Hiram – Chances are, if you’re anywhere near Hiram on any given Saturday, you’ll hear the loud blast of a siren promptly at noon. No matter where you happen to be, whether it’s the Village or the Township, the piercing blast of a test siren should help residents rest easier. Families can feel safe, even as spring brings the potential of severe weather, knowing that they will be notified in the event of an emergency. Even during a power failure, without access to TV, radio, or even telephone systems, Hiram’s emergency alert siren will sound a warning of potential danger.
There are now four sirens placed strategically throughout the area to notify residents of tornados or other extreme circumstances. One is located in Hiram Rapids near the baseball field, where Winchell Road meets the eastern portion of Allyn Road. Another, which was installed more than fifteen years ago, is located in the park near the Hiram Police and Fire Stations. A third siren, installed by a landowner, is situated in the 5300 block of Pioneer Trail. The fourth siren, which was installed last fall, is located on State Route 82 near Rolling Meadows, and was funded by Hiram Township. According to Hiram Fire Chief Bill Byers, purchase and installation of each siren cost roughly $20,000.
Stressing the importance of this seemingly old-school system, Chief Byers shared, “The 911 outage this January is a prime example of how a battle-tested method is still relevant.” Byers referred to the 911-outage caused when a steam pipe burst, damaging an AT&T switching station. That random event knocked out 911 service in Summit, Portage, Stark and Medina Counties for two-days.
Chief Byers remarked, “Our early warning system can alert residents, day or night, to monitor weather reports. For a community our size to have such thorough coverage required local officials to think creatively, to provide such a benefit without incurring additional costs for taxpayers.”
*** CORRECTION (Made 4/15/2015) ***
In a cover story in last week’s issue entitled, “New Sirens Help Keep Families Safe,” it was stated that local developers funded the fourth emergency siren. While the cost of purchase and installation of the siren was originally to be financed by the now defunct Village Builders of Hiram, according to Hiram Township Trustee Kathy Schulda, payment was never rendered.
According to Ms. Schulda, when Village Builders ceased operations, Trustees made an agreement with the builder, stipulating that for each lot sold within the Village Gate development, a $300 payment would be made to the Township until the cost of the emergency siren has been recouped. Thus far, three lots have been sold in the Village Gate Development. At this time, the Township has yet to receive any payment. Ms. Schulda concluded, “He needs to do the right thing, and honor his commitments to the community.”