Misfiring emergency alert siren fixed, authorities say

Authorities say a Rapid Valley emergency siren that twice went off accidentally has been fixed.
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) An emergency siren that went off accidentally -- twice -- in a month is fixed and back on line, emergency management officials say.

Rapid Valley residents got an early wake up call three weeks ago when an emergency siren at East Middle School sounded off by accident. It was the second time in a month the same siren misfired.

Repair crews consulted with the unit's manufacturer and determined the problem was likely caused by an outdated control system that is no longer used in the emergency alert network of sirens.

That old control system has been removed but contingency plans are in place if further problems arise with the siren.

"We have a reasonable belief by our subject matter experts, by our radio technicians and the factory technicians, that that old system is what caused the problem," said Pennington County Emergency Management Director Dustin Willett. "If we have an errant activation at that site again we will simply replace everything that's out there."

The siren performed properly last Saturday at noon during a routine and scheduled test of the entire Pennington County emergency alert system.