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January 12, 2013

Faulty siren prompts 911 calls in Vermillion County

NEWPORT — A faulty siren in the Vermillion County town of Universal alerted area residents to an emergency that was not happening early Friday.

That siren has been taken out of service until repairs can be made to it, leaving local residents to rely on the sound of sirens in Clinton and Clinton Township in case of a real emergency notification.

At about 1:40 a.m., the dispatch center at the Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department received several calls — including 911 calls — about one of the emergency sirens in the Universal area being activated. Vermillion County EMA director Mark O’Heir was notified and responded to Universal where he determined the problem to be a faulty siren part.

Because of the flood of calls to the dispatch center about the siren, Sheriff Robert Spence issued a statement Friday afternoon asking the public to only call 911 in an actual emergency.

“The dispatch center was flooded with 911 calls and it is important to keep the 911 lines free in case someone has an emergency and may need an ambulance or other emergency services,” according to the statement.

For non-emergencies, call the administration lines of 765-492-3737, 765-492-3838 or 765-832-7785.

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