Brian Williams Ignores Alarm – The Show Must Go On or Disaster Denial?

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Emergency Communications


Brian Williams Ignores Alarm – The Show Must Go On or Disaster Denial?

Last night Twitter and blogs were abuzz with NBC News Anchor Brian Williams handling of his broadcast while building alarms were sounding in the background.

Williams apologized for the interruption several times. He stated “I thought we had turned off all the alarms in the studio.” He reported several times that there was no problem. He said there was an alarm problem on the floor below.

NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonall Tweeted, “This is the first fire alarm in our new NBC Nightly News studio. System should have been shut off – but clearly still working out the kinks.”

There were wide ranging comments on various blogs and websites, from accolades for Mr. Williams’ performance under pressure to “This is encouraging people to ignore fire alarms. Totally irresponsible…”

What’s your take?

Disabling an alarm so it does not activate may be a code violation.

There are five common failures in disasters and crises. The third is failure to identify and monitor all threats and risks.

Having a plan and training employees on the plan are critical in a disaster. In many cases, seconds represent the difference between life and death. Waiting to act is never acceptable.

Firestorm would be glad to review NBC’s plan, identify gaps, and train employees on what to do.

How about you? Are you ready? Are you sure? How do you know?

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