By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | email@example.com
Thanks to a grant, communities in Adams County will soon have an updated alert system. New sirens were recently installed in the towns of Bucyrus, Haynes, Hettinger and Reeder.
A FY15 State Homeland Security Grant allowed the county to purchase the new alert sirens, and thanks to the efforts, Haynes and Bucyrus will have them for the first time.
The sirens were placed near Milwaukee Avenue in Bucyrus, next to the city hall in Haynes, at the armory, fire hall and Ryan Hvelka Park in Hettinger and at the fire hall in Reeder.
Most of the existing warning sirens were over 50 years old and were starting to become unreliable; sirens in Reeder had stopped working altogether about a year ago.
The project is nearly four years in the making. Originally the county was trying to purchase the equipment under a different grant before being awarded funds through the homeland security program.
The sirens will act as a weather alert, with other frequencies available to be programmed for other types of alerts.
The new warning sirens are Eclipse 8, model 115dB with 360 degree omni-directional sirens. The sirens have a battery backup and are attached to 50-foot poles, higher than the previous warning sirens.
Sirens were being raised on Thursday, March 10 in Hettinger, and they are in the process of finalizing electrical work for all of the equipment. After the set up work is finished, the county will begin testing, followed by declaring the sirens operational. Michelle Gaylord, Adams County Emergency Services Manager, said that they expect to have the process completed sometime in April. Gaylord did say that the old sirens will be functional until the new ones are completely up and running, so the county will still have alerts if they need to use them.
Activating the alert systems around the county will not be a problem, they can be turned on by remotely.
“They will be activated by radio, for the most part,” Gaylord said. “Remotely by radio.”
She added that multiple people—including the sheriff’s department—will be given the ability to activate the alert system, in order to best serve the community.
The Emergency Management department wanted to remind the community that the outdoor warning sirens are “tools to alert persons who are outdoors of an imminent hazard and prompt them to take immediate, potentially life-saving action by finding shelter from an imminent threat, and seeking additional information on the threat.”
The department also wanted to ad that even though you may be indoors and close to an alert siren, that inside a person shouldn’t solely rely on the sirens for early warning of an imminent danger.