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Cass County updates siren testing policy

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Cass County Emergency Management Agency

LOGANSPORT, IN – On a recommendation from Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Staff, Cass County Commissioners recently approved a change to the warning siren testing and activation policy. Now, instead of the first Monday of every month, warning sirens will be tested on the first Saturday of every month at 10 a.m.

Rocky Buffum, Director for EMA, explained the rationale for the changes.

“Many of the town sirens outside of the city are located at volunteer fire departments and require manual activation. It has been a challenge for personnel to get time away from work during the week for a test that takes a few minutes. Also, we utilize our EMA volunteer pool to monitor the other county sirens including those in the city. This will also make it easier to utilize that group and ensure better coverage of all the sirens for each months test.”

Also, Saturdays will hit less holiday conflicts such as this year where the first Monday of the month would have put the test in the middle of Fourth of July festivities.

There will still be cases where sirens are not tested. These include days where actual severe weather is anticipated, when the temperature is below freezing and unneeded activation could damage siren components, or when there is some other public safety issue going on and the extra alarm could cause confusion (such as a hazardous materials incident).

Other updates to the policy approved at the recent Commissioner meeting help to update changes that have occurred since the previous policy was put in place, sometime around 2009.

“The policy that was out there did not include the current number of sirens as more had been added since that time. Also, the section about maintenance did not match current practice.”

Buffum indicated a vendor specializing in siren maintenance visited last month to service and function test all of the county sirens.

EMA looks forward to the next test on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 10 a.m.

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Emergency Management Agency