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  1. #1
    Forum Member SANDSTROMJM's Avatar
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    Default Turn down volume on siren

    Why is this becoming more & more an issue?????
    BONES is this really as it is writen?


    Point residents: Turn down volume on siren song
    Posted by the Ocean County Observer on 06/22/06
    BY CHRIS LUNDY
    STAFF WRITER
    POINT PLEASANT ó Responding to residents' cries that the borough's three alarm sirens are too loud, the Borough Council authorized a $5,000 study to find ways of softening the sound.

    For years, some borough residents closest to the towers have complained about the noise that goes off for every call, and then for second or third calls on the same event. They are only on between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

    One siren is across from borough hall in Community Park, another is in the area of Route 88 and Hiawatha Lane and the third is near Fire Company No. 1.

    When the $75,000 system was purchased, it was advertised as "fully adjustable," Councilman Brian McAlindin said at Tuesday's meeting; however, even on the lowest levels, its decibel level exceeds state law and borough ordinance by 70 percent.

    The contractor has been called out to disconnect some speakers to reduce the problem, he said.

    McAlindin made a proposal, which was ultimately shot down, to equip first aiders and police patrols that are EMT certified with electronic pagers. The first call would go out over the pagers, then any additional calls would go out through the sirens.

    There have not been any complaints about response times so far, he said. In critical calls, police and MonOc Ambulance Services are dispatched, so there will be coverage.

    "I'm not optimistic it will provide any real relief," he said of the changes to the sirens. Besides, after a $5,000 study, there will be costs to implement the results.

    "How much money are we willing to throw at this problem?" he said.

    Studies will be done to determine the effect of raising the sirens and putting deflectors on the bottom so there is less of a chance the noise will be a nuisance to residents, Councilman Shaun O'Rourke said.

    A retired science teacher, O'Rourke said there are ways to mitigate the sound and improve quality of life.

    Volunteers shouldn't be chained to the pagers, he said. Additionally, every time the siren goes off, it's a reminder to residents how busy the first aid squads are.

    "You have to have compassion for the residents, but the bottom line is safety," said Councilwoman Lee Birdsall Sharpe, chair of the Public Safety Committee.

    The idea for the study came from a meeting with the committee and first aid members, she said.

    http://www.ocobserver.com/apps/pbcs....606220330/1002
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  2. #2
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    "chained to the pagers" ??
    Oh, yes, it is a real problem to know when a call comes in.
    What planet are these people from?

    We dumped the siren years ago, too easy to miss a call because you were inside with the air on.

  3. #3
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    We have a house RIGHT next to our fire station and they complain all the time about us winding up the Q while turning out of the parking lot at night. It's really a no win situation on both sides, and thats how I view this situation you just descirbed.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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  4. #4
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    This has been touched on before somewhere in the forums.

    Many places have both the sirens and pagers. The town that I live in (not where I am an explorer) has both. They sound the siren for tornado warnings, saturday 12 o clock test, and for any sort of fire run. The pagers obviously go off for any run (fire or ems) but I dont know of any citizens who are totally against the sirens. In fact I know a guy who lives right next door and he likes it, cause if he's about to leave to go somewhere, he'll stay put so as to not get in the way of responding vollies or responding apparatus. Also, if you are outside or away from your pager and you hear the siren off, many guys just respond that way.
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  5. #5
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Hey Bones

    We got a bloody great WW2 Air Raid Siren on our 40 foot tower (standard for NZFS Voli stations). On a clear night we can hear the neighbours go off about 10 to 15 seconds before the "BEAST" "rattles its dags" (sheep humour), on a mutual call.

    Funny thing down here, the "LOL" crew (Kiwi speak for Little Old Lady) take pride in saying how they watch the truck leave and always make a cup of tea and wait for the lads to return.

    Now I know this is a dying thing in a many places, even in Kiwi land, but it is nice coming back at 3.30 am and seeing LOL's at the window in their dressing gowns waving you back home.

    We even have a hand cranked version "left over from WW2 that they used to use when the power was out before pagers. That bugger HURTS if you forget to put the ear muffs on first.
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber Shoreman22's Avatar
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    We've been going through hell on this as well. Replaced both the old wind-ups with electronic sirens. Not as loud, but the residents still aren't happy. New mayor's coming in this year - it should be interesting to see what happens...
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  7. #7
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    You know what..........after further review, I say that you take down the siren...............
































