Reflecting on the Silver King Campus Incident

Collaboration and Care Foster Resilience in the Face of Challenge


—From the desk of Director, Facilities & Business Services, Donna Drover

On February 8, the Silver King Campus faced an unexpected challenge when a fire and explosion took place outside the North Trades shops. In the initial tense moments, the swift actions of employees and students, guided by the emergency response procedures, ensured everyone’s safety. As we navigate the aftermath, it is heartening to see the spirit of co-operation and care that defines us as a college.

As we transition from incident to recovery and reflection, it is evident how crucial it is to be prepared for emergencies. The lessons learned from this event highlight the importance of proactive measures and the value of clear communication and coordination. I am proud and grateful to the employees and students who acted quickly and played a pivotal role in containing the situation. Each action was instrumental in facilitating the fire department's response and minimizing potential harm, from activating the fire alarm to securing the scene (shutting down power, HVAC and gas to the impact zone) to accounting for individuals within the building.

Silver King Incident 2024

Since the immediate response phase, employees have worked tirelessly to safely and methodically restore services to each trade shop and coordinate support services to ensure the well-being of those affected by the incident. These efforts include arranging around-the-clock security to preserve the safety and integrity of the incident site, providing meals for staff involved in the response efforts and scheduling critical incident debriefings for staff and students. Furthermore, the valuable support from community partners in navigating the aftermath of the incident and returning to normal operations is greatly appreciated.

WorkSafeBC, the fire department and insurance have all completed their investigations, and while we have not received their final reports, we can confirm that all safety equipment functioned as intended. At this time, the source of ignition is still unknown. The Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee is continuing to meet with instructors from trades programs to complete an internal review to identify preventative measures and training opportunities that can be implemented and shared across all campuses.

Throughout the process, collaboration has been crucial, and I am thankful for the assistance of employees and community partners as we return to normal operations. The Silver King Campus incident not only showcased the resilience of the college community but also highlighted our collective ability to come together in times of crisis.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the employees and students who responded to the incident—your actions truly made a difference, and I am proud to be part of such a caring and supportive team.

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