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Fire chief says city’s severe weather siren is “shot”

Testing of the city of Cairo’s severe weather siren located on the campus of the Cairo Fire Department resulted in officials’ determination the siren is insufficient to meet the need.
Cairo Fire Department personnel tested the siren last Thursday and authorities drove out into the city and determined the siren is not loud enough to broadcast a warning to all areas of the city.
“There are instances where you can hear it on your front porch, but not when you’re inside the house. The siren is shot,” Fire Chief Jim Fielding told Cairo city councilmen Monday night.
The fire chief has determined that the siren is mounted too low and if a new one is purchased, the recommendation is to place it atop city hall, which he said was a more centralized location.
Fire Chief Fielding said the estimate for one siren and related equipment is $11,950.
“What area would one siren cover?” Councilman Ernest Cloud asked. The fire chief says the manufacturer suggested range is approximately three miles out.
After discussing it preliminarily, it was decided that a siren with a three mile range would likely be sufficient.
Mayor Richard VanLandingham suggested the chief visit a community that has a similar siren to verify its range.
Fielding said he is not aware of any community that had this particular siren, but Councilman Cloud said that many north Georgia communities were currently in the process of installing severe weather sirens and suggested he check with those cities.
City Manager Chris Addleton said a new siren would be investigated during the budget process and would possibly be considered in the fire department’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

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