want every person on staff to feel comfortable dealing with any situation that happens on campus,” Wolfe said. “Learning it from a PowerPoint or a book doesn’t really cut it. You need to understand how to do it. That’s why we role-play a lot during training.”  

Wolfe said that to date, a crisis situation has not arisen that RAs need to attend to, and he hopes that it never comes to that.  

According to Wolfe, RAs go through this fire safety training every year in addition to receiving their CPR certification. He said he believes it is important for students to get hands-on training, especially if they are living in the residence halls or apartments on campus.