Anime Central Forums: Fire Alarm Comments - Anime Central Forums

Jump to content

  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • This topic is locked

Fire Alarm Comments discuss pros and cons of the fire alarm

Poll: How do you think the fire alarm evactuation and readmission went (75 member(s) have cast votes)

Was the evacuation efficient

  1. Was very orderly and everything was good from evacuation to readmission back into the building (20 votes [26.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.67%

  2. evacuation had issues,evacuation was somewhat organized, some people were confused on what to do on leaving (27 votes [36.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.00%

  3. no one had any idea what to do and there was definite chaos in the area I was in (if you answer here, please comment below on details please) (3 votes [4.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  4. I have physical handicaps and needed assistance (was given to me) (2 votes [2.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.67%

  5. I have physical handicaps and needed assistance (was NOT given to me) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. I was not in the hotel at the time, but was outside and saw the event (7 votes [9.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.33%

  7. I was not in the hotel at the time nor was I on the grounds to see the event (16 votes [21.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.33%

Vote

#1 User is offline   davebb 

  • EMRT
  • PipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 11282
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 14-May 07
  • Location:Oak Forest, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:34 AM

Attendees and staff. I am making a general inquiry as to the fire alarm event. Now this isn't a thread to gripe about the masquerade or the events that happened AFTER the alarm and the convention resumed.

What I want is feedback on the effectiveness of the evacuation, how smoothly things went, and were there any problems with certain areas of getting people out. Issues with physically handicapped attendees in the evacuation is also good feedback as we want ALL of our attendees to be safe. Also the crowd outside, how well was it managed. Post alarm as the attendees were allowed back in, I've read of miscommunication on how this was happening. If you can give me examples and descriptions of locations this would be helpful. I am in the process of writing up a general guidelines for staff (above the individual department guidelines) and had some written up, but never had a drill or an actual alarm to get feedback. Also with a full scale event of having all attendees on site it helps to get as much feedback as possible as you were in those areas while some staff only could see from where they were at at the time. Any feedback is acceptable, good and bad.

Again THIS IS NOT A GRIPE line, and I'll be sure to have gripes edited or struck from the thread. I just want observations and thoughts on how things went while the alarm was going off and your evacuation, the waiting outside, and then when you were allowed back in, and how smoothly that went.

I may PM individuals if you have something interesting for me to inquire about or want additional detail.

Thank you for your time and personally I am sorry about the inconvenience it caused all of you, but with this feedback we can hopefully streamline effectiveness for both the egress and ingress of the crowd and get things back on schedule faster.
Medic 6 : ACen 2014 EMRT ConCenter Supervisor (serving since 2008)
Dave Bukowski -- NREMT-B
EMT-B / EMA
..........
"ask not what ACen can do for you--ask what you can do for ACen"

#2 User is offline   den 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Newbie
  • Member No.: 62401
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 04-May 12
  • Location:milwaukee

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

well it wouldn't be an anniversary without reliving the past. not the first alarm and definitely wont be the last time a jerk will ruin something for others.
glad to say it was handled very smoothly and luckily I was on my way to ALOFT for a costume change.

I felt bad for anyone standing in lines but a few friends I had caught up in the mess said people pretty much took a self governing system remembering who was around them when allowed to return inside, I am sure some took advantage of the situation and jumped ahead, but for the most part I am glad to say the ACen community(both staff and attendees) seems to really be a very solid unit. this could easily go the other way especially with crowds in the thousands and a generally young crowd.

I want to thank everyone that is a part of of ACen from staff, attendees, and down to the custodial staff of centers and hotels for making ACen such a wonderful experience that has gotten me to return to the con-world after an 8 year hiatus (having kids will do that sometimes) and now enjoying it all in a new way with my daughters excited to attend next year, Don't worry they have been trained to know better than to mess with alarms unless there is a fire or Godzilla attack.
Tobey Maguire is the only true Spiderman

#3 User is offline   davebb 

  • EMRT
  • PipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 11282
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 14-May 07
  • Location:Oak Forest, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

Thanks den.

