Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37

Thread: Siren complaint

  1. #1
    Forum Member DarkStarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    93

    Default Siren complaint

    Got this today through our website.

    I find it entirely unnecessary to set off that siren EVERY time there is a fire. Especially after 10 PM. It wakes up my children, myself, and it frightens them constantly. It's unnecessary get with modern civilization. Cell phones, pagers, house phones, something OTHER than the siren.
    What are you thoughts?

    For the record, we do also have pagers and text alerts.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    West Burlington, IA
    Posts
    120

    Default

    The town I grew up in would set off its siren, day or night, for alarms and weather-related incidents. To this day, they still do, doesn't matter what time it is. Only thing they don't use the siren for is EMS runs. That's a seperate org and they run with just pagers to alert them. That's over 40 years of sirens in the night and no one complains.

    The smart-alek in me would respond with "We have to get up, you should too and see what its like to serve your community rather than just demand from it."

    The realist in me looks at it like not everyone may have their pager on, some people don't carry their pager with them always, some sleep through the tones but a siren wakes them and so on.

    On a safety viewpoint, that siren blaring in the night might just wake up the family that is asleep in their beds while their house is burning. The complaintant should thank his/her lucky stars that its not their house or loved ones in peril and the next time it goes off, say a prayer for those who are facing the worst nightmare of their lives.

  3. #3
    Forum Member 1500chief@sbcglobal.net's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    65

    Default

    I guess my question is do you really need the siren. My Department only has pagers and we get by. If you can get your members out with out it I would at least cut it out after 10pm.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    114

    Default

    With the technology available, honestly I don't see the need for a fire siren. We got rid of ours about 6 years back. We donated it to a local boy scout camp for severe weather warnings. Ours used to go off every day at 6 p.m. as a test and seldom got used otherwise. It's not like you need to call the farmers in from the fields like in the old days. At the time, I didn't want to get rid of it because of tradition... It was there for 50 years. Now, I don't miss it at all. The neighbors are happier and that's what matters.

    I am a county 911 dispatcher that dispatches for over 30 fire departments, most of which are volunteer departments. Out of all of them, I think there are only 2 that still use the sirens for fire calls. Personally, I would hate to live close to a fire department that used the siren.

    Maybe bring it up in a town meeting to see what the consensus is of the community.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Forum Member DarkStarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    93

    Default

    This is the first complaint I've been made aware of, but our fire chief is actually against them. When it broke last year, several months went by without it. I personally took issue with not having it, because I would not always have my cell phone or pager on me, especially just to go upstairs to raid the fridge, or to do something outside. We ended up taking a vote and the majority of the department wanted it fixed.

    Every department in our county has sirens, and I can hear several from across the river. One department relies on their siren as the only means of notification.

    I did not reply to her, as much as I wanted to, but forwarded it to my chief and president.

    I agree on the point about safety, I didn't think of that.

    Another thought would be to run the siren on certain types of calls, like technical rescue (a different, more annoying tone), entrapments, smoke showing, etc.. but where do you draw the line?

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Out of that several months without the siren, how many calls did you miss? Since you knew the siren wasn't working then, did you make sure you carried your pager or phone?

    I could see keeping the siren if that was your only form of notification but if you already get phone calls and pages, how many other forms of notification do you need???

    If you want to keep the siren as a department relic, that's fine. But it seems a little rediculous to say that the reason you want to keep the siren is just in case you forget your pager downstairs while raiding the fridge.

    I always think of our residents as the customers. If a customer has a concern, then deal with it logically and with respect. They are the reason you are there. The person that sent the comment to your website has a valid point. Does it make sense to say that you are keeping the siren just in case all of the other notification methods don't work? Does it make sense to scare the bejesus out of the entire neighborhood for a fire alarm at 3 a.m. all because you can't remember to take your phone or pager with you to bed at night?

    just my 2 cents... Sorry if this isn't the answer that you wanted. Personally, I don't see the need for it. Like I said before, I wanted to keep our siren too. looking back, I realize it served little purpose.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DarkStarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    93

    Default

    We don't get many calls as it is (~100/yr), so no I did not miss any, but, when my pager was broken, I missed a couple (pager broke, didnt have cell phone - my own fault)

    Raiding the fridge was merely an example of a trivial event in which a volunteer may not have their pager on them, not an excuse. I did not mean for it to come off as a reason for keeping the siren.

    You're correct, they are customers. I don't know how the entire community feels, but that makes for a great poll question on the website.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WBFD25 View Post
    The realist in me looks at it like not everyone may have their pager on, some people don't carry their pager with them always, some sleep through the tones but a siren wakes them and so on.

    .
    The way I see it, when you sign up with your department that's part of the commitment you make...you carry the pager and keep it turned on, and keep yourself in touch and available for calls. That's part of your responsibility. Your neighbors didn't sign up for that responsibility, what reason is there to wake them up at all hours of the night just because the fire department has a call?

    Everyone will sometimes forget their pager at home, or in the house when they're outside. It happens, you miss a call once in awhile. And you guys have text message alerts for backup, so that decreases the chance of missing it even more.

    We still have our siren, but it's more of a last resort, radio system went down kind of emergency backup. We never use it, haven't in years. Everybody just learns to carry their pagers like they should.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  9. #9
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Nice Part of New Jersey
    Posts
    6,981

    Default

    We used to not use sirens (those loud Civil Defense sirens) for fire/ems calls after "curfew". Typically 9pm.

    Now we don't use them at all.

