02-18-2011, 09:39 AM #1
Looking to identify a Gamewell fire alarm box
I found at a recent fire muster a pretty decent looking Gamewell street alarm box that I bought for history's sake and to display at home. What I'm wondering is if there is some way to identify where the box was in service, and when?
The box number is still on the front (can't remember it just now), but did certain boxes in certain cities have distinguishing characteristics that might make this piece of history identifiable?
Thanks; be safe....My opinions only.
02-18-2011, 09:48 AM #2
It's difficult at best to determine what city/municipality a box came from. If you know who you bought it from, perhaps they may know where it came from???
Also, using the box number itself, try municipalities around you (I see you are from Columbus Oh..) and see if they had gamewell systems, and if they had that number??
There is a really good book about street boxes by Paul C. Ditzel called FIRE ALARM! Paul is a renowned west coast fire buff. I have a copy, but I understand it has been out of print for some time and they are hard to get a hold of.
Also you might try the forums on www.youngstownfire.com"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
02-18-2011, 09:48 AM #3Stay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
02-18-2011, 09:57 AM #4
02-18-2011, 06:59 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Its a shame about fire alarm boxes, such a good system, but with a couple of big flaws.
02-18-2011, 08:53 PM #6
02-19-2011, 07:07 AM #7
You need to contact Dave Houseal and his buddies at the Fire Museum in Harrisburg, PA. They are somewhat Gamewell aficionados.~Drew
USAR TF Rescue Specialist
02-19-2011, 10:11 AM #8
02-19-2011, 05:52 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
02-20-2011, 06:43 PM #10
Maintenance costs notwithstanding, I seem to recall that one reason they've come out in some places is because their usage dropped with the advent of a phone in every house, something that didn't exist when pull boxes first hit the street.
Cell phones have probably help solidify those decisions.
The boxes also served as fire department communications. I've heard of aides being sent to pull boxes several blocks from a scene so the run cards would bring in different companies.
Despite the well-publicized failures of our modern systems from time to time, our current systems do pretty well.
I still see voice callboxes in various places. Usually they are a local effort - like a parking garage at an airport or a college campus - where the calls are fielded by local security personnel, not a central alarm office.Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.
Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.
02-20-2011, 07:26 PM #11
Downtown Emmaus, Pa. still has an active Gamewell system."Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
02-20-2011, 07:31 PM #12
02-20-2011, 07:45 PM #13Originally Posted by tree68 They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.
Go figure. the "powers that be" state the fire alarm box system is archaic and isn't needed because of cell phones.. yet the BPD can get away with making new instalations of their own systems...."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
02-26-2011, 12:41 PM #14
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- North Shore Massachusetts
I've been at a few fires where we got the box and had the fire out before the alarm company called to report the alarm. I'd say they're just as good today as they were in the past. We still use them and require that they be installed on new buildings. If I owned a building I'd definitely have a box installed on top of central station monitoring.
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