On Friday, March 8, at around 2 p.m., the emergency civil defense sirens sounded across Evanston, which resulted in many residents calling the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office to identify the emergency.
“Unfortunately, if those folks called the non-emergency lines, communications personnel were unable to pick up those lines,” said Sheriff Lou Napoli in a release from the UCSO.
Instead, callers were greeted with a busy signal. Communications officers working at both the Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Uinta County Complex were frustrated at their inability to calm citizens’ concerns.
“Our 911 lines were still operational, and anyone calling those emergency lines was told of the malfunction,” Napoli noted.
The malfunction of the sirens was the result of electrical testing and equipment replacement being performed at the Sheriff’s Office by county personnel.
“If we lose all electrical power at the Sheriff’s Office, we have the ability to move operations to the EOC and continue emergency service operations,” explained Napoli. “During a test of our ability to transfer those essential services, which includes computers, radios and telephones, the glitch with the sirens occurred. This was a learning experience for all of us as we continue to test our emergency equipment in an effort to provide essential services to our communities.”