During the last week of June a new warning siren system for both the mountain and the valley will be tested. The first tests are scheduled for Wednesday morning, June 26, after 10 am. The sirens are similar to those used by communities in tornado-prone areas.
Curtis Sheets, Wintergreen Fire & Rescue Chief, says the siren system is similar to the lightning warning sirens already in use by Wintergreen Resort, “only louder.”
"We hear over and over again that safety is a reason why people chose to live and work at Wintergreen. The siren system will be a significant step in enhancing safety here," said Sheets.
There will be two distinct tones, one for serious fires and another for tornados. “We will conduct tests from multiple locations and measure the volume throughout our community. The goal is to penetrate every parcel within the Wintergreen Master Plan,” Sheets said in an email to residents on June 10 about the late-June tests. Notice of the exact times of the siren tests will be emailed to residents before they take place.
“We want to be able to warn all residents and guests of Wintergreen of a tornado or an approaching wildfire. Both scenarios require us to be able to get your attention no matter time of day, or your proximity to the phone or internet,” said Sheets.
The new siren system is part of the ongoing effort to develop a more robust warning systems for our community. Alert Wintergreen one part of that effort, but Sheets noted that, “There are gaps in our system we simply can’t fill with a telephone-based system.” There are two sites on the mountain (Devils Knob and Chestnut Springs) for the siren test and one in the valley on Hearthstone Lane.
Besides the sirens, Sheet is also working on finding improved methods for residents and guests to receive directions once the sirens have been activated.