1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Does your vol. dept. use a siren for alert?

    Does your volunteer department use a siren in combination with pagers to alert volunteers
    Just a siren to alert?

    If so, is the siren important to your area?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At my dept. we have central dispatch from the sheriff's dept.We have the tones, then some people that get on phones and call up some of the guys> after the tones we also get an alpha-numeric pager over the pagers. The pagers are the ones that can have words or numbers, so we get the address and problem on them. No Siren here.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Alarms in my town are dispatched by the local PD. The dispatcher will activate both siren and pagers, then broadcast the address and relevant information. We do have an alpha numeric paging system that is used as a back-up system, and alerts members of special events and major fires in other towns.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our departemnt uses both. We have found over the years, myself included, do not wear a pager when i'm doing chores in the village, whether it be mowing lawn or in the pool. It has been said that when the siren dies it will not be replaced. I will fight to have it replaced at that time. It is also a way of alerting people of severe weather or disasters. We do have departments in our county that have shut their sirens off and rely on just pagers, 3rd tones not unusual for them on calls. They say residents complain of they siren blasts in the night. TOO BAD. don't like it! join. just my thoughts on the subject good luck and keep posting.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At my we have a central dispatch center. It is there job to alert the members by our pagers. Since the new dispatch computer the pagers have to be done by hand. Our local pagers from a paging service to run the alpa pagers doesn't work either. The house siren has been disconnected for over 10 years. But we have reconnected ours. People complain about the noise pollution. Good luck to you

  6. #6
    chf jstano
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use both siren and pager which are activated at the county public safty building.If you forgot your pager or are doing something outside where you might not hear it, the siren certainly gets your attention. As for noise compaints, it is set up so it cycles 10 times and then automatically shuts down.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    MVAs & Fire Calls only, 8am to 10pm only

    It's mostly a backup system. A couple years ago our dispatch center's main tower was having intermittent problems for 3 or 4 days sometimes it would transmit, sometimes not. The other tower's didn't cover the town well, so they blew the siren on all calls for a few days.

    Half our members now carry Alphanumeric pagers which is off a totally different radio tower network from our voice pagers, so backup isn't as important.

    If it wasn't that the siren at the main station is also used as part of a community notification system for jail breaks, we would not replace or repair it.

    The siren at Station 2 has been silent for nearly 5 years.

  8. #8
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our primary method of alerting is through pagers, with the dispatching being done by the county 911 center. For emergency calls (fire, rescue, haz-mat, etc.), where personnel and apparatus are expected to be responding "emergency speed," our house siren is also activated. On non-emergency calls (pump details, stand-by assignments, trees down, washdowns from MVAs, etc.), the siren is not activated, since personnel and apparatus are expected to respond "normal flow of traffic" in these cases.

    While the house siren is of little importance for alerting our personnel, it serves as a warning to nearby residents that there is an emergency response in progress, making them more alert to incoming personnel and outgoing apparatus. We've also found that fund-raising is enhanced by the house siren (and hurt by its absence)...if local residents don't hear it, some assume that we're "not doing anything" and we don't need the money. That might be a bit screwed up, but that's the way it is.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We use both the house siren and pagers. The pagers are the primary method but for the members in the village the house siren has come in handy. It also alerts the public of our response to a call.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We also use a siren and pager system through our Central Dispatch. It is on a timer system that allows it to go off between 7am and 10pm We have bells that go off in the station during the off hours. A lot of our members live within the village and even while out mowing lawns or whatever it has come in handy. It also serves as our Tornado warning system and alrtd the people in the village we will be responding in to the station. Since we put the timer on the system we have cut down on numourous complaints.


  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a county wide dispatch that uses the pagers. If we receive back to back calls, the will activate the house siren M-F, 8-5.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Siren & pagers. Siren blows one time for ALL calls, 24-7. The first guy in the station takes the station printout and writes down the address on the board, flips a couple of switches. From 0700 to 2300 he or she then "pulls the hook" to blow the siren an additional 3 times. It works for us and we don't get many complaints.


    [This message has been edited by Firekatz04 (edited April 06, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    OY VEY!!! When I saw this topic, I just HAD to reply...it has been a hot topic of sorts in our dept for a few months now.
    We have a county wide e911 system that activates pagers and the siren. 2 second pager tone and 1 cycle of the siren for EMS calls, and a 6 second pager tone and 6 short cycles of the siren for all other calls. Currently, the siren is sounded from 6am to 10pm 7 days a week and "self-tests" itself at 7pm Mon-Sat.
    The debate started when our new chief took office. Many firefighters, including himself, expressed an interest in having the siren sound 24/7. Many of the reasons above as well as a few others were expressed. The chief issued an executive order stating that the first firefighter to the firehouse was to activate the siren manually until the siren system could be changed over perminately.
    Enter now, the Fire Commishioners.....
    the fire "district" is run by the commish's..they own the building therefor they own the siren...the fire chief runs the dept...he has to make sure the alarm is answered and the siren is one more way of making sure that happens. Suffice it to say that didnt go over very well with the almighty-allpowerful-godlike commish's. Back and forth and back and forth they faught...THEY EVEN THREATENED TO THROW OUT THE CHIEF!!!!

    now, I ask you.....how childish is that?

    come on people.....its just a siren...it sounds for what...a minute?

    dont like it.....join us or close your windows.

    You've just inspired me to post my own topic on Fire Commishioners...look for it and express yourselves there....