I see poll replies, feel free to elaborate if you were involved in the organized chaos. The more input I receive the better overall "image" I can view Feel free to be as descriptive as you please. Trust me, working with patients when I write up run reports, I can write stories when needed. If I can write them I can read them. :)
Medic 6 : ACen 2014 EMRT ConCenter Supervisor (serving since 2008)
Dave Bukowski -- NREMT-B
EMT-B / EMA
..........
"ask not what ACen can do for you--ask what you can do for ACen"

#4 User is offline   GITS SAC Motoko 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 19048
  • Posts: 1,992
  • Joined: 11-July 08
  • Location:The depths of the Net

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

I was seated in the masquerade when it happened and at first we were just really surprised but I think when everyone got up in the panic of hearing the word "fire" is when things got a little shaky but I personally think the area where main programming was was handled actually pretty well in spite of the HUGE amount of people in that area. My friends and I got out very quickly, and IRT nor EMRT was yelling at us angrily or anything. I think on my end and my experience it went smoothly.

I did not stay to be let back in, since I went back to my room at the Aloft so I never experienced the reforming of the lines.
Motoko Kusanagi is mah womanz. ;3 HEEEEYYYY SEXY MOTOKO OP OP OP OPPAN MOTOKO STYLE
Cosplay for ACen 2013: Major Motoko Kusanagi--Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. 2nd GIG, Lucy--Elfen Lied, episode 1 "outfit' ;3 and perhaps an additional. Maaaaaybe :3
Cosplay for ACen 2010, 2011, 2012: Major Motoko Kusanagi--Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG

#5 User is offline   emileighmorgan 

  • Ace
  • PipPip
  • Group: Ace
  • Member No.: 61704
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 14-March 12
  • Location:Chesterfield, Michigan

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:00 PM

I honestly do not understand why everyone was making a big deal about this so called fire. It was handled very nicely, the evacuation went smoothly and none of the staff or volunteers were yelling. So what, crap happens, accident or not, it's not the end of the world because someone made a simple mistake.

#6 User is offline   davebb 

  • EMRT
  • PipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 11282
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 14-May 07
  • Location:Oak Forest, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:04 PM

Emileighmorgan, not sure if your comment was directed at my request or at the other "gripes" about the fire alarm. My request is strictly for feedback on how to improve procedures for acen staff, and getting as much comments from attendees it will help as there are probably at least 5000 attendees who were involved in the fire alarm, but only a few hundred staff. I mostly want to get the views of everyone to modify documentation and since this is pretty much a 1 time event that occurs over a couple years, any feedback is wonderful and helpful. I don't think we will conduct a fire drill during con. Unless I want to be lynched LOL.
Medic 6 : ACen 2014 EMRT ConCenter Supervisor (serving since 2008)
Dave Bukowski -- NREMT-B
EMT-B / EMA
..........
"ask not what ACen can do for you--ask what you can do for ACen"

#7 User is offline   Voxx 

  • Iron Chef
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Iron Chef
  • Member No.: 16994
  • Posts: 6,202
  • Joined: 28-January 08
  • Location:traveling in the TARDIS

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:14 PM

I think it was handled very well. Staff was on the ball getting everyone out. I was in the Indie Fashion Show as a model and the last one to walk out in our 'finale' right when the alarm went off. People were confused at first but then got up and left too. Thankfully it was not an emergency, but if there was I am glad that everyone was evacuated safely and calmly.
Allons-y Sugar Pea!

#8 User is offline   STVO 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 60452
  • Posts: 610
  • Joined: 22-May 11
  • Location:Chicago-ish Area

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:40 PM

My friend and I were at McDonalds when this happened. I can't give a proper opinion on whether the evacuation was held well or not but from the sounds of it aside from one lady that I heard really hurt (possibly broke) her toe, I think it sounds like the staff handled it the best they could. It's a major shame panels were cut short and that The Masquerade was cancelled, and while I know people are gung-ho against the Soap Bubble crew and the ACen heads in general, it was a split-second decision and I wish some people would try to put themselves in their shoes as well. If they cancelled the Soap Bubble, you would have a whole new crowd pissed off (and no not just the non-anime fans, but I can assure you many ACen loyalists would be angry too.) I do wish they could have said "okay you have two or three hours to get the masquerade done" or even pre-empt it to Sunday, but I'm not on staff and I assure you many of the people angry aren't either and might not know the situation at hand.

