On Wednesday evening, Sept. 3rd, the Cherokee Fire & Rescue held an open house for the public to come and check out their new equipment and personnel van. Many of Cherokee citizens came out to show their support and have a chance to see for themselves the new van.
During the evening, Cherokee Mayor Pam Pierce and Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Aimee Barritt announced the purchase of a new outdoor warning system siren.
A study conducted on April 25 for the Cherokee County Emergency Management (CCEM) of the sirens in Cherokee showed that a large segment of the city's population was without an outdoor warning system coverage.
When the sirens were activated, only two of the four sirens in Cherokee alarmed. The siren at the Fire Station had to be activated manually. Some of the area that did not hear the alarm was Washington High School (including the football field), Western Iowa Tech Community College, Bacon Aquatic Center and Gillette Park, Spring Lake Park, Rock Island and Dougherty Additions, Cherokee Country Club, Lundsgaard Addition, Careage Hills nursing home, The Gardens, North and South US Hwy 59 Business Corridor, and the majority of the west side of Cherokee.
With the announcement of having the funds for a new emergency siren the CCEM would still like to purchase two more sirens, which would bring the total sirens to be purchased to three.
Two sirens are needed to replace the two, which did not activate. A third new siren will be placed in a strategic location to ensure that the citizens of Cherokee have adequate siren and warning time to seek shelter. The cost to purchase and install three new sirens has been estimated at, $60,000.
One of the sirens will be paid for by a donation from the Ray and Florance Erlandson Foundation.