August 28, 2001 -- We've all heard about a "Chinese Fire Drill" - that was a good descriptive of Tuesday morning's fire drill at the courthouse. For the first time, the Crook County courthouse has an automatic fire alarm system. When the alarm went off at 9:17 this morning it wasn't on automatic - it was a drill.
>County employees were not on an early morning coffee break this morning as they streamed out of the courthouse - they were taking part in a fire drill. The courthouse has a new automatic fire alarm system and the drill was scheduled with great secrecy to test their response time.
A full report on the drill will be published in Thursday's newspaper
Prineville Fire Chief Bob Schnoor explained that the county safety committee had recommended the installation of the system, and once it was in place, suggested the drill. With the timing a secret, nearly everyone in the building was caught by surprise.
When discussing the drill before Tuesday morning, Schnoor said he believes people will be shocked to see how long it takes to evacuate the building. "Especially from the third floor, when the masses of people try to get down the stairways."
Undersheriff Jim Hensley explained that he would have at least one person in the third floor courtroom in shackles. "I want to see how our corrections officers will do. We're making it as realistic as we can for everyone in the courthouse, including the corrections officers."