    And replace it with one of these at ground level...................http://www.victorysiren.com/x/main.htm

    Here's a pic.......
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  8. #8
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    I really don't see the point of having a siren. If you are seriously worried that your town doesn't realize that you run calls then put it in the local newspaper, or post it at the town hall monthly of how many calls you are running. Or for the technosavy build a website. Pagers are the thing to go to, because you can, usually, always hear them and they are a lot less public and give you better information.
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    Been hella busy and haven't posted...anyway...we don't have a siren such as everyone is talking about here in our little town. But, we have had a few of the more well to do communities complain if we go through withour siren's on any of are apparatus going as it says it wakes them up. *sigh* We are a volunteer organization, it isn't as if THEY are getting their lazy arse up in the middle of the night, not responding to any and all calls, and not having to put out fires in the middle of the day when it is 98 degrees out.

    As for the pagers, we each have one. They are great if you need that information, however, we can't totally rely on them 100% of the time. There have been times when it didn't pick the call up, when it came through garbled, or we get the pager, hauling freight to the station and are put back in service.

    No easy way to please the public 100% of the time. They want a service but they don't want to know when you do it.

  10. #10
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    Why is this becoming more & more an issue?????

    Because they look at their cell phones, then try to figure out what planet the EMTs claiming they need the big mahonking sirens still are from.

    What was interesting in the article is it doesn't sound like these are fire department sirens -- it kept mentioning "first aid squad."

    The Boro has a population of 18,000 in 3-1/2 square miles...

    So sounding the siren only between 8am and 8pm for EMS calls is what,

    1,000 times a year?

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Having come from a place that was serviced by both an out door siren AND pagers, I found that having both was very useful. Point being most times while working in the yard, with the lawnmower etc, you just can not hear the pager when it goes. But there is no mistaking that damn siren LOL

    Also, we occasionally had dispatch problems where the tones didnt "drop", but the siren wailed off. Or sometimes the other way around too. Point is, having the siren, in Malahat's area is a good thing. Add to that the kids in the neighbourhood are taught from the moment they can walk that when they hear that thing go off, GET OFF THE ROAD. And they do. They like to line up and watch us go, but they stay off the road.

    Ian, thats a wonderful bit of trivia about the LOL's eheheehe. Talk about Old World Charm eh? I think its great they do that for your guys.

    No easy way to please the public 100% of the time. They want a service but they don't want to know when you do it.
    Well said and sadly true.
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  12. #12
    Forum Member FrFtr28's Avatar
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    Some people hate when the siren goes off, then there are some who like it. A wise man once said, "you can please some people some of the time, but you can't please all of them all of the time."

    We just shelled out $500 for a device that will keep the siren from going off in the middle of the night because a neighbor complained about the loud noise. Are we going to send him a bill? Probably not, maybe just a letter stating what we did.
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  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Ok, speaking as an "outsider" since I am from Pt. Pleasant Beach, not Pt. Pleasant (even though we are bordering towns).

    The current siren issue with Pt. Pleasant has been going on for about 8 years that I can recall. Prior to that time, an old air horn and electronic "crank" siren were in use. Same as in my town. Everyone liked the air horns as it was not an obnoxious noise, but travelled well. Problem was they became maintenance nightmares. The crank sirens had their maint issues as well, mostly birds camping out in the "horn" and jamming it when they failed to exit and it started. A messy thing to fix that I do not miss at all. A decision was made at that time to replace the horn/siren with electronic versions. 4 poles were setup with rotating speakers. Trust me, when these went off, EVERYONE for miles knew. The rotation was stopped and things were better. Years of happiness for everyone then followed.

    Then, new residents moved into the area. No one ever paid attention to the facts that 1) there is firehouse a block away 2) there is a first aid building next to it 3) there is a pole with this big speaker down the street. You know the type, they move next to an airport and then complain the planes make too much noise.

    Public went to Council meetings and complained. FD (which has been involved but has made concessions and not sounded like whiners) lowered the volume and lowered the number of times the siren would sound along with restricting times on it. People were happy again.