Overall, I thank ACen for trying and hope next year we won't repeat this situation. That and have a plan for the Masquerade it gets interrupted, pre-empted, or starts late. Like I said, make sure the previous panels/programming/concerts get out on time and definitely no more than 5 minutes late if that. While the alarm did hurt the Masquerade, I'm pretty much in belief it would have at least got to start had they not run it so late. I know that staff and the people running those panels didn't know this was going to happen, but now that most can see this type of thing could happen, they should just try to be a little more courteous for the future.

This post has been edited by STVO: 08 May 2012 - 12:41 PM

STVO: Facebook ACen Regular, 2013 Hellfire Challenge Champ!
Visit my Site STVO Universe
Fan on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Subscribe on YouTube
Tentative ACen 2014 Cosplays Plans:
1 or 2 New Cosplays Based on Budget! Top Idea: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme. Also Want A New WWE Costume, and Returning 1 or 2 Classic Cosplays Based on Budget and What Others Do/Want.*

*CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE

#9 User is offline   MH121 

  • Lurker
  • Pip
  • Group: Lurker
  • Member No.: 62218
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 29-April 12
  • Location:Iowa

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:55 PM

My cosplay group was in the green room waiting for masquerade to start. The process is very orderly and re-entry was smooth too.

One thing that may help in the future when another idiot pulls the fire alarm drill. Perhaps inform the staff in each large events what door to use and where to evacuate the attendees they are responsible for. There was slight confusion for the green room folks as to which door to take. Half went out with the main crowd in the front and half went through the hotel staff back entrance.

#10 User is offline   JujuFox 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Sempai
  • Member No.: 45794
  • Posts: 552
  • Joined: 12-December 09
  • Location:Carol Stream

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

I did have a few issues with this incident.

My husband and I were in our hotel room on the lobby level when it happened. We had ordered take out and were expecting it to arrive in 25 mins or so. When we left our room and went out to the lobby we saw that people were trying to get down the stairs, but no one was guiding them down. We started talking with a random person about if we really have to leave the building or not since the hotel staff, Red Bar staff, and other people were just standing around watching. Then I realized I forgot my phone in the room, and the delivery guy was going to call me when he arrived at the hotel, so I went back to our room to get it and left my husband waiting for me in the lobby(since there was a lot of open space I could find him easily by the check-in counters). As I was trying to get past all the people evacuating down the stairs back into the lobby as staff member blocked me (not IRT) and told me I had to go down the stairs out the emergency exit. I told her my husband is waiting for me in the lobby right outside the hallway. She didn't listen and again blocked me saying I had to exit out the stairwell. I pushed her aside and told her sorry, but I'm not leaving my husband behind. We rejoined and went back to the stairwell to go out that way since the lobby stairs were so congested. I'm not sure why she wouldn't listen to me the first time. It's not like it even sounded like an excuse to get around just because I didn't want to go down the stairwell. I didn't care how we got out I just wanted to make sure we got out together.

SUMMARY: Staff wouldn't listen and almost separated me from my husband who was waiting for me in the lobby

The other problem was the false all clears we were given that just added a whole level of anger and confusion. We were by the firetruck when the cop said all clear and started waving everyone to go back in. IRT freaked out and kept pushing us back but the people the cops gave the all clear to were pushing forward(we were stuck in the middle), so I grabbed the cop and had him talk to one of the IRT to let them know he was giving the all clear. I thought we'd be able to go back in, but IRT kept asking us to move back and that it wasn't all clear. The cops are the highest authority in this situation, so we were confused and angry that IRT wasn't letting us back in. Finally we were let back in and as we got up to the lobby we got a phone call from the delivery guy. So we had to go back down out side to get our food since the whole street was blocked and he couldn't get any closer to the hotel. The weird problem is that we somehow got let in early, and as we stood on top of the stairs in the lobby we saw them holding back all the other people, not letting them back up. I'm not sure how we slipped past, but the IRT guys at the door smiled and let us right back in. So we were the only two people who were going down and out while everyone else was going back in.

