HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)- How do you know if an emergency is happening in your town? Of course, social media and TV are what we go to. But what some may forget about or think is old-fashioned is actually most critical.
A brand-new, state-of-the-art, emergency mass alert system is now ready to go in the Village of Hopedale. The siren and PA system stretches up to a 2 mile radius, and can be heard in parts of several nearby townships.
Hopedale Mayor, Michael Pelegreen Sr., told 7News “there was a lot of people that helped, our county commissioners our emergency management agency, Hopedale mining, a lot of people donated, like electricians donated and that.”
Donated by MarkWest Hopedale, it is a vital tool that the village has gone without for years. Their outdated, 100-year-old system hasn’t worked in almost a decade.
Hopedale Fire Chief, Mark Marchetta, said “everyday there’s railcars that have hazardous material on them travel through Hopedale there are trucks on the highway everyday that have hazardous material on them and of course we have gas and oil plants, oil pads, etc. So this system will be able to tell the public there’s an incident you need to seek shelter in your home or if it’s something very significant it can tell you to evacuate, this can all be directed right out of the sheriff’s office, remotely from Hopedale Fire Station, we can do it from our portable radios, we have a lot more opportunity to immediately alert the public.”
On top of potential chemical spills, the residents will know immediately when a fire breaks out or a tornado is closing in.
Marchetta added “Facebook is great, cell phones are great, this is another opportunity, you know today’s a nice day people are going to be out cutting their grass and maybe they don’t have their cell phone with them and something happens and they hear the siren and they know maybe they need to go check media.”