Siren at Firebrook

The tornado siren at Firebrook sounded out perfectly during the county’s test on Friday after it was determined in previous tests that it needed repairs.

It’s one step further in assuring the safety of Pulaskians during severe weather.

At 1 p.m. Friday, county officials undertook the latest in a series of tests of the county’s 17 tornado sirens.

A previous test in December 2021 determined that four of the county’s sirens didn’t sound off: Firebrook, Bronston, Woodstock and Kingsford.

Repairs and additions were made to not only fix those, but plans were put in place to add a new one in the area of Burnside.

County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley was on hand Friday to witness the latest test at Firebrook, one of the ones that needed repairs.

He seemed pleased when Firebrook’s siren sounded without issue.

However, before the test was even finished, officials got word that there were three sirens that didn’t function for this test: Woodstock (again), Tateville and Ferguson.

As soon as the test was completed, Kelley said he and other county officials were on their way to look at those three.

“We can now make estimates on getting those three repaired and replaced,” Kelley said.

Not only do officials want to make sure the sirens physically work, they are looking at getting all of the sirens fitted with technology that would allow all of them to be triggered from one location – the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), located in the basement of the Hal Rogers Fire Training Center.

Kelley said that technology is key to public safety, since there are currently some sirens, such as Nancy’s, in which someone has to physically go out to the fire station to turn it on.

“That’s not the best way of doing it. We want to flip a switch and make it go,” Kelley said.

Of course, the new focus on tornado sirens was due to the deadly December outbreak in western Kentucky. Kelley said that in the past few years, officials had put more emphasis on the county’s CodeRED system than the sirens, because the sirens were prone to damage and lightning strikes and it was difficult to keep them in working order.

However, after seeing what happened in December, Kelley said officials decided they needed to be as prepared as they can be.

“You can’t put a price on the public’s safety,” he said.

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