Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:24
Waubeka fire chief says faulty warning devices give false sense of security
Waubeka Fire Chief Jason Caswell told the Fredonia Town Board that a recent tornado drill revealed a flaw in the community’s warning system.
“Like last year, the Little Kohler siren spins around but it doesn’t make any noise but the one on Fairway Drive does work,” Caswell told town supervisors last week.
The condition of the town’s warning sirens was last a topic of discussion when the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department noted that the technology used in the sirens was being changed.
Unlike years past, the warnings are now triggered by the sheriff’s department.
Town Chairman Richard Mueller recalled that town officials were reluctant to allocate funding for upgraded sirens after seeing the $40,000 price tag.
“The last time this came up, we decided not to spend the money,” Mueller said.
“Now that everyone can get storm warnings on their cell phones, I don’t know if we need to keep them running.”
Caswell said he did not object to that decision, but suggested the town consider removing the sirens if they are not being maintained.
“If people see sirens around town, they expect them to work. I think it gives them a false sense of security. Maybe it would be in the best interest of the town to take them down,” he said.
Supr. Jim Stemper said one solution might be to turn over the town’s sirens to the Ozaukee County Emergency Management Department.
Stemper said the county could then decide whether to repair or remove the warning sirens.
“I doubt we’ll get anything out of the county,” Mueller countered.