Legislative building emptied by surprise fire drill Wednesday
The Legislature was emptied Wednesday afternoon by a surprise fire drill.
The result: An estimated 700 lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists and members of the public were ordered out of the building and onto the open space between the Capitol and Legislature.
Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Lorne Malkiewich admitted the drill came as a surprise to many since LCB hasn’t done a practice evacuation before. But, he said, they are supposed to do it at least once a year.
The building was shut down for nearly 30 minutes while Legislative Police searched through the different offices to make sure everyone had left as ordered.
Malkiewich said it made sense to do it during the Legislative session because that’s when the most people are in the building. He said to do it in July after the session would make no sense since only a small staff and no lawmakers would be present.
But Malkiewich said he has no intention of doing another drill during the 2007 Legislature.
“So if you hear those alarms go off again, get out of the building because it’ll be a real emergency,” he said.