(UPDATE 2: TEST RING CANCELED) Arcata Fire bell up and running – OK, maybe not so much

Arcata Fire's bell, newly installed on the downtown station. Arcata Fire photo

Arcata Fire's bell, newly installed on the downtown station. Arcata Fire photo

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Tuesday's test-ring of the Arcata Fire bell has been canceled, according to Fire Chief Desmond Cowan, who cited electrical issues. "We will sound no chime before its time," he vowed. He said the test could still occur this week.

When it is time, the Union will announce the test in hopes of collecting ring-range reports from readers around town. We apologize for the false alarms so far.– Ed.


UPDATE: The bell test is now scheduled for Tuesday, according to Fire Chief Desmond Cowan. He said the bell's electronic striker device must be programmed and tested. This will begin around 9 a.m., and some preliminary ringing may be heard from then on. The formal ring test may occur around noon; we'll keep you posted. Check back for further updates. – Ed.

Mad River Union

ARCATA – Arcata Fire's historic, newly restored W.T. Garratt & Co. brass bell has been mounted, its new striker installed and is set for a test ring Monday, Aug. 31 at a time to be announced.

The bell preceded the old air-raid horn siren which was recently removed. The 1,000-pound bell was used in the early part of the last century to summon firefighters. Once the renovated downtown Arcata Fire station opens, the bell will sound at noon every day, though it serves no operational purpose.

The bell's ring isn't expected to have the city-wide reach of the siren, but its detectable range is unclear at this time. The Union will announce the time of Monday's ring test as soon as it is known so that Arcata residents can listen for it.

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