Prepared for Fire in Wheatland - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Prepared for Fire in Wheatland

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Last week, the fire alarm was pulled at Mercer Co. High School. It took students just one minute to evacuate. 

But, it took ten minutes for firefighters to arrive.

That's because the fire alarms aren't connected to the fire department. 

The superintendent says that's to avoid bothering the fire department in the event of false alarms.

But many schools around our area says an extra cost is worth it, for peace of mind. 


To many , it's just a box on the wall, but at Calamus-Wheatland High School, it stands for much more than that. It stands for the seconds that could save a school, or even a life. 

"This is quick, fast, easy. You pull the plug, they take care of calling the correct people and your firement will be here," says Calamus-Wheatland Principal, Chris Meyer.

Meyer says an automatic fire system was installed in 1998, after a school expansion. 

She says she is grateful for it, because with everything she has to deal with as a principal, she is happy having to alert the fire department isn't one of her duties. 

Instead, she can focus on getting kids out of the building. 

But how does it work?

When an alarm goes off, in Calamus-Wheatland schools, the automatic box tells Clinton County Dispatch there is a possible fire. 

That's when Wheatland Fire, an all volunteer department is alerted... All within seconds. 

"It just seems that for a small town, we're very well prepared," says Meyer.

Many other smaller schools around our area used an automated system as well. 

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