New siren installed in Tollesboro

Jonathan Wright - [email protected]
The old Tollesboro siren (bottom) and the newly installed sirens (top). -

VANCEBURG — A nearly two-decades old warning siren in Tollesboro has been replaced with the help of funding from Homeland Security.

A new warning siren was recently installed in Tollesboro following receipt of a Homeland Security grant. Lewis County Judge-Executive Todd Ruckel said the county has applied for the grants for many years and is fortunate it continually receives them.

“Each year we apply for Homeland Security funds for different areas of the county,” he said.

This new siren for Tollesboro stands as a replacement for the previous siren installed back in 1981. Ruckel said Tollesboro Fire Chief Gary Thomas, approached him to arrange a new siren to be installed.

Tollesboro is the most recent town in Lewis County to have a warning siren in place, with locations like Black Oak and Fire Brick already having new sirens installed with the help of Homeland Security grants. Ruckel said an application for another grant has already been submitted to install a siren in Garrison.

Ruckel also mentioned all of the sirens in the county undergo a monthly test on the first Thursday of each month at 10 a.m., with the nearest one occurring on Aug. 2. The test will have a 30-second test of the sirens in the county.

“It’s just to let residents know what to hear for, and to make sure that everything works,” Ruckel said.

Poor weather, however, may cause a cancellation or rescheduling of the tests, Ruckel said.

Ruckel said he hears people complain how they’re unable to hear the sirens when they’re indoors, although he said the sirens are more for the people who find themselves outdoors during a severe storm or other immediate threat, who are at a greater risk.

Safety for the county as a whole by installing these warning alarms, especially with a large county by area as Lewis county, is a priority, according to Ruckel.

“It’s a huge thing for safety for our citizens,” he said.

After installing a siren in Garrison, Ruckel says the county plans to apply for grants to install sirens in the Camp Dix area and the Kinniconick area.

The old Tollesboro siren (bottom) and the newly installed sirens (top). old Tollesboro siren (bottom) and the newly installed sirens (top).

Jonathan Wright

[email protected]