Cutting Edge Emergency Alert Sirens Going into Midland City Parks

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- On Tuesday, a plan was laid out for Midland City Council members to put state-of-the-art emergency alert sirens into our community parks.

Midlander Julia Moreno and her one year-old boy, Noah, were playing at Hogan Park when we met up with them.

She says, "We come very often. We're probably here almost every day."

She adds that Noah is a bundle of energy, so they spend more time playing in the park, than almost anywhere else.

The city of Midland wants to protect these two and all the other families playing in local parks. At Tuesday's city council meeting, Chief Robert Isbell with the Fire Department revealed a plan to put up emergency alert sirens at nine of the busiest parks throughout the city.

He says, "We're targeting these parks with these outdoors sirens because we believe that's a true population that is vulnerable to severe weather or other notifications that we'd like to get out."

Currently, there are 26 sirens are spread out around the city which address emergency alerts through a series of unique tones. These new park sirens will be different.

Chief Isbell says, "They come with a strobe light on them so when they do go off you'll hear a noise and a voice message."

That voice will be broadcasted live from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"We're on the cutting edge. This is new technology. There are a lot of cities looking at it today. We're one of the first ones to come in at this level and bring in this many sirens of this style," Chief Isbell said.

Robert Willis with Local Area Warning Systems helped create these news sirens.

He says, "You can get very detailed instructions as to what the threat is and what the event is that's going on and how [locals] may be affected and what type of response to take."

After all the sirens have gone up in the parks, both the city and county discuss implementing a mass communication alert system, which will notify residents of emergencies via home phones, cell phones, texts and emails.

All nine parks receiving sirens have not been officially named yet. The city tells NewsWest 9 it expects to see the sirens and running in about six months.