    Couple years later, public goes to Council to complain about the siren again. Decibles are lowered as far as they supposedly can go (I'm not a siren geek so I have to take their word on that). People still complain. Do note, of the 18,000 people Dal mentions, this is a group of about 30. Couple different proposals have been put out there, including putting more sirens at even lower decibels. (Much like what Shoreman22 is going through).

    1) When the FA siren sounds, it sounds the Westminster Abbey chimes sound so it is far from an obnoxious scary air-raid sound.

    2) The time for which the siren sounds is less than 15 seconds.

    3) FA receives approx. 1700 calls per year. Unfortunately, due to low manpower, they will have 2nd and on occaision 3rd requests. Siren sounds each time so that increases number of times it's sounded.

    4) Pagers in the area are about %80 reliable. We have the same problem and are only 1.5 sq miles. It really sucks that you can't count on the electronics. Our dispatching desk is setup that when the dispatcher sends a call, a light shows that indicates the pagers were actually activated. It's hooked up to a pager in another part of the building. That's our "technical" workaround to knowing the pagers activated. The dispatcher can hear the horns/siren also.

    5) Council members got involved. They are first and foremost, politicians. They will spend money (that is not their's but the towns) to study anything because none of them want to be the good/bad guy and make a stand. Shoreman22 is stuck in the same boat and will be going through the same headaches.....lucky you Neil!

    6) My town is a very similar setup, but smaller and less year round pop. We know, because we have gone out and talked with people about it, the majority of our residents near our siren understand it's use and do not mind it.

    Stay tuned, this will continue for a while in the papers. You can always research stories on this in the Asbury Park Press (www.app.com), the Ocean Star (www.theoceanstar.com) and the Ocean County Observer.
    "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?

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    It says they only use the siren from 8am - 8pm . what do they use from 8pm - 8 am? can't they just use that for the 24 hours a day instead of only the 12? apparently it works well enough for them to use it from 8pm - 8am.

    and whats the problem with trying to please the people that pay for your services and equipment? i understand you'll never be able to please them all, but atleast if an effort is made to try to please some of them, it makes a valid argument later in life if anybody ever attacks the fire department. who knows, maybe that one person will be the loudest voice in trying to save the FD.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default Reading is a lost art.

    and whats the problem with trying to please the people that pay for your services and equipment? i understand you'll never be able to please them all, but atleast if an effort is made to try to please some of them
    Do note, of the 18,000 people Dal mentions, this is a group of about 30.
    WaffleHut, 17,970 people don't complain, 30 do. Sounds to me like they ARE pleasing the majority of their tax payers.
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  16. #16
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    Default What's the point

    Our siren caught decades ago and we decided not to bother replacing it. We were the first volunteer company in the county to go exclusively to pagers. Nobody seemed to miss it, not the firefighters, and certainly not the station neighbors.

  17. #17
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    I agree it is time for pagers for this community. The siren is no longer needed. However, for those who get the complaints about winding the Q at night as you exit the staion, Maybe wait until you pass the house to start up the siren(only of course if there is not an immediate traffic concern) We were having our front ramps redone and had to run out the back for a while. We have houses right behind us and we just waited until we got around to the main road until we started the sirens.

  18. #18
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    I guess im fortunate in that out community as best we know welcomes the siren. We went without it for almost 2 years while our station was being built, after we were forced to tear down our previous station due to a building collapse in feb of 03... WE did fine with out the siren during that period, but whem it came time to decide if we would put siren back up we had really no choice, the community was asking for it, many like to know when there is a alarm so they can run to there scanners, plus we still sound ours at noon everyday and people for some reason rely on it to know when to eat lunch. Really we have had no complaints with the siren.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    I always love how some guys come into threads like these to say "it's time for them to get rid of the sirens/horns" or "they need to go to pager dispatch only". Unless you're intimately familiar with the communities in question and any possible radio dead spots they may have, you really shouldn't make silly comments like that. No one is telling you how to run your dept, so don't tell them how to run theirs.

    Our dept has had issues here and there throughout the years with a VERY small minority of people inquiring or complaining about our sirens. All in all, considering how huge our district is and how densely populated the areas around the firehouse are, it amounts to nothing more than a drop in the ocean. We're not unsympathetic to them, but we also have plenty of members that are constantly reporting that they "heard the siren but never got the page". As always, what is right and works for one community might not for another.

  20. #20
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    Can anyone here answer what a "first aider" is? LOL....
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