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Noise, but no notification

Nettle Creek School's fire alarm hooked to nowhere

It was recently discovered that if the fire alarm were pulled at Nettle Creek School in Morris, the fire department would not be notified.

"So if somebody pulls the (fire) alarm here, everybody gets out of the school, but nobody comes?" Board of Education member Ted Ergo asked District Superintendent Dr. Pete Pasteris.

Pasteris told Ergo and the rest of the board members that was a correct statement Monday evening at the board meeting. In the past, the only way the fire department would be notified of a fire at Nettle Creek is if someone picked up a phone and called 9-1-1 themselves.

Pasteris did not know that, however.

"If we're here and the fire alarm goes off, we do all our exits like we always do and we call 9-1-1," Pasteris said about a normal procedure at Nettle Creek. "The real scary part is if nobody's here and it's a Saturday night a 2 a.m." 

He said he thought the school's alarms were sent directly to the Morris Fire Department, but would call anyway in an emergency situation or in the event of a drill. After a recent discussion with Fire Chief Bob Coleman, however, Pasteris was informed Nettle Creek's alarms should be being sent and monitored by a security company.

"It's a third party that the call bounces to and then they call the fire department," explained Board President Demtra Turman.

Currently, however, the alarm does not notify the fire department nor does it notify a third-party company.

"I guess it's been that way for a long, long time. Maybe forever for all I know," Pasteris said.

He told the board he was not happy about the situation and informed them the only reason he discovered the issue was because a trouble alarm had been going off because of its batteries and he called Coleman to make sure they were not receiving an alarm for Nettle Creek.

"We're having this rectified immediately," the superintendent said Wednesday afternoon.

He said the district's architects are in the bidding process now and the situation should be corrected within the next few weeks.

"It's better to find out now than in an emergency," Pasteris said.

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