WILDWOOD CREST — A new emergency warning siren for the borough is set to become operational before the end of September, Fire Chief and Emergency Service Coordinator Ron Harwood said.
The new emergency warning siren will be located at the Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 building at Rambler Road and Pacific Avenue. The siren will service the entire community and will be used in a true emergency for a working structure fire.
According to Harwood, the main purpose of the emergency warning siren is to alert the citizens and volunteer fire firefighters of an emergency.
“While we do rely on other forms of communication, they can have their shortcomings,” Harwood said. “Batteries die, cellphones and pagers may not be on a person, text messaging and smart phone apps may be delayed. Some of these kinds of alerts may not go through to our volunteer firefighters at all.”
In addition to alerting the public and volunteer firefighters to a structure fire, the emergency warning siren will also be used by the Wildwood Crest Office of Emergency Management to alert residents of potential flooding, evacuations, tornadoes and other weather emergencies.
Siren patterns are as follows:
• Flood – 30 seconds on and two minutes off, pattern repeated three times
• Evacuation – six seconds on and six seconds off for five minutes
• Tornado – five minutes on
For flood, tornadoes and evacuations a code red message will also be sent out along with the siren.
The tone for fires has yet to be set.
Once operational, the emergency warning siren will sound every Saturday at noon for a weekly test.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that there are at least two reliable means to alert firefighters in the event of an emergency. This new emergency warning siren is designed to gain the attention of firefighters in the borough at any time.
Wildwood Crest Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 has provided service to the citizens and visitors of Wildwood Crest since 1910. The borough has been continuously served by an all-volunteer fire company for the past 110 years.
An emergency waring siren system has been in place in the borough since the 1940s. The borough has featured as many as four sirens in different locations. All are obsolete, beyond repair or have been removed from service.
“The Office of Emergency Management works with all borough departments to see that Wildwood Crest is prepared for storms and other emergencies that exceed the normal everyday operation of the borough,” Harwood said. “Preparedness is something that everyone should be doing all the time and not just before a storm or other emergency. Whether it be an evacuation or sheltering in place, when the alert comes the public may only have a very short period of time to get ready and react, so it is incumbent upon all residents to be prepared. This new emergency warning siren should certainly help in that area, as well as help the response times of the dedicated firefighters in the event of a fire emergency.”
For more information, contact Harwood at 609-729-3031.