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  1. #21
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    Default sirens still in operation

    In my department we have a siren that is blown 3 short blasts on all fire calls but doesn't sound on rescue calls. We have other departments in the county that there siren is on a timer and when they get a call it goes of in medium blasts for 2 minutes. Another department in the county has it set up for one long blast. But non of the sirens go off on rescue calls. In my department I don't know of any complaints. the only complaint is one from me when I can't run a call and need sleep because I live directly behind the fire house.
    Seth Firefighter/ paramedic


  2. #22
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    Default

    We also use a pager system, but during the day we will still sound the rooftop siren because some guys may be out working in the yard or may have run downtown without their pagers. Some people complain about the sound but they are just reminded about the importance of this back up system and that for the sake of a little noise someones home or life may be saved. It usually makes them feel like a big enough whinner that no more is said. These same people would be the ones to shoot thier mouths off if you didn't use it and it took alot longer to respond becuase guys didn't know they had a call.

  3. #23
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    We use radios with a pager tone - actually about 3 different tones that wake me up NOW. The good thing with the radios is I live at one end of the area, and keep my gear with me. If the call is in my area, I go out to the paved road (2 miles away) and they can pick me up enroute. Nothing like 2 way communication. It also cuts down on too many responding to small calls - this keeps from wearing out our entire staff.

  4. #24
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
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    Default How to stop the complaints......

    Some years back, as the community started to grow, we started getting complaints about the siren(we were running 500/750 calls a year then) and we came up with a plan. A couple of members had a knack for being very smooth salesmen(their job) and they became a unofficial committee who, when a siren complaint came in, went to speak with the complaintant, giving an explanation of the system, AND LEAVING A MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. The quiet, unspoken, message was "if it wakes you up, then come on down and help out". We got several very good members this way, and complaints were minimal. We have since discontinued the use of the siren completely due to a number of factors including high call volume (7,861 last year) and adequate pagers. (yes, 7,861 - look us up @ www.gdvfd18.com)
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    www.gdvfd18.com

  5. #25
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    Thumbs up

    I agree with all that's been said here, but in my opinion the siren should be turned off at least at night if not totally if there is a pager system in place. There's no purpose to it and tradition isn't a reason to wake people up in the middle of the night. I've been a volunteer for 10 years (and a paid guy for 2) and our siren hasn't worked for longer than that and our paging system has never failed. In the event communications were down the 911 center will put us on watch mode.

    We need to remember that just because we're the fire department it doesn't give us the right to inconvenience people unnecessarily...in fact, working with the community will keep relations well; taking our authority for granted is not professional nor is it good when it's time to buy a new engine.

    Be safe and take care!

  6. #26
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    We follow a pattern very similar to NJFFS_A16, during daytime sirens blow and at night time, only for certain calls. Yes, we still get some complaints from those that live next door to the firehouse, but once we talk with them and explain the purpose, they usually subside for a while.

    A few years ago, there was a fire across the street from my house. While talking to the homeowner afterwards, she let me know how happy she was to hear that siren as she knew it meant help was coming.
    Last edited by Bones42; 09-06-2002 at 03:37 PM.
    "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?

  7. #27
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Oushore's Avatar
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    Default

    We used a steam whistle from 1893 to 1972; and have been using a Federal SD-10 also from 1971 until a few months ago. We switched from lo band paging to high band and the relay connection from the base to the siren control blew out one day and the siren went off 12 times before they got it shut off... We never heard complaints about it going off, just when it stopped. People used to call the neighbor with a scanner at 3am and ask why the fire whistle was blowing. Now people complain that we don't use it. I think it was a comfort to them to hear it go off, they knew somebody was coming. It was to me anyway when my house burned, it was 2am, the fire whistle started blowing, and I knew that they would be there soon to save the house. And they were, and they did. We even have reports from the past that the whistle woke a family up one night as their apartment was on fire when our main street business district burned. It's a tradition that we should keep, and not let go of, as we have lost so many traditions of the past!

  8. #28
    Junior Member EMT-Bobbi's Avatar
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    MS Gulf Coast
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    Default

    I'm a memeber of a volunteer department. We respond via pager only.... no one live close enough to the station to hear a siren. We do have a problem with the families living near the station if we run code out of the station. State law requires lights and sirens once we leave the bays and enter into traffic. Guess that doesn't matter much when you're woken from a dead sleep at 3a.m. though. We wait until were 100 yards or so from the residences then go code.
    Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?

  9. #29
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default

    SO now you wake up the people 100 yards from the station at 3.00 am, Whats the differece?

    At least with our siren everyone is awake, we don't have to worry about turning on the siren.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  10. #30
    Junior Member EMT-Bobbi's Avatar
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    MS Gulf Coast
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    Default

    LOL... I see your point. Actually there are only two houses across the street from the department. We live in a VERY rural area. I'd just as soon run the alarm and wake 'em ALL up.
    Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?

  11. #31
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    Default

    We have a very loud siren at our firehouse. It can be heard from pretty far away. Unfortunately, residents decided to move into houses that were built right behind the firehouse. The firehouse was built long before these houses, but now our siren only works from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The residents now want it to be silenced completely. We still mostly have the aging minitor 2's and acquired some very cheap motorola dragonfly pagers, or something like that. We have found those ones to be worthless. We even have some people accross the street wanting us to turn off the scanner in our firehouse because it wakes the kids during the day. It's not that loud, but we are still a firehouse. In addition to all this, the community around us thinks that all the firehouses in our county are paid people. When we tell them we are volunteer, they look at us with shock and ask us why we do it? It makes me wonder if the fire departments need to do more community awareness. The fire prevention programs are good, but the community doesn't seem to understand the need for a siren. Sometimes that is the only way for some members of the firehouse to know that we have a call. We can't afford for everyone to have pagers. In my personal opinion, nothing can really take the place of a siren. It is heritage and history.
    What does the Bunkroombandit do? Well, honestly, I am not sure myself, but he sure does like to cause trouble.

