None of the Pulaski County government buildings have fire alarm systems tied in to the 911 system to immediately notify the fire department in the event of an emergency, and the courthouse does not have any sort of sprinkler system in place. Those issues were raised during Monday’s county commissioners meeting when Teri Hansen from the health department asked why the fire alarm system at the annex building on Riverside Drive does not go anywhere. Maintenance supervisor Jeff Johnston says he will look into the cost of doing hard-wiring it to the dispatch center. He says the annex building at least has a zoned sprinkler system in place. “If there’s a fire on the third floor, only the third floor suppression goes off,” Johnston said.
That’s more than the courthouse has in place, according to Johnston. “Over here, there’s nothing. If there’s a fire downstairs in the hallway, this is going to be a nightmare. This is something we’ve looked at. We’ve got battery- powered smoke detectors stuck on like you’ve got in your house.” Several courthouse employees say the smoke detectors at the courthouse are difficult to hear when they are in their offices. Johnston will look into the cost of county-wide upgrades. He says the Pulaski County Justice Center is the only building that is remotely up to speed in terms of modern fire alarms. It is also the newest. The county broke ground on the 56.400 square foot facility in 1996. The courthouse dates to the 1800s, and the annex building was the Winamac High School prior to the consolidation of the township schools in the late 1960s. Any changes will need to bring the system up to current code standards.