Vinton to install emergency warning system in town

Sirens for Vinton

VINTON, LA (KPLC) - Vinton will install an emergency alarm system in the town to help notify the public of severe weather, accidents or other emergency situations where residents need to take shelter or evacuate.

These sirens are different than the Lake area sirens which do not sound for weather related emergencies, only for when the industrial plants have an issue.

"We've been looking at this project now for several years. We couldn't afford it in the past," Vinton Fire Chief Jerry Merchant said. Merchant is also in charge of the project.

Two sirens will be installed in the Vinton area. One north of town and the second south of town.

"Any type of emergency when the public needs to be notified, everybody at one time, notified of a hazard, these systems can do that and do it rapidly. It will give an alert then give a message," Merchant said.

The 15-foot sirens will be placed on top of 60-foot utility poles. There will also be flashing lights in case someone is in a vehicle or home and can't hear the siren.

"These systems will take another step and make it a whole lot easier and a whole lot faster to get people moving either to seek shelter or to evacuate," he said.

The sirens will be operated through the Vinton police station, so they won't go off if the emergency doesn't affect that area. Merchant said it's just another addition to making sure everyone is safe.

Each siren costs about $55,000. The town received some grant money through the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the rest through town funds.

Vinton will continue to have alerts through phone and television, and the sirens are to make sure everyone receives an emergency alert.

The town council hopes to award a bid by the end of August and start installing the sirens by November.

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