RPS, RFD safety update: 13 of 14 recommendations completed
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As of November 2022, no safety violations exist in any Richmond Public Schools.
14 recommendations were made to protect students from a fire. These recommendations came after the Richmond Fire Marshal reported several issues in Richmond City schools.
The recommendations came after the three-alarm fire destroyed the roof of Fox Elementary School last year.
In 2020, when Fox Elementary School caught fire, 40 RPS schools had unsatisfactory inspections and required reinspection, but 55%, or 22 of 40 schools, were not re-inspected.
Richmond’s Fire Chief, Melvin Carter, explained what happened.
“That’s was because of new schools coming online, and 2021 there were some schools not inspected bc half of the fire marshal’s office was sent back to address emergency response,” said Chief Carter.
Fox Elementary School was last inspected in August of 2021 when issues arose. The fire marshal found many problems, like mice chewing through wires, combustible materials stored in boiler and electrical equipment rooms, and issues with the alarm panel.
“Everywhere in the city, dollars are limited. However, when we’re talking about health and safety, it’s a non-issue. We have to prioritize,” said Kristen Nye, Richmond City Council’s Vice President.
Out of the 14 recommendations made, 13 have been completed.
Since the fire, RPS officials and the fire department have been meeting weekly and monthly.
“The relationship is stronger, better and definitely more resilient,” said the chief.
That final recommendation will be taken care of by the fire marshal. It is a communication system that alerts all parties needing to know what happens during a fire emergency.
“To make sure we have real-time information on what we need to expect,” the chief explained.
The Fire Marshal’s Office will have that component to take care of that last recommendation in June or July.
Copyright 2023 WWBT. All rights reserved.