Alfred State College, in its continuing efforts to ensure the safety of its students, faculty, and staff recently added another piece to its comprehensive emergency notification system.
Essi Corp. , a company based in Broussard, LA, supplied Alfred State with a 133db outdoor, omni-directional warning siren which emits a 360 degree beam of sound on a horizontal plane.
Essi Corp. designs, manufactures, and sells sirens worldwide. While the sirens have typically been used in maritime environments as fog signals, the siren -- Essi's FaradicWave 6 -- pairs perfectly with what the College wanted.
"We needed something distinct from the fire whistle, yet also with the volume to reach anyone walking between buildings," said Dr. John M. Anderson, college president.
"As far as we know," Anderson added, "we are the first college to use such a unique warning system."
Alfred State officials say the siren will only be used in serious emergencies and in conjunction with SUNY Emergency Alert, an all-hazard alert and notification Web-based portal that allows officials to send community members text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and faxes.
University Chief of Police Gregory Sammons added, "The cumulative effect of the two systems working in tandem significantly elevates the effectiveness of both. The siren lets everyone -- subscribers and everyone else within a one-mile radius -- know that there is an emergency, and the SUNY Alert messages provide the follow-up individual messaging for updates and detailed instructions.
"Essi designed the system to be easy to install, and it was. In three hours, we had the unit removed from its shipping crate, on the roof of an academic building, and connected into our dispatch center. The siren is activated from the University Police Department. The batteries are recharged with solar energy, another feature Alfred was excited to see as the College continues to seek ways to go ‘green' and use sustainable energy sources. The guys at Essi were tremendous," added Sammons, "...when they found out what we needed and how we would use it, they donated the equipment at no cost to the College. Their incredible kindness is a testament to the company."