Police chief addresses use of storm sirens

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Chief of Police took time during Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting to explain the department’s use of the storm warning siren during Sunday night’s storms. 

The City of O’Fallon’s standard for warning for a severe storm is when there are straight-line winds of 58 m.p.h. or higher. The primary function of the sirens are to notify residents that may be outside to seek cover, so they may not necessarily be heard inside. 

Chief Eric Van Hook also indicated the siren located at EK elementary school is currently being repaired, but the department used the CodeRED notification service to alert residents in that area. 

Residents can sign up for the CodeRED emergency notification services from the main page of the City of O’Fallon’s website at www.ofallon.org. The city uses this service to notify residents in the event of emergency situations or critical community alerts. Notifications can be sent via phone, text message and email. Residents can also download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

The committee approved to send to council a contract between the City of O’Fallon EMS and Mediclaims, Inc. The company’s primary responsibility is handling the third-party billing for EMS services. The contract is for five years and included a rate decrease. 

A resolution between the City of O’Fallon and the Village of Shiloh for dispatch services was approved to send to council. This is an annual contract payable by the village in four installments of $35,000 for dispatch services for the fiscal year 2020.

An intergovernmental agreement between the City of O’Fallon and the City of Fairview Heights for services provided by the Metro-East Communications Center (MECOMM) was approved to send to council. An assessment of the previous year’s calls was done to split the costs between the cities. Quarterly billing for fiscal year 2020 will have O’Fallon responsible for fifty-one percent of the costs, and Fairview Heights responsible for forty-nine percent of the costs. 

The final item of committee action was approving an amendment to an ordinance regarding the administrative hearing procedure to determine eligibility under the public safety employee benefits act of Chapter 32 regulating police and fire. The amendment was adding definition to the ordinance of a “catastrophic injury,” per the recommendation from the Illinois Municipal League.