New siren will alert campus about emergencies
Posted September 29, 2011
The Webb School has installed a new warning siren atop the administration building on campus and will use two simple alerts to notify the campus community of emergencies.
School officials will use a two-siren blast for a severe weather lockdown and one long siren blast for other emergencies (such as a lockdown for a suspicious person on campus). When conditions are safe, a second siren of the same type will be sounded to release the lockdown.
“The siren will be an improvement over the current air horn alert system,” said Joe Iorio, Webb business manager and assistant head of school. “The air horns were generally effective in getting the campus community’s attention to seek the lockdown location, but they could not always be heard to release the lockdown. The siren will certainly make our lockdown alerts more effective and efficient.”
Funding for the project was made available from The Webb School's Building and Grounds Committee. “Once we made the case for the new siren, The Webb School Board of Trustees was kind enough to make the money available for this project,” Iorio added.
Iorio explained that the decision-making process for a lockdown is generally made by a team of administrators with Raymond Broadhead, head of school, often making the final call. “We generally collect information from Bedford County Emergency Management Agency, the emergency radio, online weather sources and the television stations, and then make the best decision based on the information in hand,” said Iorio. “At times, the call for a weather lockdown is clear cut, but at other times, it can be a difficult decision.”