HOT SPRINGS -- Installation of the city’s new downtown emergency warning siren system, approved by the Hot Springs Board of Directors last fall, will begin on Wednesday, January 15 at approximately 9 a.m. An installation crew from SafetyCom, Inc. will place the sirens at five strategic locations: Hill Wheatley Plaza; Central Avenue at Fountain Street; Park Avenue at Holly Street; Whittington Avenue near Dryden Pottery; and Whittington Avenue near Weyerhaeuser, Inc. Each area will be blocked for safety as the poles are offloaded and installed. Installation is estimated to be completed on Friday, January 17.
The system consists of five omnidirectional sirens mounted on 55-foot concrete poles. The sirens are both voice and tone capable and will be used primarily to warn people outdoors of impending weather threats like floods and tornadoes, or for other emergencies like hazardous chemical spills. The system’s control center for the system will be based at the Central Fire Station, with oversight from Hot Springs Fire Department personnel. Its ability to be triggered remotely provides an extremely useful tool for the HSFD’s emergency management command center as the city continues to enhance its disaster management capabilities.
The siren system’s software complements the city’s existing CodeRED disaster notification system (which alerts residents by phone or text). Like CodeRED, the sirens can be automatically triggered from National Weather Service warnings. The sirens will be programmed to launch only for the most extreme weather warnings, like tornadoes. Flood warnings will be manually controlled.
The cost of the downtown system and control center is $119,960.25. Hot Springs Stormwater Manager Max Sestili plans to propose the eventual addition of 10 to 12 more sirens, at a cost of $23,000 each, in order to attain citywide coverage. For information, contact Sestili, 501-321-6773, firstname.lastname@example.org .