By Joseph Recinos
Evacuating disabled and injured Elans with limited mobility from an earthquake or other campus disaster was the focus of a school-wide tutorial last Thursday.
The Evacu-Trac CD7, which is a rolling chair that facilitates the evacuation of disabled or injured people, was demonstrated to East Los Angeles College faculty and staff. Because of its unique design, the CD7 is as completely stable on stairs as it is on the ground.
Due to the rubber track on the bottom of the chair, it is easy to roll down the stairs. The fail-safe break allows you to stop during the descent. The passenger is safely strapped to the chair by two Velcro straps, one around the chest and the other around the legs. The CD7 has a maximum weight limit of 400-pounds and a maximum 40 degree angle decline.
“Every building on campus with more than one story has one,” said Emiliano Tello, a lead painter who conducted the demonstration in the F7 building.
Tello and co-worker, James Owens, are designated first responders for the building. Although it was not mandatory for teachers and staff to attend the demonstration, both Tello and Owens were surprised that no one showed-up to learn how to use the device.
“Safety is always on-going. Our first responsibility is to the students,” said Owens.
The team demonstrated how to properly use the chair by harnessing Owens, who was easily pushed down the stairs. The CD7 is engineered so that even a small person can easily maneuver the injured or disabled down the stairs. If the person controlling the CD7 gets tired, the person can apply the brake, stopping the chair in its tracks as if it were glued to the ground.
Although no one arrived at the F7 building demonstration, a few teachers around the campus did show up in other buildings. The Evacu-Trac, which is made by Garavenda Lift, is said to be the best emergency evacuation chair on the market. Students, such as Margarita Aguirre, are glad that the school is going the extra distance to keep the students safe.
“It’s a lot easier to study and concentrate on school-work, knowing that the school is looking out for our safety,” Aguirre said.