Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Havre’s new emergency siren system has failed its first test. “It was a bust. I guess it was a good test. Nothing worked ,” said Ron Knudson, Hill County emergency manager. “I guess this is why you do the testing.” The Hill County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local emergency responders had scheduled a test of the sirens for Friday at 10 a. m. When the test was run, neither the county nor the city dispatch systems could start the sirens. Knudson said the problem could be a simple one the radio frequencies might not be set properly and an adjustment might be all it takes to solve the problem. Priority Communications, the company that installed the new siren, will be checking on that. “It’s just a matter of climbing the towers,” Knudson added. If that is the problem, the system will be tested again, possibly within a couple of weeks. Knudson said the problem will be found and repaired and the system tested as soon as possible, regardless. “This year we want to do it. The sooner the better,” he said. Havre has two emergency sirens, one installed in the 1980s near the water tower by cemetery road, and another installed and hooked up in the last few years by the water tower near Legion Baseball Field on the eastern side of Havre. Devon Energy made a donation to pay for the new siren, and Triangle Communication donated use of a pole on which to install it. When fully operational, either the city or county dispatch centers will be able to start the sirens using a radio signal. The sirens will run for three minutes, then shut off automatically. A radio broadcast will be transmitted over KOJM 610 AM and KPQX 92.5 FM telling the details of the emergency. The sirens will only be used at the start of the emergency, with a radio broadcast telling local residents when the emergency is over. The sirens would be used to notify area residents of emergency situations and to tune into the radio in case of tornadoes, flash floods or other weather-related emergencies; hazardous material spills; evacuations, or any other disaster requiring public notification. The Hill County Sheriff, the Havre Police Chief, the Havre Fire Chief, the Hill County Commissioners, the City of Havre Mayor, and the Hill County Emergency Manager are the people authorized to activate the sirens and who would notify the dispatch centers to turn them on. Knudson said people wanting more information can contact him at 265-5481, ext. 283, or on his cell phone at 390-8858.