The village of Chester on the South Shore of Nova Scotia is replacing its air raid warnings with a new voice evacuation system to broadcast important messages during emergencies.

The system will be one of the first in the province.

For years an air raid siren at the local fire hall blasted across Chester, summoning volunteer firefighters to an emergency.

The window-rattling siren was silenced in September after a study found it was so loud it could damage people's hearing.

"People who lived closer to the hall complained, but the people who have lived there the longest never complained," said resident Carol Nauss.

New speakers will issue a slightly quieter call out to firefighters and will also broadcast specific messages during emergencies.

"Hurricanes, a tsunami if we were to get one, ice storms. We can tell of evacuation routes, we can do Amber Alerts," said Brenda Mulrooney, chair of the village commission.

The village has set aside $40,000 to install the new system, but some aren't sure getting rid of the old siren makes sense.

Frances Mills said she’s lived across the street from the fire hall for 30 years and it never bothered her.

"They seem to be changing everything. I don't know if it's going to work any better than what we had," she said.

The village said the speakers should be working by spring.