Radio frequency blamed for east Arkansas sirens' malfunction
By Kendall Owens, Times-Herald of Forrest City - bio
FORREST CITY (Times-Herald) - A change in a radio frequency knocked the city's storm warning system out of commission, according to Mayor Larry Bryant.
The Times-Heraldreported last week that none of the city's five tornado warning sirens are currently working.
According to Bryant, city officials have learned that the problem
with the system is tied to a recent move changing the city's bandwidth
to meet Federal Communications Commission guidelines.
"We basically got caught by surprise with this. Last year we had to
change all of our handheld devices so that we could meet the FCC
regulations. What we didn't realize is that when we did that, we no
longer had the ability to communicate with the siren system because each
of those sirens is activated by radio," said Bryant.
Bryant said turnover at the police department contributed to the
problem and added that employees are working to make sure the system is
once again operating properly.
"We put this system in several years ago when Eddie (former Forrest
City Police Department lieutenant Eddie Adamson) was still here and he
oversaw that. He's been gone for a while now and that was handed off to
others who aren't with us anymore, so some of the turnover we've had got
us this time.
"The chief now has all of the information and we're working on it. We
have someone coming in who is going to go up the towers and assess our
needs and also take a look at the system over at the police department
and see what is needed," said Bryant. "The fix could be as simple as
replacing those radios unless something has to be done at the police
department. But, we are working to get that taken care of."
Bryant said a technician was scheduled to check the system today or
tomorrow but might not be able to do so because of inclement weather. He
said if the radios are the problem, then it could cost the city around
$850 per siren for each of the five sirens.
Bryant also said he would not have a timeline for repairing the system until a technician has assessed the situation.
Click here for more news from the Forrest City Times-Herald
Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:35:49 GMT
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