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City of Rudd gifted with new emergency siren in wake of historic storm | Mason City & North Iowa

A look at some of the worst damage sustained in Rudd from the Wednesday night storm. 

Zachary Dupont

Because of the actions of a Rudd volunteer firefighter during last month’s destructive storm, an Oklahoma company has donated a siren system to the town.

Logan Shelts, who is a part of Goddard Enterprises, said they heard the story of what happened to Rudd and of volunteer firefighter Tyler Hicks through Facebook.

After seeing the destruction and hearing about Hicks’ actions, the Oklahoma-based mass-notification system company wanted to help the town out. “Being from Oklahoma, we have first-hand experience in damage caused from tornadoes,” said Shelts.

Shelts said they admired the Hicks’ story from the day of the derecho. Hicks, who has been a volunteer firefighter for almost a year, stood outside in the storm to manually hold the tornado siren button down to alert the community of the impending danger.

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A look inside the Rudd Public Library, which no longer has a roof following Wednesday night’s storm. 

Zachary Dupont

Hicks and fellow volunteer firefighters were heading to the station the night of the Dec. 15 derecho. Shortly after arriving, Hicks’ phone received a tornado alert and he went to sound the siren. 

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“It was just raining sideways and I didn’t know if it was going to get worse than that,” said Hicks.

Hicks recalled taking video with his phone to show what being in the storm was like to others. While holding down the button, he realized the siren became quiet. The siren was ripped off its pole by the wind and was sent two blocks away, according to Hicks.

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“In this case, we thought it was pretty noble of that fireman to sit there, holding the button,” said Shelts.

“I signed up to be a volunteer firefighter and part of my job is to make sure people are safe,” Hicks said.

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Damage sustained in Rudd after a line of storms pushed through on Dec.15. 

Zachary Dupont

Shelts said Goddard Enterprises strives to help towns like Rudd update their alert systems, by helping them purchase a new one or refurbishing an older model. 

Rudd’s new siren system is battery-operated, so if the power were to go out in the town, the siren can continue to signal. It also has a remote function allowing it to be activated from anywhere to alert the community.

Shelts said a brand new siren system can cost anywhere between $23 and $25 thousand.

“Our company has been in business (close to) sixty years and we just want to help everyone,” said Shelts.

The new siren system has to be approved by the city council before it is installed, but Hicks is anxious for the siren’s arrival. 

“I was overjoyed. It is great of a company like that to reach out and help out a small town like this,” said Hicks.

Abby covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @MkayAbby. Email her at

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