SUMMARY: We were misinformed by police, confused at IRT, and let back in too early.

I hope I was specific enough, and that my story can help you guys in some way.
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

Check out my shop Geeky Cute Crochet on Etsy!

#11 User is offline   rondo 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 9075
  • Posts: 1,371
  • Joined: 13-January 07

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

On thing I do recall was a little confusion on when the lines could head back towards the hotel. At one point, people were starting to move back towards the hotel..then suddenly back away from the hotel.

#12 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

  • Regular
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular
  • Member No.: 59232
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 01-January 11

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:20 PM

I was outside when the alarm was pulled. From my vantage point, I saw a very well done evactuation. However, I did notice that re-entry was a bit more hectic. I think there was a bit of confusion as to how and where we could reenter the building and I know at the front entry way of the hotel there was a massive CRUSH of people all trying to get inside (and out of the cold). Perhaps a more orderly re-entry might be in order.
2014 ---
Sandshrew - Pokemon
Mink - DMMD
Reborn - KHR

#13 User is offline   Isamu 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 8918
  • Posts: 1,502
  • Joined: 01-January 07
  • Location:Columbus, Oh

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:36 PM

Horrible, myself and one other were accompanying a friend with a disability and were told we were not allowed to accompany her back into the Hyatt. Also being told to move closer to the wall while being straight up against it really sucked. I tried to explain that I was already against the wall but irt told me I had to move further back.
"Frank and explicit"-that is the right line to take when you wish to conceal your own mind and to confuse the minds of others.
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
Santa on the crapper is officially dead.
Acens attended. 2001,2002,2007-2011.
STVO the 2013 Hellfire champ.

#14 User is offline   davebb 

  • EMRT
  • PipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 11282
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 14-May 07
  • Location:Oak Forest, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 08 May 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

*SNIP*
SUMMARY: Staff wouldn't listen and almost separated me from my husband who was waiting for me in the lobby
*SNIP*

SUMMARY: We were misinformed by police, confused at IRT, and let back in too early.

I hope I was specific enough, and that my story can help you guys in some way.


Yes thank you very much DavenEvanXaviour. This is exactly what I like seeing in the comments as it gives me some ideas where confusion was and which areas we need to improve. Also excellent written narrative. As for who is officially in charge it is the Incident Commander with the Fire Department, and they probably relayed to the PD/PS from Rosemont. But communication with the Acen staff who were doing crowd control was not properly passed. I agree with the actions you took for both instances.
Medic 6 : ACen 2014 EMRT ConCenter Supervisor (serving since 2008)
Dave Bukowski -- NREMT-B
EMT-B / EMA
..........
"ask not what ACen can do for you--ask what you can do for ACen"

#15 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 24895
  • Posts: 1,131
  • Joined: 26-February 09
  • Location:Cicero

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:47 PM

My family and I were just in the lobby when the alarm was pulled. We made our way to our car, since we were right by that exit and drove out. We found out, as one of the members in the party was a staff member that there was a false alarm and that people were being evacuated. She kept in contact with several members of the staff to see what was going on till the all clear. We could not move till the crowd returned from one side to the other. Eveyone was calm and orderly, also people, while excited they were polite and didn't disturb our car, which I was glad of.

Things seemed to move smoothly and orderly, and I'm glad everyone was okay. I think that it would be a good idea for staff to have a list of numbers they need to program into their phone so that they can keep in contact with the other members of their team. My friend who was the staff noticed her crew but didn't have any of their numbers to call them and find out if things were okay.
~@~ Delightfully Playing: Prima-Vocaloid 0%, Mew-Two 80%, Muppeters -100% -2014 ~@~
~*@*~ 2013:The Riddler, Muppeters, Mew-Two 2012: The Riddler, Shadow Fairy 2011: Rinslet from Black Cat, Carmen Sandiego,Wanda from Fairly Odd Parents. 2010: Younger Walter, Carmen Sandiego. 2009: Goku from Saiyuki~*@*~

