Fire truck sirens are loud and frequent; they are extremely intrusive and make living in New Haven difficult. Other cities have found ways to decrease the use of sirens unless absolutely necessary. Can we do the same?
The modification NYC made is described in a WSJ article: "Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said... the FDNY is expanding... its "Modified Response" program, which forces firefighters to refrain from using sirens and lights and to respond at slower speeds and obey all traffic regulations on calls that are deemed non-life-threatening and do not involve fires. He said he expects the policy to be implemented citywide by the end of the summer. The program was initiated in Queens on Oct. 4 and has resulted in 32% fewer fire-truck accidents (52, compared with 77 in 2010) during the past six-month period, Mr. Cassano said. He called those results "better than we expected." The program has also resulted in cost savings related to fuel and wear and tear on vehicles, he said, as well as saving the city money related to insurance and lawsuits.
"We know it's a safe way to respond," he said. "It's safer and cost effective.'"