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Pincourt emergency warning siren deemed successful though not everyone heard it

By John Jantak


PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

Wind conditions may have played a role in the fact that some Pincourt residents never heard the emergency siren test on March 31 while residents as far as 10 kilometres away in neighbouring communities were able to hear it.


The first test of the new emergency warning system in Pincourt last Wednesday afternoon, March 31 at 1 p.m was deemed successful even though some residents who live nearby claim they never heard the siren.

The planned operation was held to ensure the siren is working properly and the test was conducted to correct the tone and range of the sound, according to the town’s website. The siren was installed at Shamrock Park last year because of its close proximity to 5th Avenue and the businesses that are close to the train tracks.

But some residents who live nearby said they never heard a thing according to posts made on the Facebook community group Pincourt Peeps. Oddly enough, one resident who lives about 10 kilometres away in neighbouring Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot close to Lac Saint-Louis said she heard the wailing siren clearly.

Part of complete response plan

“What happened is what we thought might happen. The location of the siren is for people who live around it. This means that people who live in Terrasse-Vaudreuil and Vaudreuil-Dorion heard it,” said Vicky Sauvé, Director of Communications and Citizen Relations for Pincourt. She said some people who live nearby many not have heard the siren because of the wind direction.

Sauvé said the siren is just one aspect of the town’s response strategy to deal with a serious emergency situation. “We must keep in mind if we use the siren, there will be other emergency personnel like firefighters and police in the streets,” said Sauvé.

Emergency response strategy

“It will be a major operation so the siren is only one part of our emergency scenarios. The siren targets the people who live around it so the people who live on 5th Avenue heard it. The siren wasn’t heard at the Town Hall or the fire department. This is normal,” Sauvé added.

The siren was installed close to the train station and Highway 20 to alert the area population in the event of a major accident, such as a train derailment like the one the happened in Lac-Mégantic in 2013. It will also alert citizens to other emergency situations such as a tornado or a riot.

The siren can apparently be heard from a distance of two kilometers. In the event of an imminent danger, the signal will prompt citizens to confine themselves as quickly as possible in their homes or to seek a safe place nearby.

The siren uses two distinct tones – one which alternates between a high and low pitch in the event of danger and a stable continuous tone indicates a ‘return to normal.’

To hear the sirens, go to villepincourt.qc.ca/en/citizen-s-services/fire-service/mass-notification-system