Pa. Fire Dept. Station Siren to Be Disconnected

Littlestown Police Chief Charles Kellar told the Borough Council it would be financially impractical for the borough to maintain operation of the town's fire siren for emergency alerts.

Alpha Fire Co. No. 1 representatives told the council in January the department would stop using the siren to alert volunteers for fire and ambulance calls.

Alpha Chief Scott Small said the siren is obsolete because the department now uses pagers. Keeping the siren operational 24 hours a day is expensive, he said.

Maintaining the siren cost the company between $6,000 and $10,000 a year. The company used a motor to keep the siren operational 24 hours a day because three-phase electric, which would typically be used for the siren, was not extended to the East King Street station during renovation of the square several years ago.

Last month, Kellar said he would look into the possibility of having the borough maintain the siren for emergency alerts, such as tornadoes and floods.

"I think it's cost prohibitive," Kellar told council members at Tuesday night's meeting.

Kellar said he met with Adams County officials who pointed out the siren would also need a new encoder when the county completes its emergency radio system update.

"It's going to cost us a fortune," said Kellar, who added that residents have numerous other ways to be notified of emergencies.

Kellar said the siren would be disconnected March 10.