1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post siren & airhorn control

    Looking for input on how everyone controls their sirens (electronic and "Q" siren) and airhorns. Do you use foor switches? Pull cord or foot switch for the airhorns? "Q" siren foot switch or run through horn ring button on steering wheel? Do you run just "Q's" and airhorns? Whats everyone else do?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This is how our truck showed up configured:

    Foot-pedals driver and passenger sife for Q2B and for airhorns. Q2B brake switch is on middle of engine tunnel.

    Whelen electronic siren is wired into the OEM horn, with a toggle switch on the control panel to switch between OEM horn and siren.

    I don't think we spec'd these controls, E-One took care of them I believe. They seem to be pretty decent.

  3. #3
    ENGINE 52
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Are 1990 Pierce Lance is setup with the air horn foot pedal so the driver keeps both hands on the steering wheel. The Officers seat has two foot pedals one for the airhorn and one for the Q. The other engine is a 1984 Pierce Arrow is set up with a pull cord in the ceiling near the driver for the airhorn. The Q is a foot pedal on the officers side of the apparatus.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our older Seagrave and Pierces have foot pedals for the Q, and pull cords for the air horns. The electronic (never use em, wouldn't want people to confuse us for police cars) are controlled through the Motorola Syntor control board.

    The newer pierces have both foot pedals for the Q and air horns. They also have the control that switches the OEM horn from air horn to electronic siren, when the emergency master is ON. When the emergency master is OFF, it controls from OEM horn to Air horn. We keep it on air horn all the time.

    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  5. #5
    Capt. Lou
    Firehouse.com Guest



    Q2 activated by horn ring and air horns by lanyard. Seems to work well for us.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I like the set-up with two foot switches side by side, one for air horns, and the other for the "Q", that allows the driver to activate one or both with his left foot. Since most new apparatus are equipped with automatic transmissions(darn, no fun to drive anymore!), the left foot is no longer needed for clutching, and the driver can keep both hands on the wheel. The officer position could be equipped with dual foot switches as well.

    Delete the electronic and spec a second "Q". Then both the driver and officer will each have their own siren to sound! I've seen a picture of two "Q's" mounted on a black painted fire truck somewhere. Now that's neat.

    At any rate, be safe out in the traffic jungle!

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We had one foot pedal for the Q for driver and officer, and pull cord in the middle of the cab for the air horn. Electronic was wired into the hub button.

    I personally liked having both a Q and an electronic running at the same time. We'd set the siren to yelp and leave it there to get through town, cranking the Q as necessary. I guess you like what you're used to. Need a pretty sturdy electrical system to support two cranking Q's, that sounds interesting.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our new ALF has foot switches on both driver and officer side for Q and horns. Electric Siren/PA panel is mounted right of center for officer seat to have control of (two hands on the wheel!). Nice little feature is a switch that turns on/off/brake the Q so if it's off and you stomp the foot switch by mistake you don't scare the pants off everyone in range.

    Rescue doesn't have a Q. Air horns are via lanyard on the cab ceiling. Sometimes the clip sticks on the ceiling fabric and the horns go non-stop until you wrestle with it.

    Our Intl/KME has foot pedals for the Q but no switch. Many guys have scared the bejeezus out of people by stomping the pedal mistakenly. Air horns have a button on the panel above the windshield, not a good place as it's hard to find while you're driving.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our trucks are wired as follows:

    1994 International/KME Engine & 2000 International/KME Tanker

    Air Horns tied to OEM Horn Button w/ Rocker Switch to select OEM Horn vs Air Horn.
    Foot switch for Air Horn on Curb (Officers) side.

    Electronic Siren/Horn controled thru control head center roof mounted.

    No Q2

    1985 Chevrolet/FMC Pumper
    Electronic Siren controled thru center dash mounted control head with Siren Override tied in to OEM horn.

    No Air Horns OR Q2

    Our Brush Truck, The Rescue Squads 3 Ambulances, and the Rescue truck are all "Pick-Up" chassis with no Air/Q and siren controls via the control head. THe Rescue has a TAP2 connection to the OEM Horn Ring (Allows driver to turn siren on & change pattern w/ single tap and turn siren off w/ double tap when front panel control is in HF (hands free) position)

    I have GOT to get me one of those Q's on our next rig !!

    Take Care - Stay Safe

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On our 93, 94 and 96 Lances, we have the air horn on the floor with a foot pedal, the Q2 is operated by the horn ring in the steering wheel and the officers have push buttons on the dash. On our 99 Lance the Q2 on the floor and the airhorn in the steering wheel (I like the configuration the best), the officer has the push buttons.
    I would like to ask the question. Who should get to operate the Q or horn. The chfr or the officer. I personally like the chfr to operator the warning devices and the officer should worry about the radio traffic, maps, preplanning and size-up. But thats my opinion. Stay safe. JB

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All of our trucks are wired differently for some reason, but the 1997 Pierce Lance pumper probably has the best setup of them all.

    Q siren is controlled by driver's foot pedal, or passenger's button on engine cowl. The siren brake switch for the driver is on the overhead console, and the passenger is next to the siren switch.

    Electronic siren hangs from the ceiling on a swivel. Easy reach for both. Also, there's a siren/horn switch for driver in the overhead console wired to the steering wheel. Never use it though, we just leave it on horn.

    As far as the airhorns, there's a lanyard hanging on each side. Also, when the siren/horn switch is on horn, there's a second switch for airhorns/regular horn(useless). We leave it setup for airhorns all the time.

    Neither the Q nor the electronic siren will work unless the emergency master switch is on, to prevent accidental blasts. But isn't it ironic that cars will pull over if you hit the siren by accident, even with no lights on and you're just crawling along. But when you've got more candlepower showing than the sun, and making more noise than an earthquake, forget it...you're invisible. LOL

    Hillcrest FD

    LEGAL INFO: Any and all views I've expressed above and on this site are not representative of my department. They are my personal opinions and views.

  12. #12
    37 Fire/Rescue
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our two new 2000 Quantums came as follows:

    Driver's side-Foot pedals for the Q and the air horns.

    Officer's side-Foot pedals for the Q, air horns and electronic. The head for the electronic is on a swivel between the seats.

    I believe NFPA 1500 does not allow the air horns to be operated from a pull cord any longer. Must have a foot pedal.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On our apparatus, both FAE and Officer have pedals on the floor for the airhorn and Q. The siren brake is located in the middle panel accesible to both FAE and the Officer. There is an electronic siren mounted above the center console.

    **The preceding comments in no way represent the views of my department, its members, or associations that it may belong to.**

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    1999 Quantum has foot pedals for air horns, Q and electronic for both driver and officer, Q brake for the driver only, a pull chord big the big bell on the bumper is on the officer side. Might want to consider a Q brake for the officer also. Yes its nice to put your left foot sideways and try to hit all pedals at the same time. Sounds cool

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our rescue has a pull cord for the air horns and a dash switch for the Q...the rest of our equipment has only electric sirens which are controlled right from the siren box. I almost forgot our 1997 e-one has a button on the floor for the air horn

    Tom Pysh
    Ellsworth/Somerset V.F.D.

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On our new Squad which is built on a Peterbilt 330 by Customfire has the standard pull cords for the airhorn one on each side of the cab. The Q2B is controlled by a foot switch and pushbutton for the officer and the horn ring. The nice feature is that the horn ring has a 3 position switch on the panel that allows you to select the switch to control the truck horn, Q2B, or change the tone of the electric siren from wail to yelp. I am a traditionalist I prefer the Q and airhorns usually I run the Q and let the officer run the airhorn.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Posting Permissions

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

Log in

Click here to log in or register