1. #1
    stu harrison
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question in-house station alarms - negative health effects of same

    Needing info on negative health effects resulting from loud station alarm tones.
    When loud alarms sound, f.f. heart rate
    jumps excessively. Possibly, these sudden rises in heart rate could cause cardio- vascular problems? What other ways are there to alert on-duty crews of their incidents?

    [This message has been edited by stu harrison (edited October 12, 2000).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In reply to the station alarms, here in Australia the New South Wales career stations had bells which used to be pretty loud and then they replaced them with tone ringers [electronic bells] which when turned up, of which most were, then you would have to dislodge yourself from the ceiling and defibrilate before turning out. The tone ringers are now being replaced with an ascending tone ringer which starts off barely audible and gets louder with each tone, a much less traumatic way of being responded especially if bedded down in the middle of the night.With regards Smokey.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I suppose it's a compromise between making too much noise (heart-stopping) and too little (will it wake us up?). I've been through both. The vollie squad I used to run with had an alarm bell which would truly wake the dead; we routinely warned visitors about it as soon as they walked through the door. The station was torn down, and the Klaxon was replaced with one that sounds like a freakin' doorbell. I haven't been there overnight since it was put in, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't even make me turn over in my sleep...

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All I have to hear is "company standby" come over the vocal and my heartburn slams into overdrive. I own stock in Rolaids.

    Larry Boothby
    Snorkel-13 A-shift
    Local 1784

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    when we switched from a bell tied to the phone to a "zetron" system, we had the same fire alarm horn you will find in a school, and the lights come on. yes, the 4" square buzzer was mounted in the bedroom. i can remember hearing the tones start on the radio in the office, trying to prepare myself for that horn, and still getting scared to death if it went off. we have since changed to a tone on the station intercom, still too loud. i think the ascending volume system would be best. if they sleep through the lower volume tones, the loud tone won't be that rough.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In our city, we have a big beep "pre-alert". So, as soon as dispatch hits the button, and you hear BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP on your monitor/pager. You're aware something is coming.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Stu- Check with someone at Portland, ME Fire.( I believe Lt. John Cannon is the Union Pres.) I recently read an article in Fire Engineering? about this and Portland had just gotten their system changed due to health concerns.

    Good Luck, we have a Klaxon that jars you, but had a FF sleep through a response to a fire box at a Nursing Home the other night!?!?!

    [This message has been edited by AntiqueFireLt (edited October 21, 2000).]

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Omaha, NE, each station is alerted with a ramped "warble" that starts off quiet, and then get's louder...I did some ride time there for my Paramedic School...Problem was, I think that the dispatchers crank the dial, because you still jump out of your bed!!!

    Phoenix, AZ also uses a ramped tone...it's more tolerable, though. Maybe contact them and see if they have any research on it (it wouldn't surprise me!!)

    Great topic...I've been thinking about doing research on the same thing myself...e-mail me if you find out anything interesting.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My vollie department has a Zetron paging system that emits a long, loud, low tone, then a short scream. I usually leave mine closed so I won't hear the cops, which means I only get the high tone, scaring the crap out of everyone around me who is not used to it.
    I also ride along with Houston quite often. In there stations, the lights and the house speakers are activated first, with a very faint, almost inaudible, "beep beep". A couple of seconds later the tones come out, either a string of loud beeps or a hi-lo tone for EMS. It doesn't scare you at all (unless turned up really loud), and is acutally kind of pleasant (as station alerts go), as the lights come on before the tones start.

    In Omnia Paratus

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have the standard alarm bell in the hall way just outside the dorm. Also, the lights in the dorm that come on after the bell are red. I like the red lighting, not quite as tough on the eyes at first.

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