“This is a test. This is only a test.”
Lemont residents should keep those words in mind at 10 a.m. Thursday, when the village conducts a test of an emergency siren at 127th Street and Leinster Drive.
“It’s not an emergency,” said Tom Ballard, director of emergency management for the village. “It’s just a maintenance issue.”
Ballard said that in order to comply with FCC mandates, the village must convert to “narrow banding” by Dec. 31 of this year.
“We will meet the mandate with no problem,” Ballard said.
But after replacing the siren at 127th and Leinster recently, the unit failed when tested. After determining the malfunction was the result of an electrical problem, village officials called out ComEd to make the necessary repairs.
“We will be testing the siren Thursday to be sure it is working now,” Ballard said. “We will just trip the siren for about 15 seconds.”
Ballard said the siren’s coverage is about one mile, so residents who live along 127th Street near I-355 will probably hear it Thursday morning while it’s being tested. But, he assures residents, the siren won’t be sounding because of an emergency – or due to malfunction or mischief, such as occurred in July.
Déjà vu all over again?
Lemont officials continue to investigate the cause of a malfunction that caused tornado sirens across the village to be repeatedly activated July 1. Officials were forced to take the sirens offline for a period of time while they worked to determine the cause.
"Our radio signals were unable to shut (the sirens) down, so that could have been caused by a number of things," Lemont Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy told Patch in July. "It could have been a hacker that somehow accessed the system, it could have been a skipped signal from another community, or even the atmosphere. We're doing our best to identify the issue and make sure this doesn't happen again in the future."
Residents with questions about the upcoming siren testing on Thursday should call Ballard at 630-816-2830.
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