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Evacuation Chairs Installed

Published: February 2, 2015

Continuing to improve campus safety in case of an emergency, EVAC+CHAIR Evacuation Chairs have been installed in every multiple-story building at CSULB to provide those with access needs–such as those who are wheelchair bound or have been injured–a safe means of evacuation during an emergency.

“Evacuation chairs were integral in evacuating individuals with disabilities at the World Trade Center so we have installed those same chairs across campus for our community in the event they are needed,” said Jon Rosene, the Emergency Management and Preparedness Coordinator at CSULB.

EVAC+CHAIRS, 120 of them located strategically across campus, are marked with a bright yellow cover and a photo-luminescent sign above them. The chairs fold up allowing them to be easily transferred to the individual in need, hang on the wall and are lightweight, weighing only 19 pounds

“In the event of an earthquake or a fire, you’re not allowed to use the elevators so those with access and functional needs, persons with disabilities, or those who have been injured above the first floor won’t readily be able to get downstairs to ground level,” said Rosene, “so in an effort to be ahead of the curve some institutions are moving towards this.

“These chairs can easily go down the stairs because they have tracks, not wheels, so you don’t need to be a super strong person to get someone down the stairs in these chairs,” he added. “And, if you have to let go of the chair for any reason it will stop, it will not continue going down the stairs so it allows the operator the ability to safely maneuver down the stairs with someone up to 400 pounds with very minimal effort.”

The majority of chairs are installed near stairwells, elevators or on the main hallway on each floor above the first floor, and in the basement if there is one.

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PHOTO BY SHAYNE SCHROEDER

“You want them to be visible, but also intuitive as to where they would be,” said Rosene. “Design and Construction Services did an incredible job of serving the entire campus in determining where the best locations were.”

Building marshals will be trained this semester as to how to use the chairs. Any staff or faculty member who wants to learn how to use the chairs is welcome to attend future meetings. If you have any questions about the program, contact Jon Rosene.