Every year, the Chicago Fire Department participates in drills at the Willis Tower, which until recently held the prestigious title of tallest building in the U.S. (One World Trade Center in New York City now tops the list.) Approximately 11,000 occupants occupy 110 floors, making these series of drills all the more crucial.
Presenters at this morning's education session highlighted safety features at the 1,450-foot building that complement the drills, which can be mimicked at other high-rises using the right approach, says presenter Anthony Van Buskirk, retired district chief for the Chicago Fire Department.
"These practices aren't only for the Willis Tower," he says. "The important factor is that we practice the protocols in controlling the vulnerability of people [in high-rise buildings]."
Establishing partnerships with management, engineering, and security staff at any building will lead to a quicker and safer response to incidents, adds Van Buskirk.
Read more about the drills and safety at the Willis Tower in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.