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What do you do with 800 scientists who cannot return to the building they have just evacuated?

Nick Berry, Business Resilience Manager, European R&D Headquarters, Pfizer

Annual fire drills serve a valuable purpose in ensuring familiarity with evacuation procedures. However, the limited duration of these exercises may be far from the reality of a real incident. In this situation, the ability to return back into a building may be restricted for hours or days. As an emergency manager, this raises a number of questions, including what to do with the evacuated colleagues, how to provide welfare support and how to identify those people who require the most immediate assistance. This article focuses on these questions through a case study of ‘Exercise Headcount’. Developed in response to the situation Pfizer faced as a result of the 2007 New York steam-pipe explosion, the article provides an overview of the post-evacuation mustering and triage system that was developed for the Pfizer Research & Development site at Sandwich, UK.

evacuation, post evacuation, triage, welfare, exercise

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