Carter Bros. donates fire systems to Atlanta college

Carter: Morris Brown College could become fire system/mass communication ‘showcase’
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ATLANTA—Carter Brothers, one of the nation’s leading minority providers of fire, life safety and security, has formed a new partnership with a historically black college in its Atlanta backyard. Carter Brothers says it will donate fire, security and mass communication products and services to the 130-year-old Morris Brown College to improve campus safety as the college implements an ambitious new growth plan.

Carter Brothers is making the donation because it is “the right thing to do” in this economy, company CEO John Carter told Security Systems News. He said higher education is one of the 10-year-old company’s specialties.

“They’re in the business of educating students, but this is something I do every day, so lending my expertise to these guys to be able to allow them to utilize their facilities better and more safely from a fire, life safety and mass communications standpoint, I thought that was a no brainer in terms of me and my brother [former NFL wide receiver, Cris Carter, company chairman],” John Carter said.

He estimated the in-kind donation would be a “six-figure” one. He predicted that when the multi-year project is completed, the college “could be a showcase for what fire, mass communication and security could be at a higher education facility.”

Carter Brothers is one of the nation’s largest EST Life Safety & Communications strategic partners. The job will involve a combination of retrofit and new installation work. Morris Brown is located in the Atlanta University Center area, near several other historically black colleges and also Georgia State University. So Carter said the mass notification system will use a variety of messaging channels and be designed to not only notify those on the Morris Brown campus in an emergency, but “people in the surrounding areas, to make sure they know what’s going on.”

 Also, Carter said he hopes that the systems at the college can be used to train Morris Brown students “from a technical standpoint so they can learn the fire and security space better” and possibly consider the alarm industry as a career.

Morris Brown College president Stanley Pritchett expressed “grateful appreciation” to Carter Brothers for the partnership with the college, founded in 1881. He told SSN that most of the college’s life safety systems were last updated 15 years ago and “have outlived their life cycle.” He said, “We look at this as an opportunity for the college to be aligned with all the new technology with respect to life safety as we move forward with the master plan of the college.”

Morris Brown College currently has 125 students but its strategic plan calls for it having 1,500 students within five years and an additional 1,000 students in its new online program, Pritchett said. The college also is planning numerous capital improvements, he said. “With more students on the campus, it becomes more of a need to make sure we have the right kind of protection for the students,” Pritchett said.

Carter Brothers, which has about 224 employees, is based here and operates in 26 states. The company says it has “managed, installed, maintained or serviced over $1 billion in security projects nationwide” since its founding in 2001.