1. #26
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    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 04:37 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?

  2. #27
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    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!

  3. #28
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    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?

  4. #29
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    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.

  5. #30
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    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?

  6. #31
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    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.

  7. #32
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    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???)

  8. #33
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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

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  9. #34
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    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 01:07 PM.

  10. #35
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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 07:06 AM.

  11. #36
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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.

  12. #37
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    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

  13. #38
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    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.

  14. #39
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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.



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  15. #40
    SFDny15
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    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.

  16. #41
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    We run our sirens no matter how much people like it or dont like it,then of course,we are located in a Rural/Urban Interface Community with rough terrain and we have to cover a distance of a 25 mile radius not to mention our radios arent the best in the world from down in gullies,washes and behind mountains so we use 3 sirens atop 3 different hillsides in 3 different locations plus the one above our firehouse.Due to the fact we are in a rural area with no utilities,its quite hard for us to deal with pagers and so forth.And anyone wondering how we run these sirens..they are operated by 120v inverters supplied by 12V batteries and solar panels.We also have a station button that activates all the sirens at once so the entire area is covered but anyways back to the subject at hand,we really dont care who or who does not like it,its like this...no sirens,no response.

  17. #42
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    We also use the siren and pager system. Recently, we went thru the battle of sounding the siren and won. People complained and were told that it was a warning device to warn motorist and others that the FD was called, watch out!

    We did make a few changes in our rules, from 10pm until 6am, we are activated by pager & 2 way alert. If it is something on the extreme minor side, a few of us upper people are just paged thru alpha pagers and call in.

  18. #43
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    I actually wish my department had sirens. As an explorer, we kind of get the reject pagers, of course. I live about 4 blocks away from my station. One day after school I heard on my pager "...Maple Grove Ladder 31 in service with a crew of 5..." Needless to say if we had a siren...or I had better pager, we could have had a full crew.

  19. #44
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    We have used a siren for the 22 yrs I have been on our department. We only blow it 8am - 9pm for all calls.
    Remember,

    If you don't respond.....who will

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  20. #45
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    Wink Sirens

    In my area (Virginia) we use pagers only no sirens.

  21. #46
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    I have been on my department for 14 years and we set off our siren for structure fires is cycles for 1 minute tornados its a steady wail for 3 minutes. They had quit setting it off for our Sunday meetings until the preachers in town complained because the Sunday attendance was down so we still set it off.

  22. #47
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    In Syracuse. We use both paging and sirens from 6am till 10pm. then paging only after that. We do have servel building that our on automatic alarm. Schools, hopspital and the old folks home.

    Kevin

  23. #48
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    Our department use's a siren, pager's and a fire phone if somebody dials the emergency number it rings at the members house and we know what is going on then with a hit of the button pager goes off siren goes off for about a minute no complant's. The siren has been used for 60 years. People have learned to live with it I supose.

  24. #49
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    Talking

    The Dept. that I was with for many years still uses a siren to notify the community of a call. Community? I will get to that. There are 2 different signals 1 for fire/MVA/ect. and 1 for EMS. As said by the Mayor a few years ago, the siren lets the people that live near the station know that the firefighters are going to be on the road. This gives the citizens the opportunity to protect themselves by not being on the roads at the same time.

    That may sound kind of bad, but in these modern times all most sirens do is upset the public. There are so many options of notifying personnel that the siren has become obsolite. Or has it? What if your paging system fails? How would you notify the firefighters then?

    In my oppinion it is a good thing to keep around, but so that it would lessen any complaints, save it for if your paging system fails. If you were to only use it in this situation then the public would be happy, and when the firefighters hear it they know that something is wrong. (unless you are testing it).

  25. #50
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    Canton Township Fire (Canton,Ohio) We only use our for tornado/civil warnings.... so when our residents hear it there is something wrong (other than weekly tests) we are dispatched for fire and ems through pagers.... i like the sound of the "big monsters" to bad we couldn't put them on our trucks!!!!

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