Chilmark’s emergency siren will wail at noon


The distinctive sound of the Chilmark fire siren and noon whistle will once again sound over the pastoral up-Island landscape. Or if residents prefer, they will get the more refined sound of Westminster chimes.

Tim Carroll, Chilmark executive secretary and town emergency management director, said the whistle and siren have been reinstalled on the Chilmark Town Hall.

The installation was approved on April 26, 2010 at annual town meeting.

Mr. Carroll said the siren is used to alert volunteer responders when there is a fire. It could also be used to warn of a hurricane or other emergency, he said.

The siren is normally triggered by the county 9-1-1 dispatch. But it could be manually activated by town officials. The noon whistle is meant to provide an indication that the system is in good working order.

“It will start going off at noon this week,” Mr. Carroll said in an email to The Times. “We will only activate one of the four speakers first and then ramp it up next week with the full four speakers. The traditional noon test is a solid wail for about 30 seconds and the fire alarm is a continuous slow up and down wail for 3 to 4 minutes. The new siren is digital and can be adjusted.

“We have the ability to change the noon sound to Westminster chimes instead of the siren noise. We look forward to hearing from residents if that would be preferred.”

The siren can be heard up to a distance of three miles when fully turned on, he said. Residents with comments are invited to call Mr. Carroll at 508-645-2101.