DEVIL MAY CRY SAGA PANEL 2013


Pardon the Pause is a Podcast that focuses on Geek culture:
Pardon the Pause

#16 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

  • Veteran
  • PipPip
  • Group: Veteran
  • Member No.: 56275
  • Posts: 492
  • Joined: 05-May 10
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:47 PM

I happened to walk outside literally a minute before it went off and had no idea what was happening when everyone started pouring out. And everyone seemed really confused as to where to go. I heard the evacuation itself went great, but for future years you'll probably want a designated spot for people to go to (most just flooded the streets to go to one of the other hotels) and get some loudspeakers or something so you can announce what's going on and whether or not everyone should clear out, or hang around and wait to be let back in. A lot 0of people just seemed to stay right outside the doors, and if that was a real fire that could have been dangerous.
ACen 2014 Schedule
Friday: Meloetta [Pokemon]
Saturday: Umi Ryuuzaki [Magic Knight Rayearth]
Sunday: Sytry Cartwright Demon Attire [Devils and Realist]

Add me on Facebook! Washu Takashi Cosplay

#17 User is offline   MsLovelyCookie 

  • Registration Staff
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 57517
  • Posts: 561
  • Joined: 17-May 10
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

I was in the Staff Suites when IRTs ran out the door. Then the alarms followed, as we were exiting I noticed that some people in the lobby didn't know what was going on. More exits would of helped in with the crowds since there were only 2 ways of getting out from the Lobby Area. Going back inside was confusing since no one really knew if it was alright to go back inside. Megaphones would come in handy for massive crowds since one can't really hear over a crowd.
I'm Just A Girl In The World
Take A Good Look At Me
Just Your Typical Prototype...


Registration Staff: 2012-2014

#18 User is offline   Rori 

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular
  • Member No.: 4904
  • Posts: 175
  • Joined: 04-June 05
  • Location:Indianapolis

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

My experience is in the "somewhat confused" category:

I had just gotten off of my shift, so I was in my room (6th floor of the Hyatt) with friends eating pizza and changing into cosplay. In retrospect, we should have left sooner than we did, but the alarm in the lobby was barely audible from our room... we thought it was just a noisemaker. We finally heard the alarm go off in our room, so that's when we finally figured it out and we scrambled to get purses, shoes, whatnot.

Once we left the room, we could see/hear IRT from the lobby floor trying to direct guests to the stairwells. So, we went to the nearest stairwell and got in line to get into the stairwell. Slow going the whole way down. Once we finally got outside, things got a little confusing because we couldn't see any IRT anymore where we were. We ended up across the street near the convention center (sort of under the gerbil tunnel from the Hyatt). Most of the people around me were taking everything in stride but there were a couple people really starting to get upset at this point. They were surrounded by friends and other congoers who were trying to comfort them though. They settled down after a bit.

After several minutes we heard an all clear, then we heard a "get back across the street!" So we waited some more and finally some guy next to us said he heard another all clear. We then got back into the Hyatt and life went on as normal.

I'm not really sure if there is anything I would suggest to do differently at that moment in time. I was just confused because it was hard to hear IRT, emergency personnel, etc once we were outside. I suppose we should count our blessings though, it wasn't raining or snowing!
あなたが考えているほど世界はひどくないから。
Spam Poison

#19 User is offline   rondo 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 9075
  • Posts: 1,371
  • Joined: 13-January 07

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:01 PM

View PostRori, on 08 May 2012 - 02:00 PM, said:

I suppose we should count our blessings though, it wasn't raining or snowing!


Indeed.

#20 User is offline   kitsune red 

  • ADA Compliance
  • Pip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 36791
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 19-August 09

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:33 PM

We were in our office(special Needs) when we saw and than heard that there was a FIRE ALARM. We got up and joined the group existing I use a walker and brought up the rear along with the department manager who has a scouter. The other department members joined IRT in working crowd control. The biggest problem was the confusion about when the all clear was given to return to the Hotel. I believe this may have been enhanced by the fact that many were rather poorly dresses for the cooler temperature.

