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    Washington County community installing new emergency siren

    By Chris Hoffman,

    30 days ago

    Washington County community installing new tornado siren 02:05

    NORTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- After several tornadoes have impacted the Pittsburgh area this month, how can we keep our neighbors safe? One way to catch your attention is with an emergency siren.

    Loud? Yes. Effective? Hopefully.

    That's the idea behind the early warning systems in North Franklin Township, Washington County. There are three sirens in the township now, with a fourth on the way at the new municipal building.

    "What's the price on one life? Seconds matter. We've found that out in the last week," North Franklin Township Commissioner and Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Sabot said.

    Sabot said they got the sirens back in 2022. They go off for emergency and fire needs, and they are one of the only places to have them. In Allegheny County, Westmoreland and much of Washington, there are fire sirens but not emergency sirens for tornadoes.

    "Cell phones work. People put cell phones down, they shut them off, what have you. They're going to be warned. Those sirens go off, they're going to hear it," Sabot said.

    When a warning goes out from the National Weather Service, if the township is in the warning area, the siren will automatically go off. No one has to manually set it off in those events. It will have the steady blare for 5 minutes as opposed to the up and down wailing of a fire call.

    "There's a total difference in the two tones of the sirens," Sabot said.

    Sabot feels that we are seeing changes in our weather and seeing more violent events like this past weekend. He believes more municipalities will be using these sirens to give people more time to get to safety.

    "I would encourage any and all municipalities to put them in if they can," Sabot said.

    That fourth siren they are installing they hope to have up soon and ready to go for any emergencies.

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