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Siren in the Night Floods PD with Calls

The Fairfax emergency siren sounded last night at about 8:45. Why?

 

When the Fairfax emergency siren went off last evening, the switchboard at the lit up with calls from concerned citizens wondering what to do.

Patch did the same, calling the police station to find out what caused the alarm to go off. The dispatcher’s immediate response was, “We’re asking that too!”

The siren, usually used for flood alerts and tested on the first Friday of every month at 11:45 a.m., erupted to life due to unknown causes, according to Sgt. Debra Thune. “It was just a malfunctioning of the alarm.”

"The siren blasted for several minutes last night," said Christine Gralapp of Fairfax. "As I was wondering about the possible impending tsunami or similar catastrophe, I googled San Anselmo/Fairfax to see what precautions I should take--run? Pump up my inflatable boat? Pray?”

Gralapp also told us that her brother called the Fire Department. "A guy answered the phone with one word: 'Malfunction.' I thanked him."

There are two Fairfax alarms, one behind the Town Hall in the public works yard and one on Bolinas Ridge. It’s thought that only the downtown alarm went off with its familiar wailing sound. The cause of the malfunction is still being investigated.

Which brings up the question: What should residents do if there is an actual alarm? The Town of Fairfax has complete information on their website on what to do in case of disaster.

First they should tune to 1610 AM for local information, but those who did heard only white noise - because there was no emergency.

Then what?

"They should do exactly what they did," said Sgt. Thune. “All residents know to call the police department if they hear the alarm, and it was gratifiying to find that’s just what they did,” she said.

For now, though, chalk it up to an unscheduled test. That worked.

Jack Irving March 06, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Congratulations to the Town of Fairfax for last night's successful test of the new Zombie Apocalypse Warning System; if this had been a real Zombie Apocalypse we'd all be missing our brains right now. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
Craig Carroll March 06, 2012 at 08:59 PM
The Town horns and alarms are used for early notification. If you can not tune into 1610am Try KCBS news(740am) orKGO(810am) both keep up to date with emergencies in the bay area. These stations will give you news and information. Most of all, Do you have a plan? What will you do incase of emergency? This is a great time to think about that! You want to be able to act sooner rather than later. Go to www.getreadyrossvalley and sign up for a free disaster preparedness class and like us on facebook Get Ready Ross Valley for regular updates.
Jeremy McLane March 07, 2012 at 05:03 AM
I thought it was 2012 Earthquakes, flood alarms, whats next?
Rufus March 07, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Didn't hear it out in West Fairfax by WHMS. Come to think of it, I've never heard the monthly test, either, and I'm home all day on Fridays. Maybe they should consider putting another siren somewhere around White's Hill.
melissa March 07, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Good post Craig Carroll.

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