Thread: Fire Alarm Boxes
08-27-2001, 05:59 AM #1
Fire Alarm Boxes
Does your town still have fire alarm boxes? There is a fire alarm discussion site on the Youngstown FD bulletin board. On the YFD BB I would like to see a listing of towns that have fire alarm street boxes still in use. If you're town does, or if you know of a nearby city with them in use, please leave a comment on the YFD site. The bulletin board can be accessed through either of these web sites: <a href="http://www.youngstownfire.com/fireindex.html" target="_blank">http://www.youngstownfire.com/fireindex.html</a> (then go to YFD message board) or go to: <a href="http://youngstownfiredept.8m.com/" target="_blank">http://youngstownfiredept.8m.com/</a> then click on the YFD Message Board logo. Also, if you know of a town that has removed their boxes and they are going to be sold, let us know. By the way, both of these are terrific sites about the YFD. If you just stop in for a visit, sign the guestbooks so that folks know that you have been there. Thanks!
[ 12-18-2001: Message edited by: Steve Hagy ]</p>
08-27-2001, 08:19 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
Hi love the page you have on the YFD very detailed.
My town has one real pull box on the side of the station.It is a lever that is pulled down on an arc that must break a small pane of glass.The box is only about7"by 10"and is 4"deep roughly.This box when pulled activates our Zetron paging system and sends the tone for a fire alarm(This is different from our normal tone which is morse code followed by two tones,the fire alarm is morse followed by one tone and a warbling tone.)
The city of Sterling Illinois has the pull boxes on a few streets left. Not sure the number or how the work(on a bell system or tone).
hope this helps.
08-27-2001, 07:31 PM #3
Thanks for the info. I'm going to post it on the YFD BB. Glad you liked the sites. I can't take credit for them though. Greg Ricker & Joe Lowry are doing alll the work! Hope to hear from some more folks aout this topic. Even if you aren't a member of ezboard you can post replies on the YFD BB.
08-27-2001, 11:34 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2000
- New York
Steve, the link wasn't working from my computer but I'll tell you here and you can slap it on the YFD message board.
My voly department recently (last 2 years) removed all of the Gamewell alarm boxes from the telephone poles, schools, churches etc. They totaled about 65 in all with one or two going to the local museum and a couple will stay in service at the fire houses as nostalgia.
We have raffled them off to the firefighters and their families. I'm not sure what everybody is going to do with them but I'm sure some of the FF will end up selling them.
There are three other departments in my county that STILL use the Gamewell pull box system throughout their town. I would say that each of those departments have at least 30-40 boxes in service at this time. I hear rumors they will be pulling them down the same as we did and will be selling theirs as well.
Stay safe and stay low.
Engine/Rescue Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)
08-28-2001, 01:22 PM #5
I am glad this topic is getting some replies. I am the Joe Lowry that Steve is referring to and post all the time here. There are several people in the Youngstown area that love to study Gamewell, so this information is being passed on to them, as well as for the personal files of Steve, Greg, and myself. Thanks all!
08-31-2001, 03:08 PM #6
- Join Date
- May 1999
We still use the Gamewell boxes, if you go to the info page on our site I have the box assignments listed. We even have the old wind up tape machine that sounds a bell and punches the tape in our station, going to get a pic of that on the site soon.David Brooks,
Newmarket Fire & Rescue
Newmarket, New Hampshire
(All opinions are my own)
08-31-2001, 04:16 PM #7
Just took a peek at the Newmarket webpage. I liked see the boxes listed. Please let me know when you get a photo of the alarm register posted. Thanks!
09-02-2001, 09:41 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 1999
- west Michigan, USA
I don't know if this qualifies as a "call box", but we still have a box on the front of our volunteer station. Inside is a push button that sounds our old siren to call our people. This is in case of a fire, and no phone is available. It has been used a few times in the 50+ years it has been there.Be Safe
GOD BLESS the U.S.A. and FDNY
09-05-2001, 04:10 PM #9
We appreciate the replies that have been received. We're looking for the names of any towns that still have street boxes in use for their fire alarm system. We really want to develope this as a resource for buffs, collectors, and firefighters. Remember, if you have any fire alarm related question or comment, you can post it on the YFD bulletin board. Let us know what's going on in your area! Thanks....
10-05-2001, 01:54 AM #10
There are some interesting subjects on the YFD bulletin board. The fire alarm discussion has quite a few topics and replies, but I sure would like to see some more! C'mon, I'm sure lots of towns still have alarm boxes in use. Jump over to the YFD board and let's here about them! Even if you just have an interesting story to tell about an alarm box, post it!
[ 12-18-2001: Message edited by: Steve Hagy ]</p>
10-05-2001, 08:50 PM #11
MCAS El Toro and Tustin even though closed military bases still have thier gamewell systems in place. However I think they were taken out of service when the County Fire Authority took over the area.Front line since 1983 and still going strong
10-15-2001, 04:40 PM #12
Still wanting more input on this topic! Gamewell and the other alarm manufacturers still have to be out there on the poles of some of the towns that originally bought systems! Let's hear from ya!
