When it comes to activation of the three new warning sirens in Brazil Township, the project isn't down to the wire - it's down to the wiring.
Throughout the purchase and installation of the sirens, Brazil Township Trustee Marcia Tozer explained, there have been numerous setbacks and unexpected delays. The sirens have already been installed in three separate locales throughout the township, but complications with the frequency of the warning signals have posed another problem. Due to a programming mix-up, the sirens will go off when Lewis Township volunteer firefighters are toned out.
"Somehow they've got the same frequency," Tozer said. "Now when there's a fire, sirens will go off."
Tozer has been working since early June to handle the problem, and has recently been seeking a timeline for project completion. She is working with Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband, whose work with Lewis Township Fire Department has allowed him to become familiar with the codes used. This will help prevent duplication of tones, Tozer said. A disk purchased by the city will be used to reprogram the sirens, which will later be tested before activation.
"Can you imagine someone calling in a fire at 3 a.m.?" she said.
Cinergy will put the meters in, and the control boards must be programmed. Clarifying what conditions constitute an emergency is another challenge the township faces. Tozer said she spoke with television meteorologist Kevin Orpurt, who described an emergency as any imminent danger to public safety, such as straight-line and high winds or damaging hail. Once the sirens are in place and functional, the Clay County Sheriff's Department will handle alerting the Brazil area of emergency situations involving tornadic conditions, chemical hazards and flooding.
"We're just down to wiring and those frequencies. What they're going to look for is are they going to work," she said. "If I have to get up there and do it myself, I'm about ready to."