By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator Editor in Chief
On March 16, students stood outside surrounding the school while the wind blew at them and drops of rain came down occasionally while a group of firefighters entered the building to investigate why the fire alarms were repeatedly going off.
The big questions going around the school: Why did this happen? What caused it?
According to Dr. Villarruel, De Pere’s superintendent, the alarm system had a shortage. Pull stations around the school typically indicate if one was pulled, but when the firefighters examined the supposedly pulled station, it showed no signs of it being used.
At the same time, the school was unable to get the fire alarm system under control. In a short meeting, Dr. Villarruel told the Crimson Aviator that there was no guarantee that the system was stable and would not continue going off, forcing the school to make the decision to send students home early. Students were enthusiastic about leaving but, on the other hand, the school was left with an issue to be resolved by the following day.
However, there was a chance for the school to prevent the issue from occurring. Simplex, a fire alarm equipment supplier, determined that the shortage was caused due to a leaky roof. Dr. Villarruel also explained that the control where the fire alarm unit was located in the ceiling was found drenched in water.
“I am sure if we didn’t have the leaky roof it might not have happened,” Dr. Villarruel said.
He also said that a fire alarm system is a really complex system of equipment, and there is never any 100 percent guarantee that the alarms will not go off again because of a malfunction.
“We feel that everything is safe, and the fire department is satisfied as well,” he said.
Dr. Villarruel also said that the school is planning on replacing the roofs this summer, which will hopefully help ensure that the alarms will not be at risk of having a shortage again.