10-16-2001, 06:00 PM #13
Well, here in Youngstown...ohh..wait...we already know about Youngstown. (if you don't, check out the YFD BB) That's the whole point of this thread. Everyone, check out the bulletin board. We need to get some new users on that, and I would love to see some familiar faces from this board over there. Thanks folks...
10-29-2001, 05:45 PM #14
New photo image of York, Pennsylvania on the site. Also, I'm slowly adding lists of communities that had Gamewell systems in use.
11-06-2001, 10:17 PM #15
Hi! I've added a few states in on the listings now. Take a look and let us know about your town and their street boxes!
12-18-2001, 02:03 AM #16
The bulletin board has a new home! Visit the Youngstown site at <a href="http://www.youngstownfire.com/fireindex.html" target="_blank">Youngstown Fire Dept</a> and take a look at the new board set up. Leave a message while you're there! I can hear a box being struck off in the distance......
12-22-2001, 07:19 AM #17
Some new posts on the General Fire Call Box Discussion concerning towns in Indiana & Iowa with Gamewell systems, Detroit Michigan Fire Alarm Office, and Trenton, New Jersey box locations. Take a look and leave a comment!<br /><a href="http://www.youngstownfire.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl" target="_blank">youngstownfire.com Message Board</a>
Last edited by Box2565; 04-16-2002 at 05:02 PM.
01-22-2002, 01:15 AM #18
There have been many new posts and updates to the YFD Message Board. There are new topic categories for Fire Flea Markets & Other Events, a General Fire & Firefighting discussion, a Movie & TV program category fo shows that feature firefighting, plus many new posts and topics in the General Fire Call Box discussion.
Some of the new posts show the fire alarm office in Poughkeepsie, information about a oak case fire alarm gong to be sold, posts on recent multiple alarm fires, a copy of a running card for the infamous McCormack Place in Chicago, and posts requesting information on towns with fire alarm systems from around the country.
Well worth a visit, stop by at: <a href="http://www.youngstownfire.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl" target="_blank">Youngstown Fire.com Message Board</a>!
Last edited by Box2565; 04-16-2002 at 05:05 PM.
01-22-2002, 03:30 AM #19
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
i run with a little Boro fire dept, well we have an electric house siren and we have a button on th front of our station to push and hold for 3 seconds which then trips the siren throw its full sequence, we have that so if one of our members here the siren wail and no pager activation means either TMI is goin up or there is a problem within the boro and someone is at the station needing help. It only came in handy to me memory 4 times in 7 yrs, i believe all stations should have a devise to reach a firefighter if no phones are available <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">To Some We're Just Firefighter's<br /> To Others We're Heroes
01-28-2002, 07:17 PM #20
Fire Alarm Information
The message board at YoungstownFire.com now has information posted regarding Gamewell Fire Alarm installations in all of the United States and Canada based on a 1941 listing of systems in use.
If you can answer any of the following questions, please post a reply on the YFD Message Board or here! Which towns still use their street box system? How many boxes are in the system and are gongs still used in the fire houses?
If the system has been removed, when was the system discontinued? What became of the fire alarm boxes, registers, and gongs? Are any of these items still owned by the town where they could potentially be sold to collectors? Have any of the items been kept for display in a museum or station? Also, these are Gamewell installations only. A town may have had an alarm system with equipment furnished by a different company.
Also, I'm personally trying to collect running cards from as many departments as possible. If you gave any available, please let me know. Thanks....
Last edited by Box2565; 04-16-2002 at 05:04 PM.
02-28-2002, 04:52 PM #21
New posts from North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland among others. A couple of Baltimore running card photos added along with other information about the BFD response to alarms. Also, check out the new sections about fire service books, flea markets and musters, and the virtual swap meet!
YFD Message Board
Last edited by Box2565; 04-16-2002 at 04:59 PM.
04-16-2002, 05:11 PM #22
Many New Posts!
The Youngstown FD Message Board has hundreds of new posts regarding fire service topics. Among the posts in the General Fire Call Box Discussion are photo posts for the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oakland, Youngstown, Portland, and Baltimore!
There is also a Fire Apparatus Dictionary with excellent photos showing dozens of styles of fire apparatus.
05-13-2002, 02:03 AM #23
lots of additional posts of the YFD Message Board. New information and photos from New York, NY; Mansfield, Ohio; Consolidated Fire Alarm Boxes (an unusual brand); Boston, MA; Jacksonville, FL and others.
Have a look and leave a comment!
08-13-2002, 05:16 PM #24
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Youngstown, OH
Keep up the great work!Greg Ricker
Youngstown, Ohio, USA
youngstownfire.com forums @ www.yngfire.com
08-13-2002, 06:23 PM #25
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
Gamewell Alarm Boxes
The town which I live still uses the Gamewell system along with a county dispatched paging system. Each of the towns 5 fire stations have the wind-up punch tape readout. The system was installed in the early 1900's and is still functional. As a matter of fact, our department is planning to have the Gamewell system tied into the county system for dispatch.
The Schuylkill County Historical Fire Society has set as one of their goals the preservation of these systems throughout the county. Each year, they choose a borough in the county and for a donation, they renovate and inspect these boxes.
The Gamewell systems may be considered old technology, but they have proven themselves time and time again. Should there be a lapse in phone service, the Gamewell with the battery back up still performs.
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