Interesting fact about my job

This past Tuesday the fire alarm went off at work.

I didn’t get up, didn’t leave the building. I looked around and stayed where I was.

I was plugged in at the sector, talking to planes.

Ah, I hear you say. Right. Of course. When the fire alarm goes off, air traffic controllers can’t just leave. If we are on break, sure. But not if we are actually talking to planes.

As it turns out, maintenance was doing scheduled testing of the alarms. But none of us knew that at the time. We joked uneasily for a few seconds while the supervisor called the operations manager to find out the story.

There are plans in place for the evacuation of the building in the event of a real fire, flood, or other hazardous condition. We are briefed on the plan every year to ensure we know what to do. Still that plan would take about five minutes before we could leave.



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