#21 User is offline   SeikoMiwarui 

  • Bigfoot
  • Pip
  • Group: Bigfoot
  • Member No.: 17644
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 29-March 08

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:36 PM

At the time of the fire alarm I was just heading down the stairs from the 6th floor, I can't remember which wing (it was one of the spiral staircases, the one closest to the door to the skywalk). Getting down was no problem. I think it was handled as effectively as it could have been.

Because I was in an outfit where I could get cold easily (bare shoulders, more or less but it's enough that cold air would make me quite chilled T_T) so my boyfriend and his sister headed over to the Donald Stephens Parking Lot, third floor, right near the entrance to the skywalk to my car so I could grab my blanket to wrap around myself. From there we were able to observe the organized chaos.

What we noticed was after everyone was out for a couple of minutes, the alarms went off in the building and we could see toward the main entrance of the hotel, people were starting to go in. After another minute, the people near the back entrance started to go in, but just as that was happening, we saw the alarms start to go off in the building once more, so everyone got ushered outside once again. If I remember correctly, I think the alarms were turned off, then one once more before they were finally turned off again and everyone began their mass entrance into the building.

Overall, I think there was just a lag in clear communication as to when to let everyone enter again. Other than that, it went pretty smoothly. I felt bad for those people who didn't have time to grab a coat and were freezing. It was pretty chilly D:

#22 User is offline   cactusmomma 

  • Costume Events Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 3528
  • Posts: 2,139
  • Joined: 06-January 05
  • Location:On the right of Gary, IN

Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:40 PM

We were leaving our room by chance and saw some IRT folks going up the halls saying everyone needed to get out.. no lights, no sirens, no other indication that something was amiss. Physically limited here and there was no one around to help. Once we made it downstairs though, things did go smoothly enough. Met an awesome Kotetsu cosplayer in the process!

I personally want the guy who did the alarm's head due to the sole fact that it was nearing 40F and this tossed everyone, including small children, who didn't have time to grab their coats.. out into that cold.

#23 User is offline   Smokey 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Member No.: 6522
  • Posts: 606
  • Joined: 15-March 06
  • Location:Somewhere amid Ankh-Morpork, Xanth and Amsterdam

Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:52 PM

To start with, from our office in the Grand Boardroom, we heard no alarm or saw any visual alerts. Our first clue that something was up when we heard someone out in the hallway yelling "They're evacuating the hotel." I stepped out, saw the crowd moving from MP out the Ballroom entrance then gave the order to follow our pre-arranged evacuation procedure. I switched over to channel 2 and stayed behind to help complete the evac of the attendees, then followed the last ones out and took up position near the wheelchair ramp.

Between the crowd noise and offers of help as I was trying to stuff my scooter out of the way in the bushes (Thanks, folks) I couldn't really follow the radio chatter too closely, but I distinctly remember hearing "No, it's NOT clear! DON'T LET THEM IN YET" a few times.

When I noticed the IRT ops by the Ballroom door start directing the crowd toward the main entrance, I followed suit. There was a crowd remaining on the sidewalk that said they were the line for the next event, so I verified that they should be allowed to remain there and moved my scoot out of the dirt and by the door, where this drunk girl fell in love with it and kept trying to steal it. While my team took position in the driveway keeping the crowd on the sidewalk (The only way you could tell the difference between them and seasoned ops was the lack of vests. Well done, Angels,) I stayed by the Ballroom and directed the handicapped back in.

All in all, a very interesting evening.
The Special Needs & ADA Compliance Department is dedicated to making sure that nobody has to miss anything that ACen has to offer because of a physical challenge or medical condition.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Compliments? Complaints?

