Alert siren dedication ceremony set for June 5

In honor of the organizations and individuals responsible for bringing a set of new All Hazards Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens to Blaine and Birch Bay, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management is hosting a dedication ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 5 at the Birch Bay Community Park site, 7930 Birch Bay Drive.

Both sirens were installed in April and are capable of voice and tone alerts. The sirens can be controlled by state officials, emergency services personnel and the fire district and can be pre-programmed to warn of hazards, such as an earthquake or chemical spill.

Birch Bay’s siren is located at the Birch Bay Community Park site and was funded by a $50,000 grant from Phillips 66. The siren provides close to complete coverage of the bay community.

Blaine’s siren sits adjacent to the Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility and was paid for by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and the Washington State Military Department; coverage spans low-lying areas of downtown and the Semiahmoo spit.

The sirens were tested for the first time on May 1 and will continue to be tested on the first Monday of the month at noon. Tests sound Westminster chimes, while emergency situations will have a 90-second “wail” and a looped evacuation announcement.

The dedication ceremony will feature a brief recognition of groups who helped to install and leverage funding for the sirens and will conclude with the sound of Westminster chimes during a routine statewide siren test.

For more information about the event, contact Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management program specialist Wallace Kost at 360/788-5305 or

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