On the evening of June 14, 2010, Solid Rock Church’s 62 foot statue of Jesus was struck by lighting and burned, sending 100 foot flames into the air and taking responding fire crews hours to put out.
An ampitheater was exposed and began to burn, but fortunately, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control. Thankfully, this occurred after church hours, so the only thing at risk was property.
So, how is your fire planning? I am sure the last thing this church expected was to lose Jesus to a lightning strike, but emergencies happen when we least expect them. The difference between success and failure is planning.
Here are some thoughts to consider.
First, when was the last time your congregation was reminded about fire safety, did a fire drill, or was told where the fire exits could be found. Airlines remind us, instruct us, and show us pictures everytime we fly. Would your congregation benefit from a reminder or even a practice drill a couple times a year?
Imagine how this could liven up a church service!
Secondly, as a security or safety team, do you know where all your exits, fire extinguishers, and plans are located? Do you have any plans? If your church security team doesn’t know or hasn’t planned, think how your church family might respond.
Thirdly, remember people need to be led in a crisis. They simply lose their head. In the town I work in, we had a terrible wind storm. A middle aged woman called the police department because a tree had fallen on her front door step, which blocked the door. When we arrived we began speaking to her through the door. She was so worried because she couldn’t get out.
I then asked her if she had a back door….there was silence, and then embarassment. If your folks don’t get involved in emergencies a lot, then plan on a poor response. There are many cases of panic, bottle necks, and death by trampling because there was no plan, or the people didn’t recognize the danger.
This is something you might want to practice as a team.
Designate who will lead them to safety and who will attack the fire with an extinguisher (if appropriate). If the fire is growing quickly, pull an alarm, and get you and your church family out of the building!
Our thoughts are with the church, I know this was an expensive project, and they seemed to really like it. It was actually a landmark you couldn’t miss while driving down interstate 75.