The storm siren
located near Chilli Bay Water Park has been relocated to the
intersection of Lambert Drive and Country Club Drive. The move of
the siren is to allow for expansion of the new water park
facility. The city worked with Blue Valley Public Safety to make
sure adequate siren coverage would continue to be provided in the
area. The public should notice changes to the siren coverage in
Sirens Pass the Test
April 5, 2012 CT
C-T File Photo
The Chillicothe Fire Department is reporting that the storm siren test on
Wednesday went well, with all sirens performing as expected.
There may have been a little confusion as the CFD sounded the monthly
test and then the actual warning, said Fire Chief Darrell Wright.
"I know some folks called, inquiring about an actual
warning," he said. "But, I felt it was needed to test the warning mode before a
storm." The storm siren system is new and had never had the warning mode
activated. In the future, when sirens are tested, the department will
sound the siren with the voice sirens, stating test only. The voice will
only be sounded in the warning mode for a tornado warning.
The chief reminds residents that the storm sirens are for outdoor
warnings and that every home should have some type of alert for indoor
warnings. The TEXTCASTER service or a weather radio is recommended.
If the sirens sound at any time other than 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday
of the month, Wright urges everyone to take cover immediately. The system is
new and sounds a little different than the old system.
Anyone with questions about the sirens or storm shelters should contact
the fire department at 660-646-2139.
Sirens Used; Programming Adjustments Will Be Made
March 14, 2012
The city of Chillicothe tested their new storm siren warning system
Tuesday (March 13). "They did all go off," said Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright.
"They didn't go off in alert mode, though. They went off in test mode. A
lot of people didn't think they were very loud."
Wright says that the problem arose from a programming error on the part of
Blue Valley Public Safety and that these instances are the reason why
siren testings are important. Persons were stationed at each of the
city's 11 sirens. "We thought that the test mode would say
'This is a test,' and then it would go into the regular
warning." Instead, Wright says, what the public was treated to on Tuesday
afternoon was little more than a "bump test." That was not what they expected, but
it is something that can be easily fixed. "I don't know if it was quieter [than the regular siren would
be]," Wright said. "It was just a beeping sound, though. That
"[Blue Valley] is going to come back out and reprogram [the
system]," he said. "But since the city just bought them, people
don't think they're very loud now." Wright said that he has contacted
Mayor Chuck Haney, requesting that each individual siren be re-tested and adjusted for volume and
proper sound, especially in the parks, where the national anthem would be played. He
expects resistance from Chillicothe's citizens regarding the time of day
he will run the tests, but wants to get them working properly for when
circumstances call for them.
A problem previously associated with the old siren system was its
inconsistency in sounding at all locations during testing and use. Many
of those sirens, however, were from the 1950 and 1960s. The new project
has cost $133,960, per city auditor Theresa Kelly. "Either way, I think
we'll just do it, and get it right," he said. "We
haven't heard the full sound yet."
Chillicothe Police Station, Fire Dept.
Hold New Siren Training
03 07 12 by Drew Van Dyke, C-T Writer
C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke
CAPTION: Dave Cates (middle, pointing to computer screen), a service manager with
Blue Valley Public Safety, met with persons at the Chillicothe Police
Department and (above) the Chillicothe Fire Department on Tuesday discussing the city's new storm siren warning system and answering
questions. The city has 11 sirens. The system can warn citizens, as well
as play the national anthem. It also shows when sirens may be defective,
or offline, and in need of repair.
Two informative personnel meetings regarding Chillicothe's new storm siren
system took place at the Chillicothe Police Department and Chillicothe
Fire Department buildings before noon on Tuesday. The training sessions brought together multiple officers, firefighters,
and EMS workers in the Chillicothe area. Blue Valley Public Safety
service manager Dave Cates spoke with both of the departments, guided
them through the systems, and answered questions along the way.
