Efforts continue on siren system in Tyrone

Those involved in the effort to bring a community-wide siren system to Tyrone to alert residents to a large-scale emergency continue to work toward a decade-plus long goal.
Tyrone Borough Manager Sharon Dannaway said Blair County Emergency Management and 911 agreed to a protocol the borough presented to those agencies in July.
Previously, a meeting was held between the borough emergency management director Jim Beckwith and Police Chief Joseph Beachem to hammer out the protocol. The fire chiefs of Tyrone’s two fire companies were also asked to review the protocol and according to Dannaway, both were on board with the plan.
Under the protocol, the first responders at the scene will make a determination as to whether or not an emergency is of a “life-threatening” nature to the community. The first responder would then contact the county’s 911 center. 911 would then inform the borough to institute a manual siren system. The county’s emergency management director Gary Dennis would be alerted. He would contact the media, so that designated television and radio outlets could begin broadcasting information about the emergency and instructing residents to a course of action.
Dannaway explained the county’s 911 system can only initiate one blast of the siren. In a community-wide emergency of a “life-threatening” nature, a manual override of the system will be initiated at the municipal building using a button that is already in place. The button would be activated by Tyrone Police to set off sirens that are or will be strategically placed in and around the borough.
The manual system would emit three one-minute blasts, which would be followed by a two-minute pause, then three one-minute blasts again. The alert would be the signal to the public that an event of a “life-threatening” nature was occurring. At that point, citizens would need to tune into the designated radio and television stations for more information.
The borough and Albemarle’s Community Advisory Council have been working on the idea of a siren system for more than a decade. Plans also call for the printing and distribution of materials advising the public as to how the system works and what they should do when the system activated.
Three of the sirens are already in place and two others that have been purchased by Albemarle need to be installed. Current plans call for one of the two sirens to be put on Tyrone Area School district property while the other siren would be placed on one of two sites that were still be considered as of last week,
The current goal is to have the two remaining sirens installed by the end of next month. At that point, the system would be ready to go pending educating the public on how it works.