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College successfully tests new emergency siren system

A successful test of the College’s siren system was conducted Wednesday morning. As expected, the new audible siren system sounded across campus for one minute. The College’s emergency static Web page also was successfully tested Wednesday.Sadler responds to media during Wednesday's test. By Stephen Salpukas.

“We are very pleased that the siren system worked as expected this morning,” said Sam Sadler, vice president for student affairs. “It is important for this campus and members of the local community to become familiar with this sound and that they are educated about what to do in the event of an emergency at the College. Today was a successful test.”

The most recent test follows an earlier test Monday morning of the College’s entire communication system—which includes a mass notification system, 120-decibel sirens and an emergency static Web page. The new system was installed this summer as an effort to improve emergency communication to faculty, students and staff. The Web page and rapid notification system—which sends simultaneous messages to cell phones and land phones, as well as text messages and e-mail—worked correctly during the earlier test.

The sirens, however, did not sound during Monday’s test. College officials worked diligently with representatives of the company that installed the sirens, and the second test was scheduled for Wednesday. Tests of the siren system have revealed both hardware and software problems including issues with wiring and a relay that didn't work, said Sadler, who also chairs the College’s emergency management committee. Those issues were corrected before Wednesday's test.

“We’ll schedule another full test of the emergency communications system—including the sirens, static Web page and notification system—later this semester,” Sadler said. “After that, we’ll test the system at the beginning of each semester and in the summer.”