From there, they would not budge. Our staff contacted Otis Elevator, and while we waited for the on call technician to arrive, the team tried troubleshooting the problem the best they knew how. After learning of alerts on the fire panel, and ruling out an actual emergency situation such as a fire, we also contacted Siemens (fire panel maintenance team) to request an emergency technician to visit. The elevators are programmed, in the event of certain trouble signals on the fire panel, to recall to the lobby level as a precaution. Fortunately, it was obvious there was no true emergency.
Once Otis arrived around 8pm, the technician ruled out a problem with the elevators and was unable to reset them, so we awaited arrival and word from Siemens as to whether they would be able to resolve the problem. Our staff and the technician were able to shuttle folks up into the building using the master control keys which are intended for the fire department or other authorities to use in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, in this type of situation, the elevators will not respond to hallway calls as a safety precaution. (Remember, our emergency plan directs residents to use the stairs in the event of an emergency, so the authorities can utilize the elevators – AND, to avoid the elevator stopping and the possibility of opening on a floor where an incident such as a fire may be occurring).
The next logical possibility to investigate was some type of malfunction with the fire panel or a device on the fire control network. Fortunately our tech with Siemens arrived around 10:30pm and was able to determine the problem, and release the elevators around 11pm. A failing circuit board within our fire panel was causing the system to fail safe, as we were suspecting. When a serious enough malfunction occurs, as a safety precaution, the elevators are recalled to the lobby level. So, ironically, the elevators behaved as they should have. That way there, if an emergency such as a fire occurs while the fire panel is under service, the authorities would be able to take control of our elevators.
Thankfully, this brought the problem with PT’s fire panel to our attention so we were able to resolve it. In the event of a fire or other emergency, this particular problem should not prevent it’s functioning.
We fully realize this was a huge inconvenience to many residents and their guests. We apologize and sympathize with anyone who waited or was delayed due to this problem.
But, this is the type of situation we have our e-mail list and text message service for! (Subscribers were able to contact the staff, so we could pick them up from their floor just by calling the front desk at 773-769-3083.) If you are on our e-mail list, you likely already saw the updates we were sending in real time, informing residents we were aware of the situation and working to resolve it. If you are not on our list, or need to update your e-mail address, send us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALSO, subscribers to our emergency texting service, received real time text message updates.
To more quickly communicate important information to Park Tower owners and residents, we have set up a PTCA SMS text notification service. Simply follow the instructions below, and use your cell phone to subscribe to the category of messages you are interested in. Obviously, posted notices, the weekly PT News and Update e-mails and other means we use to communicate with you will continue. The text service is just for those interested in alerts, reminders and messages that would be more helpful delivered faster and more efficiently.
There are three categories to which you can subscribe:
Emergencies – Fires, floods, active shooters, power outages etc.
To subscribe to this notification service, text “PTCAalerts” to 94253
Notices – Meetings, business and activity announcements and reminders.
To subscribe to this notification service, text “PTCAnotices” to 94253
Maintenance – Elevator, water and other service outages, as well as repairs, construction and project announcements.
To subscribe to this notification service, text “PTCAmaintenance“ to 94253
When you subscribe, you will receive a welcome message. And thereafter, when we are able, texts with alerts and notifications relevant to that category will be text to you from time to time. If you want to unsubscribe at any time, just text “STOP”. If you do this, you will unsubscribe from every category of message. However, you can re-subscribe at any time to the ones you are interested in.
The use of this service is intended for Park Tower Residents and Owners only. If your cell phone number is not in our registered residents database, you may be removed. So it is important that we have your most current contact information on file. You can make sure simply by sending us an e-mail at email@example.com with your current information.
Again, we apologize for anyone who experienced delay or difficulties on Friday night. Hopefully this explanation helps.