The city now has 11 warning sirens, at the following locations: 500 West
Mohawk (Green Hills Golf Course), Simpson Park (near the Aquatics Center), 1862 Litton Road (Danner Park), Belair Drive (in
the Christensen Addition), at the intersection of Grandview and Webster, atop Chillicothe
City Hall, near the intersection of Missouri and Bridge, at the intersection of Mack and Linn (Shaffer Park),
Graves Street (Walmart), at the intersection of Industrial and McCormick, and at the intersection of
Willow Avenue and Birch Drive (Lowes Acres). The sirens they replaced were from the 1950s and
At the training sessions, Cates pointed out the features of the new
system, including the playing of the national anthem at the three major
ballparks in town, the duration of the system's vocal warnings
(only set for one round of repetition), and the siren sounds and
durations. Sirens with the BVPS system are set on a three-minute loop. After three minutes,
the system must be reactivated again if a siren longer than that timeframe is needed or wanted. The sirens may be engaged via
key-box or computer monitor.
Starting the sirens is a three-step process. Persons at the station must
first turn a key to the "on" position, then select the corresponding
siren button they wish to use (options include: all sirens - tornado,
monthly testing, and growl test; electronic park sirens - severe weather,
lightning, thunderstorm approaching, thunderstorm warning, National
Anthem Simpson Park, National Anthem Danner Park, and National Anthem
Shaffer Park; and electronic sirens - tornado watch, tornado warning,
HazMat Simpson Park, HazMat Danner Park, HazMat Shaffer Park, HazMat
Walmart, and HazMat Industrial Park). He or she must then also press a
"send" button, to avoid accidental siren alerts.
Computer monitors within the stations track the condition of the 11 siren
entities. Each siren is marked within the computer on a map of the city
of Chillicothe with a green dot on their specific location. When the dotturns red, it means that there is a problem with the siren. When the dot
turns pink, the siren is not connected to the system. The computers keep
logs of each of these changes and alerts, and must always be connected to
the siren system, even if it is minimized on the screen, Cates said.
CAPTION: Above is a closer look at the Chillicothe Fire
Department's new siren warning panel and key box. To activate the
city's warning sirens, present a vocal message, or play the national anthem
at ballparks, a person within the station must first turn a key (in the top, right-hand corner of the
box), enter the specified command (buttons at right), and then press
"send." The three-step process prevents accidental siren usage. Another of
these box systems is in the Chillicothe Police Station.
02 22 12
C-T Photo / Amanda McKay
Chillicothe Municipal Utilities workers spent most of Tuesday installing
the majority of eight new storm sirens throughout Chillicothe. Wednesday
morning, crews were finishing the installation by hooking up necessary
wiring for each siren while others installed control panels at the fire
department and police station. The city council approved the purchase of
sirens last fall and accepted a project bid from Blue Valley Public
Safety, Inc. for just over $157,600, which covered the cost of purchasing
eight new storm sirens, while upgrading three existing storm sirens across
the area. Prior to replacement, the sirens were thoroughly tested. Those
replaced were originally installed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Thursday, August 25, 2011 CT
C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke
Chillicothe's administrative officials were in tow Wednesday
morning to test possible locations for new warning siren systems across the city.
Shown are Parks Director Josh Norris, Fire Chief Darrell Wright, and City Administrator Ike Holland looking at possible designs for the new system.
Beside them is a Federal Signal brand
"Modulator" (one of their siren systems) mounted to a lift on the back of a company truck for use in sales trips and testing.
Moves Ahead with Storm Siren Plan
C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke
/ August 23, 2011
The Chillicothe Fire Department will conduct random tests of storm sirens between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011, as part of the city's intent to replace its current aging storm siren system.
A modular truck is being brought in and will be placed at the sites of the
city's current sirens. The mobile siren will then be activated.
"We will be seeing that it works and that we are getting the coverage we
need," said Fire Chief Darrell Wright, noting that a siren location may need to be changed, or a new one added.
"We want to make sure we get them in the right spots."
This testing is being done as part of the
city's plan to seek bids for a new storm siren system. Most of the
city's sirens were installed in the 1950s-60s, and replacement parts are rare. Additionally, some sirens have failed to sound when either routinely tested or when an actual warning is issued.
Residents can expect to hear short random tests from several locations throughout the city during
Wednesday's testing. Additionally, voice sirens (to provide specific directions as to what to do when sirens are activated during emergencies) will be tested at Simpson, Danner and Shaffer parks.