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 communityâ€™s warning system.
â€śLike last year, the Little Kohler siren spins around but it doesnâ€™t make any noise but the one on Fairway Drive does work,â€ť Caswell told town supervisors last week.
The condition of the townâ€™s warning sirens was last a topic of discussion when the Ozaukee County Sheriffâ€™s Department noted that the technology used in the sirens was being changed.
Unlike years past, the warnings are now triggered by the sheriffâ€™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.
â€śThe last time this came up, we decided not to spend the money,â€ť Mueller said.
â€śNow that everyone can get storm warnings on their cell phones, I donâ€™t know if we need to keep them running.â€ť
Caswell said he did not object to that decision, but suggested the town consider removing the sirens if they are not being maintained.
â€śIf 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,â€ť he said.
Supr. Jim Stemper said one solution might be to turn over the townâ€™s sirens to the Ozaukee County Emergency Management Department.
Stemper said the county could then decide whether to repair or remove the warning sirens.
â€śI doubt weâ€™ll get anything out of the county,â€ť Mueller countered.