Back in January of 2023, the Hennessey Trustees approved the purchase of all new storm sirens, some of which were installed in 1956. This was originally voted on in September 2018 but was not acted upon because an OG&E plan was needed.
Of the 5 original sirens, the one on the water tower was not functioning at all and had been there for 67 years. The ones near the school and on Oakwood Dr. were installed in 1973, the others in town were bought used from Stillwater and are about 20 years old.” This new plan will replace several and relocate others to offer better coverage.
The new alarm system was purchased from Chickasaw Communications and they have already installed 4 of the new sirens. The new install includes a heavy-duty pole with the siren mounted on top along with the operating components mounted on the side of the pole. Chickasaw Communications is the same company that installed all of the new Hennessey police and fire department radios about a year ago.
The new siren Locations include 625 N. Arapaho and the SE corner of Iowa and Walnut St. This includes replacing existing sirens located at E 2nd St on the Senior Citizen property, the SW corner of the 200 block of W. 6th St., and the W end of Ike’s Ave. in Ike’s Acres to the east of Oakwood Dr. A different electronic siren was placed in the 100 block of West 1st St at the new Pavilion site. This siren can also play chimes at noon if they decide to, and it can also be a public address speaker during downtown events. This one looks like 3 flying saucers on top of a pole.
Board member Bert Gritz explained that the old system was activated with a phone line and was subject to power outages. The new system is activated via wireless radio and each one has a battery backup in case of power outages. The entire town can be without electricity and phone service and the sirens will work.
The system will do a complete self-test daily without making a sound. There is a control panel located in the Town Hall that reports the battery status as well as any trouble codes if something is wrong. The system can be activated via 2-way radio from the field by police or fire if needed. Gritz explanted that they are working on developing the plan as to who and when the sirens are sounded.
This new alarm system should be fully tested and operational by the end of January. Photos by Jack Quirk