Residents say they’re still having trouble hearing Wellington’s emergency sirens, and officials are working on a solution.
During village council’s Sept. 5 meeting, police chief Tim Barfield said options boil down to purchasing one additional siren for $10,000 or running the sirens longer during tests.
It was decided that in addition to monthly tests, the sirens will be blasted twice a year — in March and October — for two to three minutes to more accurately portray how they’ll sound in an actual emergency.
Barfield said the WENS emergency notification system is also a vital part of public safety in Wellington and the county. To sign up for it, visit https://entry.inspironlogistics.com/lorain_oh/wens.cfm.
“We’ve already tried several times to get information out about the WENS system,” he said. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible. You can go to the link or if you don’t want to do that, call the police or fire department and we’ll sign up for you.”
Most complaints made to police about the sirens have come from homes on the east side of the village, which is where a prospective extra siren would be placed. However, some residents who live just outside village limits have said they can hear the tests, Barfield said.
There was some discussion at the meeting on whether residents would be angry about the sirens going off for minutes at a time, but it was determined that positives outweighed the negatives.
“We might invite a lot more complaints if that thing is going off for that long,” Barfield said. “It’s very loud. I think we might have pitchforks showing up. The system test we’ve been doing isn’t designed for everyone to be able to hear it in their house. It’s designed so we can ensure the sirens are working.”
“If someone tells us it’s too loud, we should say, ‘That’s good,”’ said council president Helen Dronsfield.
Councilman Gene Hartman said he was unable to hear the last round of testing as he drove through town on Main Street.
“If we give advance notice of a longer test, tell people to wear earplugs if they want to, I don’t think it will be a problem,” he said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.