Smoke from a defective HVAC heating unit filled the Holyoke Elementary School library on January 20 which prompted school personnel to pull the fire alarm and evacuate students. A quick response from the Holyoke Fire Department resolved the issue and allowed students to return to their regular classroom activities promptly. The impromptu drill sparked questions and discussion among staff, administration and emergency personnel about how we can be better prepared for emergency situations. Fire Department Representative Bob Heldenbrand attended the elementary school staff meeting to suggest recommendations and listen to staff ideas about how to keep Holyoke students as safe as possible. A minor crisis became a powerful learning tool and catalyst for improved communication at Holyoke Elementary.