Evacuating Persons with Disabilities

Techniques for evacuating persons with disabilities vary with the nature of the disability. If a person with a disability cannot evacuate, they should be moved to an enclosed fire stairwell that is a good distance away from the hazard. Make sure that the Fire Command Station in the Lobby is informed of the location of the disabled person and the nature of their disability.

  1. Always ask a disabled person how you can help before giving emergency evacuation assistance. Ask how they can best be assisted or moved, and if there are any special considerations or items that need to come with them.
  2. For persons with mobility impairments, it may be necessary to help clear the exit route of debris, if possible.
  3. For persons with a visual disability, give verbal instructions while assisting in an evacuation. Do not grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Ask if he or she would like to hold your arm as you exit, especially in crowds or debris covered areas.
  4. For persons with auditory disabilities, get the attention of the person by touch or eye contact. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if that person does not seem to understand.
  5. Do not use elevators unless authorized by FDNY personnel.
  6. Do not attempt a rescue evacuation unless you had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.