Due to the actions of Rudd volunteer firefighters during last month’s devastating hurricane, the Oklahoma company has donated a siren system to the city.
Logan Shelts, who is part of Goddard Enterprises, said he heard the story of Rudd and volunteer firefighter Tyler Hicks via Facebook.
After destruction and hearing about Hicks’ actions, the Oklahoma-based public-information systems company wanted to help the city. “Being from Oklahoma, we have direct experience of tornado damage,” Shelts said.
Sheltes said he admired Hicks’ story from the day of Derecho. Hicks, who has been a volunteer firefighter for nearly a year, stood outside in the storm to manually press the storm siren button to alert the community of the impending danger.
Hicks and fellow volunteer firefighters were on their way to the station on the night of December 15. Shortly after arriving, Hicks’ phone received a tornado alert and went to sound the siren.
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“It was raining just sideways and I had no idea it was going to get worse,” Hicks said.
Hicks recalled taking videos with his phone to show what others were like in the storm. As soon as he pressed the button he felt the siren go quiet. According to Hicks, the siren from the wind exploded from its pole and was sent two blocks away.
“In this case, we thought it was great to have that fireman sit down holding the button,” Shelts said.
“I signed up to be a volunteer firefighter and part of my job is to make sure people are safe,” Hicks said.
Shelts said Goddard Enterprises tries to help cities like Rudd update their alert systems, helping them buy a new one or refurbish an older model.
Rudd’s new siren system is battery-powered, so if the power goes out in the city, the siren can continue to signal. It also has a remote function that allows it to be activated from anywhere to alert the community.
Sheltes said a brand new siren system could cost between $23 and $25,000.
“Our company has been in business for sixty years and we want to help everyone,” Shelts said.
The new siren system has to be approved by the city council before it can be installed, but Hicks is concerned about the arrival of the sirens.
Hicks said, “I was so happy. It’s great for a company like this to reach out to and help out in such a small town.”
AB covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow him on Twitter at @MkayAbby. email him [email protected]