The following guidelines should be considered in evacuating persons with disabilities:
FIRST, communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
SECOND, ask the person how you can assist.
THIRD, if possible evacuate mobility aids and assistive devices with the person (i.e. crutches, wheelchairs, etc.).
Describe the nature of the emergency and offer to guide the person to the nearest emergency exit. Have the person take your elbow and escort them, while advising of any obstacles, such as stairs, narrow passageways, or overhanging objects. When you have reached safety, orientate the person to where you are and ask if further assistance is needed.
Most buildings are not equipped with flashing light alarms, and persons with impaired hearing may not perceive that an emergency exists. Communicate with the person by writing a note or using simple hand gestures. Allow the person to see your face when speaking, in case they can read lips.
Persons Using Wheelchairs
Ask the person what method of assistance they prefer. Some people have minimal ability to move, and lifting them may cause injuries to them. Some persons using wheelchairs have respiratory complications; remove them from smoke or fumes immediately. If the disabled person wants to be moved in his or her wheelchair, keep the following considerations in mind:
| With Their Wheelchair
||Without Their Wheelchair |
| · Ask if they want to move forward or backward
· Wheelchairs have many movable or weak parts.
· Some persons have no upper trunk or neck strength.
· Power wheelchairs have very heavy batteries; an evacuation chair may be needed and the chair retrieved later.
· If a seatbelt is available, use it!
· DO NOT attempt to move a person in a wheelchair by yourself; seek help.
· Use the evacuation chair as described on the pages 21-22 of this guide.
· Ask if they can move their extremities or do they need help.
· Ask if the seat cushion or pad is necessary.
· If possible move the wheelchair with them, but NOT with them in it.
· Ask what is necessary for after-care
||Back to Emergency Procedures|