  12. #32
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    Evansdale, Iowa
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    Post

    We discontinued using a siren many years ago and now rely solely upon a paging system as well as an in-house radio system. The siren seemed to be in-effective as houses became more energy efficient. It also seemed to only serve to notify the motoring public that they could show up and follow the apparatus to the scene.
    And yes, we did receive complaints from those who live close to the siren about it waking them during the night as well as annoyance during the day, not to mention the confusion it generated during inclimate weather (weather warning or fire???)

  13. #33
    Forum Member backdraft663's Avatar
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    Default firehouse sirens

    hello i am new to this board. i am a cadet. our department use to use the firehouse siren until around 199 when we moved to our new station, and it is at our new station but it isnt up i guess because to many people would complain because the station was directly in the middle of town but it is at the end of town now. we now use alphamate pagers and minitors. i live like a couple hundred feet from the fire house and i am only 15 so i cant drive yet so i have to run. lol i wish they would put it back up cause my minitor 2 sometimes on a speely night wont wake me up unless i turn it up full blast but parents complain to much. if anyone wants to chat my e-mail is backdraft@zoomtown.com


    Ryan Malott

    Williamsburg Township Emergency Services
    Ryan

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  14. #34
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Default

    Although we don't use Sirens in London, because its a big City Department with 112 Stations, all fully staffed.I can relate to your problems;

    We often get complaints from the apartment blocks surrounding the Stations when the bells go down for a call.

    One night last year when I was duty Chief for my Borough, I got paged that someone had rung HQ in Central London, complaining of the bells.

    It was a Station I was fairly familiar with, that had beeen having a particularly busy night. It was about midnight and they were on for their 18th run since 6PM.

    This guy actually wanted me to get onto the Station and have a go at someone. I explained that the bells were activated from a Central Control room several Miles away and it was the only way to signal a call coming in. He actually expected me to change the whole mobilising procedure for London and have every Station telephoned their calls. With 300,000+ calls per year I guess they guy was some sort of Alien.

    Should have done it, then when he's house burnt down he would have been complaining again while the guys were chilling in the Station.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-31-2002 at 12:07 PM.

  15. #35
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    Lattimore, N.C. (U.S.A.)
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    Talking siren usage

    Our department has the siren sound on fire calls and MVAs. It is activated by the county dispatch when we are toned out. There has been a disscussion with other departments not to blow sirens except during bad weather. For our department being on the west side of the county, when the weather service issue a warning the worst of the storm has already passed through our community or the county doesn't set the sirens off and it has not warned anyone of the storm. As a fire department we decided to let it blow, if not for the money spent replacing the old siren 2 years ago, it would have been wasted. There have been some comments made about it blowing but no real complaints. We run first responder calls with EMS and the siren isn't activated. As many others have commented, its more of a tradition. As one of our older firefighters once said, "If I have to be up at 3:00am, everyone else needs to be up".
    Last edited by Firefighter1177; 11-04-2002 at 06:06 AM.

  16. #36
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    Rochester, New York USA
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    Smile

    Hello,

    Our siren is right in the center of our village. It is very very loud of course, you are able to hear it on a clear day 2-3 miles away. It goes once at noon and twice for anything else. Although if we do not answer with a truck or engine on th road in 4 minutes they put our tones again and repeat the call. Even at 2am.

  17. #37
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    Default

    Our dept uses a siren at our Station 1 . The one at Station 2 has been disconnected for a while. It does not seem to bother the people of the town when at 2 in the morning the whistle is blowing, wether it be for a med, fire, or mva. We do also rely on pagers as our main source of dispatch

  18. #38
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    Default

    Following neighbor complaints, we added a controller to adjust the number of cycles the siren completes. More during the day, less at night. Seems to be working as we've not received too many complaints.

    I tend to agree with others that in this day and age of pagers, etc. there really is little need for the use of the siren other than to say it alerts the neighbors when we have a call. I would think the wail of the truck siren would likely do the same thing, but it's a losing battle with some of the old timers.

  19. #39
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    Allegheny Co., Pa.
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    Smile Siren Usage

    Our siren blasts for 60 seconds every time dispatch hits our tones for all calls and sometimes they may tone 3 or 4 times till we have enough manpower. Our siren broke a few years ago and we felt it was not worth repairing with having pagers, our nieghbors raised the money to have it repaired and now today it blows as much as needed all hours of the day or night.



    Be careful and stay safe
    Chief Of Station 21
    Bell Acres, Pa.

  20. #40
    SFDny15
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    Default

    Back before pagers, the initial alert at our firehouse was a horn that would blast certain codes for different alarms (similiar to a box system). In addition a siren located about a mile up the road is sounded for 2 rounds. Since we switched to pagers a good 15+ years ago, the horn at the firehouse now only is sounded once followed by the siren. We have never really had complaints over our siren, although we do take the noise into consideration;

    When we are dispatched to any call, the horn & siren are sounded. If it is a structure fire, it will get sounded again when we manually put the tones back in, and most likely again when are tones are put in for a confirmed structure. Also during the day when man power is low and we get a "real" call, we will most likely sound it again. Other than that, we try not to resound the tones at night. Usually we don't need to because we receive plenty of manpower.

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