Grandview Terrace conducts emergency evacuation drill

Retirement communities present special challenges

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Staff and residents of the Grandview Terrace, 14515 W. Granite View Drive, participated in a fire drill Nov. 12 that included evacuating residents. The simulated event was a fire in the building.

The facility is a seven-story independent living community with 288 condominiums.

The Arizona Fire & Medical Authority also dispatched a ladder truck to the scene to assist in a simulated rescue of an incapacitated resident from an upper level residence.

Captain Shaun Holcomb, AFMA Ladder 102, said the department would primarily be looking at mobility challenges and stairway assistance in such situations. In a working fire, ladder units are often used primarily more for rescue than firefighting.

Andy Lessard, Grandview Terrace director of environment services, is trained in the National Incident Management System and serves as the facility’s emergency coordinator. Mr. Lessard designed the emergency evacuation plan for the facility, and said he hopes to conduct similar emergency situation drills twice per year in the future.

“Everyone reacted like they were supposed to,” he said. “And safety procedures were followed and no one got hurt.”

Chuck Kerby, Grandview Terrace interim executive director said he was very happy with the way the drill went.

“It was good practice and we found a few opportunities for improvement in the future,” Mr. Kerby said.

Penny Pinter is a resident of Grandview and watched fire ladder activity from the parking lot, along with her two small dogs. She and her husband moved to Grandview Terrace about a year ago after previously living in Sun City West and Prescott Valley.

Ms. Pinter said she was impressed with the way the drill was handled.

“Conducting the drills is a good idea” she said, adding she has no concerns about her safety in the facility.

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Reporter Roger Ball can be contacted at rball@newszap.com or 623-876-2523.

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