GAMBIER — Tornado sirens warning Gambier residents of impending danger on Sunday and Monday afternoon were falsely activated, according to a joint press release issued by the Knox County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Matt Sturgeon and College Township Fire Department Chief Bill Smith.
The trigger for the unwarranted sirens was discovered to be a defective public safety radio operating on the Knox County Fire frequency. According to the release, the radio has been removed from service.
“The radio transmitted a faulty code,” Sturgeon said. “There’s a slim chance of that, but it happened.”
He said they knew the sirens had actually gone off when Kenyon security and the College Township Fire Department notified the county and several calls were received from Gambier residents.
Normally, the decision to set off the tornado sirens is made if the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, or if a trained tornado spotter sees a funnel cloud in the county and reports it, Sturgeon said. The county does have the ability to set off the sirens in only a specific area if the situation warrants it.
“We will continue to utilize all of the outdoor warning sirens as normal,” the release stated.
When sirens are activated in the event of an emergency, residents should:
•Take cover in a safe location.
•Tune into media sources such as NOAA weather radio or news broadcasts for the latest storm information.
•Take action based on the provided information.