Special On a + Note Post: 9/11 and Health & Safety
Last week the GPL Health and Safety Committee met to discuss a wide variety of issues. Before the meeting began, the Co- Chair, Mark Couch, who works in our Technical Services Department, talked about the twelfth anniversary of 9/11 and what it really means to us. I was so moved by his eloquent words that I want to share it with you.
By Mark Couch
September 11, 2013 was the 12th anniversary of the attack and destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and the partial destruction of the Pentagon in Washington D.C. It seems appropriate at this time of year to stop and reflect on the lives that were lost.
Your Guelph Public Library Joint Health and Safety Committee feels it is also appropriate to think of what went right that day and why. It is estimated that 50,000 people worked in the World Trade Center on an average week day. Approximately 140,000 visitors came and went through the 2 towers on an average day.
As tragic as the loss of the 2,753 lives were that day, the loss could have been much greater if someone had not made sure that exit signs were in the places that needed them. Someone took the time to determine where fire doors where needed and made sure they were working. There were people who had planned fire evacuation routes and people who knew how to use to use them. When the frightened people got to the evacuation stair wells they were empty of clutter, ready to use for a quick but orderly exit.
Most of all, there were people that maintained their focus and concentrated on the tasks at hand. Ordinary people using their knowledge and whatever else they had to help others. There is no question of the breathtaking heroism that occurred that day however in the aftermath a lesson remains for us all. The sometimes tedious maintenance of a safe workplace allowed many thousands of people to escape to safety. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
So, if you were ever wondering why we in library land and the Guelph Public Library are so committed to all that health and safety stuff, now you know.
Kitty Pope September 2013