    I understand why those who live near them complain... I still don't appreciate how they shot the sirens with their shotguns.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,033

    Default

    My current station still has the siren operating, although we turn it off for meetings, concerts and other events at the firehouse that it would disrupt. We have a few poeple who live close enough that the siren would alert them, but the primary source of dispatch is the pager. I personally wouldn't miss it at all if we shut it off. My last department turned theirs off when a hotel was built across the street. To my knowledge, the never missed it.

    As most here have stated, with pagers and texts as backup, there is no real reason except tradition to have a siren. You survived several months without it, so it's really hard to justify needing it now.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,754

    Default

    So she is complaining about less then about ten times a month?????

    Tell her when her house has a problem we will not set it off!!!

  12. #12
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    471

    Default

    Our siren goes off with every call (about 100 to 150 a year) and at noon every day. The only complaints that we have gotten have been when the siren was out of service or turned off. ("I didn't hear the siren at noon today, is something wrong?")

    It has also helped somewhat with recruiting. For a period of time, the siren would go off 3-4 times for a given call due to a lack of response or manpower. When people asked why it went off so many times, the response was simply, we don't have enough people - could you help out?

    Also, We have taken the idea that the siren is for warning the public that we will be responding and to watch for us on the road.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    My station used to have a siren, though they stopped using it well before I joined and when the new station was built the siren was decommissioned. Growing up my father's station used the siren for each/every call. They also had "pagers", but they weren't exactly wearable. That was 20+ years ago, though. In this day there doesn't seem to be a technical need for the siren as a primary means of notification. Pagers/radio work much better.

    I understand there is a tradition-aspect of the siren, and I wouldn't suggest you guys get rid of it.. but limits its use to situations where you need to alert the public (weather alert..etc) and daily-tests (6pm, noon, whatever). Also use it as a backup notification system for second-tap when you need manpower or as a backup system when the radio goes down.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,269

    Default

    IIRC, the siren also counts as a "means of notification" for ISO purposes. Might bear some investigation.

    Ours only goes for fire-related emergencies for the most part (dispatch has been known to trip it for pump details), which averages just once a week. One FD neighbor is a longtime member, the other house is empty right now. The church moved to a bigger facility, the bar - who cares, and our banquet hall isn't a factor.

    To my knowledge we've never gotten a complaint. People know what it means and are willing to live with it.

    That said, we don't have a lot of members in earshot of the siren, so losing it wouldn't be that much of a problem.

    I do find, though, that I recognize the tones that trip the siren. Hearing that, along with the pager tones, gives notice that it's something larger than an EMS or service call, even if I can't hear the siren itself.

    Where I lived in MI, the siren got moved when the village sold the building next to the siren tower, then was completely taken out of service when the building it was moved to was torn down. They do without now.

    I have heard of places where a citizen went a step further and sued. Most involve situations where the siren is going multiple times each day.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Ours only goes for fire-related emergencies for the most part (dispatch has been known to trip it for pump details), which averages just once a week. One FD neighbor is a longtime member, the other house is empty right now. The church moved to a bigger facility, the bar - who cares, and our banquet hall isn't a factor.

    .
    Actually, our dispatch can't even trip the siren anymore, it can only be set off from the station. So it's useless to us as a means of dispatch anyway. I guess we just keep it for tradition more than anything else. We'd be fine without it (but when we move into the new station we are taking it with us )
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  16. #16
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,655

    Default

    From 7am to 11pm our horn and siren go off for every call. Between 11pm and 7am, they only sound for certain calls.

    We also have pagers.

    It is a simple proven fact that we get a better member response when the horn/siren sound than without.

    I understand and agree that audible sirens/horns work in some places and not in others. It works in my area.

    We have, rarely, gotten complaints about them. After sitting down with the person and talking, the issue has been resolved and they are Ok with the current policy.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  17. #17
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Given the immature and illinformed nature of the complaint, I would throw it in the trash and move on with life. Who do you think was there first? The firehouse or the idiot complaining about the firehouse?

    It's like people move into a house next to an airport then raise hell about airplane noise.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    86

    Default

    My volunteer dept. runs around 250 – 300 calls per year with no EMS. We eliminated our sirens around 15 years ago due to a huge public safety issue and have not missed a single call yet. This safety issue is exactly what HuntPA refers to about alerting the public that we will be responding. The public in our area that was being alerted was the large # of small children running out into the streets, to the fire station and after the trucks as they pulled out to respond.

  19. #19
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,267

    Default Siren

    NMFire you beat me to it......
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  20. #20
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Talking And.............

    An often told story in this area, dating back to my late Father's era as Chief, was that a Family moved from a large city to our rural community, and had a week or more to settle in before the Sirens (we had 3 then, North end, South end, and at the Station) went off for a Fire. About an hour later Dad gets a phone call from our new neighbor, who is upset that they were all woke up by the Siren. Dad promptly took the new neighbor a Membership Application, saying to him, "since we're shorthanded, and the Siren wakes you up......" Funny thing was that the guy joined and was a good member for years.......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Does Your Q Siren Not Coast Down Like it Used to?
    By MG3610 in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-25-2008, 12:00 PM
  2. Who runs the siren?
    By Lifeguard911 in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: 01-15-2008, 04:00 AM
  3. Turn down volume on siren
    By SANDSTROMJM in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 07-05-2006, 10:45 AM
  4. Levy County...State looks into EMS Complaint
    By captstanm1 in forum Florida
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 11:05 PM
  5. Another siren question
    By CaptainMikey in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-13-2005, 02:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts