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April 3, 2013

City upgrading warning sirens

GREENVILLE — The City of Greenville is in the process of upgrading its emergency warning sirens system.

Problems with the system were noted following an outbreak of tornadoes one year ago today. Some local residents said they could not hear the sirens, while some of the units were later found to be inoperable.

City of Greenville Public Information Officer Lori Philyaw said the sirens are repaired, if needed, after each monthly test, and some are being enhanced during the efforts.

“The one at the SportsPark has been upgraded,” Philyaw said. “They are preparing a proposal to upgrade the remaining sirens for which the city is responsible.”

Philyaw explained once the proposal is ready, it will be presented to the City Council for consideration.

The City of Greenville’s sirens are located at Graham Park, 800 Walnut Street;  Middleton Park, Spencer/Gibbons; Wright Park, 5501 Highway 69 South, the Sports Park, 3901 Leo Hackney Boulevard; Oak Creek Park and 10000 Aerobic Lane. Two sirens at L-3 Communications, 10000 Jack Finney Boulevard, are maintained by the company.

The tests of the emergency sirens are normally conducted at 10 a.m. during the first Thursday of each month. A fire engine is set up at four of the seven locations to make sure the sirens are working properly.

At three other sites, the emergency dispatch calls a pre-determined business to see if the sirens were heard. Internal tests are performed through out the month and prior to severe weather to check the siren’s  performance status.

Non-audible tests are also being conducted weekly through the dispatch system.

The outdoor sirens are designed to create an audible sound to alert people who are most likely outside of life threatening events, and are not designed to alert people in buildings or vehicles.

The city also uses the CodeRED system to warn citizens of major weather events.

 CodeRED is an automatic telephone notification system that can dial up to 60,000 numbers per hour.

Additional information concerning the CodeRED system is available on the City of Greenville web site at www.ci.greenville.tx.us/CodeRED.

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