Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

Tyrone Borough is “ready to go” regarding a long-planned emergency siren system, which would be used in case of a wide-scale emergency.
Borough manager Sharon Dannaway updated council earlier this month. She said a meeting was held between the borough emergency management director Jim Beckwith and Police Chief Joseph Beachem to hammer out a protocol for the system. 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.
Dannaway told The Daily Herald on Friday that she is still attempting to make contact with Blair County’s emergency manager Gary Dennis. The protocol the borough has worked out needs to be filed with the county.
Dannaway said, “We’re ready to go with it as soon as we get his (Dennis’) approval.”
Additionally, steps are being taken to update a brochure regarding the system to reflect the agreed upon protocol. The brochure would then be distributed to the public to advise them of how the system works.
In June, representatives of Albemarle’s Community Advisory Council attended a Tyrone Council meeting to urge the borough to take necessary action to allow the implementation of the emergency siren system. The advisory council has been working with the borough for more than a decade on the issue, according to advisory council member Patrick Campbell.
The siren system would be used for wide-scale emergencies beyond a regular fire call and would require a different sound or cadence or series of cadences depending on the nature of the incident.
In a June interview, Campbell cited some examples as “if Albemarle had a serious leakage of chemicals, if there was a serious chemical spill on I-99 or a flood.” The system will consist of several sirens in strategic areas throughout the borough as well as one on Tyrone Area School District property in Snyder Township.
Campbell explained why a protocol had to be established. If there is an emergency, the borough would be notified and the siren would be used to notify the public that there is some type of an emergency. Residents would be instructed to tune into the local radio station or a designated television station to learn more about the emergency and what action they should take.
A system needed to be established that would indicate the nature of the emergency depending on what type of “cadence” the siren emits, according to Campbell.
He said once the system was ready a test would be conducted involving the siren’s cadence.
Last year, a test was conducted in the basement of the Tyrone Municipal Building to verify if a button that already exists there could be hooked up to the siren system to alert residents of a wide-scale emergency. The test verified the button worked when activated manually.
A previous Herald article noted the hope is an overall response system for the Tyrone area would include the borough and other entities such as nearby townships, the school district, the hospital and local industries. Such a response plan would likely include coordinated efforts among the participants, in addition to the siren system.

By Rick