Visit us at http://acen.org/cont...-ada-compliance or send an email to adacompliance-dh@acen.org

Number of ACens attended: 15, Number of years on staff: 6, 2010 Staff MVP Award

#24 User is offline   KnitChick 

  • ACen Staff
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 9629
  • Posts: 2,142
  • Joined: 04-March 07
  • Location:Chicagoland

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:27 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 08 May 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

The other problem was the false all clears we were given that just added a whole level of anger and confusion. We were by the firetruck when the cop said all clear and started waving everyone to go back in. IRT freaked out and kept pushing us back but the people the cops gave the all clear to were pushing forward(we were stuck in the middle), so I grabbed the cop and had him talk to one of the IRT to let them know he was giving the all clear. I thought we'd be able to go back in, but IRT kept asking us to move back and that it wasn't all clear. The cops are the highest authority in this situation, so we were confused and angry that IRT wasn't letting us back in. Finally we were let back in and as we got up to the lobby we got a phone call from the delivery guy. So we had to go back down out side to get our food since the whole street was blocked and he couldn't get any closer to the hotel. The weird problem is that we somehow got let in early, and as we stood on top of the stairs in the lobby we saw them holding back all the other people, not letting them back up. I'm not sure how we slipped past, but the IRT guys at the door smiled and let us right back in. So we were the only two people who were going down and out while everyone else was going back in.

SUMMARY: We were misinformed by police, confused at IRT, and let back in too early.

I hope I was specific enough, and that my story can help you guys in some way.


Question - were you somewhat near the Bellhop stand? I did notice people heading back inside over on that end well BEFORE any all clear was given over the IRT radio channel. Which could explain some of the confusion -- the cops may have been given an all clear but it had yet to be communicated to IRT dispatch, so IRT was not letting people back in yet.


I was one of the people directing traffic near the main ballroom doors, once I got outside that is :) Smokey, myself, and most of my department were some of the last people to leave as we were making sure everyone else was clear. As it shook out I ended up one of the few over on that end with a radio, and so I was communicating IRT orders to everyone around me. We didn't have any cops near us so we were waiting until IRT gave an official all clear (there was some confusion on the channel if the all-clear was official or not). We also were trying to make sure there wasn't a rush for the doors, to prevent any injuries.

From my end it seemed like things went smoothly, other than the little bit of confusion over the all-clear to go back inside. But Smokey is right - over in the MP hallway we did not hear ANYTHING. Our only indication was when Stacey was standing in the doorway and noticed that people were being ushered out of MP. That's when I switched to the IRT radio channel and heard the evacuation order. Once I stepped in the hallway and looked down toward the corner, I saw a flashing light there, but if not for the radio & other people leaving, we would have had absolutely NO indication of an alarm in the Grand Boardroom. That's kind of a scary thought, to be honest.
Special Needs and Compliance DH for Acen! Come see us in the Hyatt Grand Boardroom!!
Acen 2014: 50s Sailor Mercury, Agent Simmons from S.H.I.E.L.D., Kim Possible, Ghostbuster, frazzled DH
Youmacon 2014: (tentative) Captain Marvelous, Agent Simmons?, Ace from Doctor Who?
Chicago TARDIS 2014: (tentative) Fourth Doctor, Ace

Member of Team GEEK for the Norridge/Harwood Heights Relay for Life! Please join us or donate!
Ninja on the Glomp Team! Member of the Crossplay Alliance! / My blog / My pictures! (Flickr)
Resident Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Firefly, Quantum Leap, Transformers, Harry Potter, Highlander, Girl Genius, Super Sentai and Nerima Daikon Brothers obsessor!

#25 User is offline   Kii 

  • Addict
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Addict
  • Member No.: 33629
  • Posts: 955
  • Joined: 07-July 09

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:43 PM

I felt that it was handled as well as it could be. But it was a little off-putting that instead of the hotel taking initiative to get its guests to safety, it was the IRT running around evacuating everyone.



Damn Thread's fearless leaderReluctant Member of the Little Maids CorpsUGUU~
ACen 2013 Cosplay: LOL whatever I manage to throw together at this point...-_-;;

#26 User is offline   slrphebos 

  • Customer Service Staff
  • PipPip
  • Group: ACen Staff
  • Member No.: 974
  • Posts: 477
  • Joined: 20-August 03
  • Location:Itasca, IL

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

I was in the Hyatt on the bottom floor in the seating area near the Rosemont Ballroom when I saw the light starting to flash and I knew it had to be the fire alarm. There was no announcement that could be heard on the ground floor and I figured fire alarm = evac hotel. However only after hanging around did someone (I don't even remember if it was IRT or Hotel staff or just some other con goer) tell us to get out. There was no clear where to go once outside. This was before the fire department and extra police had shown. We were told to get across the street and nothing else. I learned later we should have been further back but again once outside it was even more chaos. Getting inside was more orderly than getting outside but that was due to no one really knowing where to go in the event of a fire. And I've stayed in the Hyatt and trust me nothing is said on where to go in the event the alarm goes off, only not to use the elevators.

