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Workers from Ottertail Power installed a 55-foot pole in Brandon last Friday. Atop the pole sits the city's new civil defense siren, which was donated by the Brandon Fire Relief Association to replace the 75-year-old siren that was being used.

Sirens make Brandon safer

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The residents of Brandon can rest a little easier, knowing they will now likely hear the alert of pending disaster.

A new civil defense siren and pole were recently installed to replace the existing siren, which has served the community for 75 years.

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The original siren was installed at the same time the Brandon Auditorium was built in 1936.

Residents in Brandon's newest addition were not able to hear the siren when the wind was from a certain direction and the city was planning to upgrade the system.

The Brandon Fire Relief Association came to the rescue - to the tune of $20,000 - by donating the proceeds from its charitable gambling operation to the city to fully fund the updating of the warning system.

Ottertail Power donated the time, equipment and expertise to set the 3,000-pound, 55-foot siren pole at no cost to the city.

The new 130-decibel siren from Federal Warning Systems operates on DC power with battery backup, so the siren will operate when and if the utility power goes off.

The new siren is expected to provide early warning for those within one mile from the siren and can be remotely operated via radio by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

There is also a feedback option that will allow the status of the siren to be monitored remotely, dispatching for immediate repair when needed.

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Tara Bitzan
Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.
(320) 763-1211
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