Submitted by Keith Kuhlmann, Regional Safety and Environment Coordinator (Columbus, OH)
|Tampa's Fire Rescue team evaluates our|
historic office for evacuation routes
A former cigar factory, our Tampa office dates to circa 1895 and the three-story structure presents unique brick, masonry, and heavy timber construction and a basement, not commonly found in this area of Florida. Noting the special challenges for emergency responders that our building could present, the Tampa Fire Rescue team asked for the opportunity to bring crews to tour the building and develop a specialized response plan in case of an alarm. At the same time, Stantec was seeking an outside vendor to conduct fire extinguisher training for our staff. Thus, a partnership was struck. And since 2006, Stantec hosts an annual walkthrough of our building and a gourmet lunch, followed by Station 4 hosting fire extinguisher training and a delicious buffet prepared by the firefighters in the station kitchen. As our administrative manager and one of our two office safety coordinators Mary Beth McGill likes to say, “We do like to eat here in Tampa!” (And many thanks to Mary Beth for all of her hard work coordinating our safety activities.)
Our latest training and lunch exchange coincided closely with NAOSH week. Recently, several of our Emergency Responders and Focused Site Safety Committee members attended fire extinguisher training at the station, followed by a lunch of traditional homemade Spanish bean soup, which is a signature dish for the historic district. Stantec then returned the favor, this time welcoming firefighters from Stations 1 and 10 in addition to those from Station 4. After walking the building and providing several helpful recommendations, the fire crews enjoyed a true epicurean feast, which included Italian beef sandwiches, roasted pork, salads, sides, and desserts.
NAOSH Week is a great time to reevaluate these kinds of safety practices and precautions. But add in delicious home cooking and you’ll get people there any time of year!