Friendsville gets ready for severe weather with new siren system

FRIENDSVILLE (WATE) – Whenever trouble is in the air, one Blount County town will be better prepared. The town of Friendsville has a new severe weather siren that firefighters hope will save lives. It took the town four years to get the system and they are happy about it.

Wally Cardwell has been living in town for 64 years. He’s excited about the new system.

“You need a warning, you got to have warnings or you’re in trouble,” Cardwell said. “It’s something we need really bad, and I’m proud they got it, and I hope we can use it to everyone’s advantage. I really do because it’s important.”

Friendsville Fire Chief Tom Greene says community members pitched in, helping with the cost of a few thousand dollars to put the siren up. Whenever there’s severe weather, the siren will rotate in an effort to let everyone know.vlcsnap-2015-04-06-22h16m31s216

“Our protocol will be coming from the National Weather Service. How to set it off and when to set it off,” said Greene.

There will always be someone to sound the alarm.

“We have two officers designated to do that,” said Greene.

There are two different ways firefighters can trigger the siren. The first is through portable radios while the second is manually by flipping the switch on a box.

“We hope that it will save somebody’s life,” said Greene.vlcsnap-2015-04-06-22h16m58s231

Families don’t have to worry about power issues because they have backup batteries in stock.

“Even if the power is off, it’ll still operate,” said Greene.

Siren tests will run for three minutes every second Thursday of each month. Firefighters don’t know exactly how far away people will be able to hear the siren, but they will find out in a few days when they run the first test.

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