City of Belen brings back siren for emergencies

New Mexico News

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A piece of history is coming back to the town of Belen. The old siren that used to be sounded nightly will soon ring through the community once again. It’s a sound that brings back a lot of memories for anyone who grew up in Belen.


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“It has been here for many many decades. it was used years ago for our fire department as sort of a call to service when we had a fire in our community,” said Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova.

However, most people remember it being used for the nightly curfew. “I didn’t really understand its purpose but I knew when rang around 10 p.m. it was time to go to bed,” said Emergency Manager Steven Gonzales.

Now, the piece of history, which stands and sounds above the horizon and can be seen for miles is coming back to life. “For the past few years it’s been obsolete and in-operational so the city of Belen decided to go ahead and invest time and money into it and make it operational for emergency purposes,” said Gonzales.

Belen had had its share of emergencies in recent years including flooding. The incoming mayor is working with the outgoing mayor to make sure citizens are protected.

“We want our citizens to be aware ahead of an emergency when we expect one or there’s a threat of emergency we want to be proactive in those situations moving ahead,” said Robert Noblin, Belen mayor-elect.

Even to this day of social media, old school systems still work too. “If you look back historically we were using the siren because people didn’t have telephones back in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s. We didn’t have the two-way radios and the awesome radio systems that we have today. What we’re finding is that even though we’re transitioning to all this new technology in using Facebook and Twitter, and different these emergency communication systems. Sometimes people are just not on those systems and so we want to be sure that we have an alternative way of reaching out,” said Cordova.

“Also I think for the city of Belen it just brings back a little bit of the historical aspect to our small community old Belen, something that people will remember and bring back a lot of good memories as well,” said Noblin.

The mayor says the cost to get the siren working again was minimal. It just required some new electrical components. They will be testing it on the 11th of every month. They’re also working to establish a protocol to determine what types of emergencies it will be used for. Each emergency will have a different number of tones.

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