September 2, 2014

Emergency Manager looking into warning sirens for county

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — Early discussion about replacing warning sirens in Standish and Arenac County has taken place between members of the Standish City Council and Arenac-Iosco County Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Rohn.

Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Nelson, who also works at Forward Corporation in Standish, said the idea came up during a meeting at work.

“(My coworkers) and I had a meeting a Forward about two or three months ago and asked what we would do in an emergency management situation,” he said. “Someone mentioned that sirens would go off, and I thought ‘I have not heard a siren go off in 10 years.’ That got the ball rolling.”

From there, Nelson said he met with Rohn to see what the options were to get emergency sirens in the city.

“He is going to look and see if we can get some grant money and upgrade the emergency warning system in the area,” he said.

Rohn said talks are “preliminary” at this time.

“We are going to look for funding and bring the idea to other are cities and villages,” he said.

Mayor Mark Winslow said the city has two sirens in the area but they have not operated in a number of years.

One siren is located on Downer St. next to the Arenac County Building and the other is located at on Cedar St. east of M-13.

Winslow said he remembers when the sirens still operated.

“They used to go off at noon and 6 p.m.,” he said. “They used to be used to alert firefighters. When I was really young, they were used in preparation for the Cold War. When it went off I knew it was time for me to get my butt home.”

Winslow said he believes the sirens would be used for storm emergencies.

“If you get people use to the condition that if the siren goes off that means something is wrong, then they will be effective,” he said.

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