    Stay Safe And Stay Low


  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We do both we are dispatched by conty and when the tones are dropped the siren goes off along with the pagers but the siren is on from 6am till 11pm it has been like that for a couple of years it works pretty good

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are primarily activated by pagers from the E911 center. Our house siren is activated Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm. It is more ceremony than for actual alerting of members. Part of the community wanted the siren banned due to noise ( we have a bed and breakfast in direct line of the siren) and another part wanted "notice" to watch for members responding to the station and units responding to the call.

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Saw this and just had to add my two cents.

    We stopped using a siren about 25 years ago when the department converted to a radio alerting system. Then for a while used both and then and for about the last 15 years stopped using siren all together. It is now sitting in the bottom of our hose tower collecting dust.

    There has been some off and on discussion as to re-installing it to be used as a warning device, but not seriously discussed just the informal now and again. Our dispatched is now handled by a central dispatch center located 10 miles down the road - everyone has pagers.

    Personally I someday would like to see the siren installed again - if for nothing more than nostalgia as well as a warning device however we have to look at the budget and give priority to the real needs of the department. Unlike LynFD's department I am the Commish - and would favor the re-installation - but would favor not using it on a regular basis for calls.

    As far as the noise - at one time - until 1975 the department in addition to the siren also had a compressed air fog horn - that was used when not enough personnel showed for a call - and trust me - that would wake the dead - much louder than the siren. From what I know no-one back then complained about the noise - but then again it was in the days before the department went to a radio alerting system.

    Good subject though

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hi Everyone,
    We had the best of both world's (pagers & sirens)but as always one person complained about the siren and we had to take it down I don't know what kind of fight the district put up but we lost the siren anyway ,like wofd1 said sometimes in the summer you just don't wear a pager if you are in a pool or doing chores.The siren on our firehouse sounded during the hours 0700hrs and 2200hrs some of our neighboring departments sirens go off 24\7 and I can hear them from my house.
    Is there any laws in regards to sirens on the firehouses if anyone has any info please e-mail me.

    2nd Lt Co.1
    Ridge Fire Dept.

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Inside the firehouse we use distinct siren for medical and fire.
    But individual volunteers has their own personal two way radio to alarm them of any call. We have round-the-clock dispatch operators who manages all calls and alerts all volunteers.
    If additional personnel is needed a volunteer shall only call the operator that he or she is responding to a call. As simple as that!

    In service,

  19. #19
    Fireman Ry
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Warminster Fire Department hasn't used a siren for at least 25 years. We are using a paging system with Motorola Minitor IIs.

    Ryan B.
    Stay Safe
    Warminster Fire Department
    Station 90
    Bucks County

  20. #20
    Capt. Zada
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We only use the house siren for weather warnings. It's a huge one and can be heard for several miles. Our dispatch is by the pieces of junk that Monkeyrola calls their Minitor III pager. We may have to go back to the siren to alert the firefighters. I sure wish that we had the Minitor II's back and Monkeyrola had the Minitor III's stuck (well you know where).

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Up until about 2 years ago we used a siren from 6 am to 10 pm. It was shut off by timer then but could be activated manually if necessary. In the early 80's we were sued by a gentleman (loose term) who said our siren was an annoying unnecessary thing. We argued that with our low band radio system that pagers were ineffective in some areas. Well, while in court we had an alarm and no ones pager went off, but the house siren was very clear. We won the suit and he moved. The siren continued to blow and was eventually put on a 3 minute timer. Then in addition to the 3 minute timer we adjusted the hours in which it would blow in the early 90's. But growing complaints from neighbors forced us to bend and break "tradition" which was the real reason some members did not want to stop it. After all, it had blown for 50 years or more. We still have the same radio system but additional towers have helped and the fact that we are in the same town as the dispatch center helps too. Now we are alerted using the motorola minitor II and a system we had installed in the station that set off strobes and an internal siren (inside the station similar to fire alarm) to wake up the crew in bunk room.

    [This message has been edited by Captstanm (edited April 10, 2000).]

  22. #22
    rural FF
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You guys want loud we have two sirens in our township. The second siren is a T.M.I. system that activates through our normal dispatch. We have had very few complaints about the noise.

  23. #23
    T ony Hartman
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department uses both a siren and pagers. Our fire siren will sound between the hours of 0600 and 2300 hrs. The fire siren will also sound for tornadoes at any time of the day or night. So our village does depends on the siren.

    Keep the faith
    Ever willing, ever ready

    [This message has been edited by T ony Hartman (edited April 15, 2000).]

  24. #24
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As with many of you above, we use both pagers and an alert siren on top of our station house. We are also get activated for an alarm by the county 911 system, which activates both the siren and our pagers.

    We have found an advantage to having both. As stated in one of the postings above some of the volunteers do not wear their pagers when working around the house or out in the yard. The siren works well at alerting them in that particular case. Again it alerts the people in the community to be extra aware of emergency apparatus responding from the station.

    The siren is timed to sound for one minute in up and down cycles. Really that is not that long.

    We also have a major railroad mainline pass through the center of our small borough and the siren is to act as an emergency notification system in event that a evacuation is needed.

    We get very little complaints about the siren sounding during the night hours.

    Interesting subject. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Stay Alert & Stay Safe

  25. #25
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are dispatched through the Sheriff's Department Comm. Center. As a vol. dept. we get both the siren and pager. Siren is suppose to be set off only between 6a to 10p. This is dependant on who is dispatching at the time.
    For the guy who said he doesn't wear his pager when he is around town, shame on you what if the siren takes a dump? Has happened to us.

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