Archive for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Capable team

March 21, 2006


To the editor:

I would like to respond to Nancy Bagwell's March 16 letter about the emergency sirens and when they are sounded. I worked with emergency management after I retired from law enforcement. These are very dedicated people.

When I worked there, I had the responsibility to decide whether or not to turn on the sirens. One night I was called in and there was a report of a tornado. I turned the sirens on. Of course, no tornado hit. In the paper the next day it said, "Are we crying wolf too much?" You have to imagine yourself standing next to the button. It's hell if you do and hell if you don't. If you wait for a confirmed report, it might be too late. If a person's life was lost you would never forgive yourself, not to mention the fact the public would crucify you.

Teri Smith and Paula Phillips are professionals, who work with volunteer weather watchers and do the best job possible. The reason for the sirens being for "the people outside" is because you cannot cover the entire county with enough sirens to assure that everyone inside a house or building could hear them. That is the reason that everyone has to have personal accountability.

Nancy Bagwell should contact emergency management and volunteer to go in during a storm and see what kind of information is being received to make the determination of whether or not to sound the sirens. We should count our blessings that we have the team in there that we have.

Donald Dalquest,



mom_of_three 12 years, 3 months ago

I think the problem people are having is that the storm hit at 8 am in the morning, and most were awakened by the storm and not the warnings, which sounded after the fact. It's hard to take personal responsibility when you are asleep. People in the city have come to rely upon the sirens to alert us to serious weather, because we sometimes are unable to judge for ourselves.

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