And to add what others have said, the one officer that was near the crosswalk did tell us that it was clear and head back in, only to be told to get back where we had been, then finally were allowed back in.

Overall not horrible considering the amount of people that had to get out, but maybe something should be added to the con book on where to go in the event this does happen again. Also how panels were screwed up after all of this sucked. I'm sorry I tried to go to a lot of panels that night and only the big draw panels were still going on. So that was a huge let down.
~Ri-chan
ACen 2013-2014: Customer Service

2013 Cosplay: Team Aqua Grunt (100%), Fluttershy Sweet Lolita (95%)

#27 User is offline   magicalgamer 

  • Lurker
  • Pip
  • Group: Lurker
  • Member No.: 59317
  • Posts: 49
  • Joined: 15-January 11

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:54 PM

sending a pm about the alarm

#28 User is offline   Smokey 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Member No.: 6522
  • Posts: 606
  • Joined: 15-March 06
  • Location:Somewhere amid Ankh-Morpork, Xanth and Amsterdam

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:27 PM

I have a suggestion regarding evac procedures.

In emergency situations, many staff members assist in crowd control. Rather than tuning our radios to IRT's channel, where, as we've seen, the chatter of rescue officials can be mistaken as reentry clearances, even by seasoned ops. How about designating one of the department's HF channels as a separate Emergency Coordination Channel? That way, the higher-ups can discuss details on the IRT channel without their chatter getting misunderstood, crowd control can organize their efforts, and official reentry orders can be given without any confusion.

As we just couldn't communicate between the 2 buildings this year, I'm planning on requesting one of these HF channels for '13. If we can get it, we volunteer ours.
The Special Needs & ADA Compliance Department is dedicated to making sure that nobody has to miss anything that ACen has to offer because of a physical challenge or medical condition.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Compliments? Complaints?

Visit us at http://acen.org/cont...-ada-compliance or send an email to adacompliance-dh@acen.org

Number of ACens attended: 15, Number of years on staff: 6, 2010 Staff MVP Award

#29 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

  • Sage
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Sage
  • Member No.: 24895
  • Posts: 1,131
  • Joined: 26-February 09
  • Location:Cicero

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:28 PM

Just a question, but, did anyone else happen to look up and notice some people on the top balcony's just chilling there and watching the crowds below? I remember seeing some people like three on one balcony and two on another. And I know the people in my car saw this too, so did anyone outside notice these people?
~@~ Delightfully Playing: Prima-Vocaloid 0%, Mew-Two 80%, Muppeters -100% -2014 ~@~
~*@*~ 2013:The Riddler, Muppeters, Mew-Two 2012: The Riddler, Shadow Fairy 2011: Rinslet from Black Cat, Carmen Sandiego,Wanda from Fairly Odd Parents. 2010: Younger Walter, Carmen Sandiego. 2009: Goku from Saiyuki~*@*~

DEVIL MAY CRY SAGA PANEL 2013


Pardon the Pause is a Podcast that focuses on Geek culture:
Pardon the Pause

#30 User is offline   Unka Josh 

  • Sempai
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Member No.: 13162
  • Posts: 763
  • Joined: 19-August 07
  • Location:Champaign, IL

Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:38 AM

View PostKii, on 08 May 2012 - 10:43 PM, said:

I felt that it was handled as well as it could be. But it was a little off-putting that instead of the hotel taking initiative to get its guests to safety, it was the IRT running around evacuating everyone.




I don't think that the hotel has enough staff to evacuate the volume of people that we had in there at the time, honestly.
There is a slight flaw in my character.

  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • This topic is locked

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users