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@Sirenman: We've invented a sound that can save somebody's life? So, it put's out an ultrasonic wave that can put out a fire, right? THAT'S why neet to relight my grill every time the siren sounds! It isn't the siren that may save my life, it is the firefighters that respond. If this siren is still needed to notify them of a fire, then the we need to invest in better technology.
As for the "if you don't like it, MOVE" stance towards things: People take the time to bring these issues up and comment on them because they care about the community. They truly want to make it better. So, you want the citizens who obviously care about their community to just give up and leave? We can live here, but we aren't allowed to improve the place, right?
I wonder how many good families have either decided not to move into Drexel Hill or to move out of Drexel Hill due to this siren going off at all hours of the day or night.
@Randall: I realize that a lot of local communities still use their sirens. If residents of those towns have a problem, those residents can do something about it. I don't live there and I don't have to sleep there. However, I do live in Drexel Hill - less than a mile from the Fire Department.
I am sure if you took a poll of residents who are within earshot of the siren asking if they wanted money invested in newer technology so we could stop using the siren, a large percentage of them would say yes.
I find Drexel Hill to be a lovely community. So, yes, this type of thing is a large concern of mine. The siren doesn't make "a little noise." It makes a lot of noise. Why disturb the entire community when there is a fire call? That's right, to make sure people are still praying. Nevermind.
@Lauren: The firehouse was there, and, yes, the siren was in use. I've said this before and I will say it again: Drexel Hill is a lovely community and I love living here. Yet, when I see a problem with the community, I like make an attempt to change it to make it even better than it was before.
@Whistler: The same thing happens when a firefighter doesn't wake up due to the siren going off. Any kind of technology has its flaws. You can't possibly tell me that the fire department has a perfect record of awakening every firefighter every time for every call. Mambi Pambi... really? Let's all start calling each other outdated homosexual references... yea, that'll show 'em.
@quiturbtchen: I said this in the original post and I will say it again - there is no reason to awaken the entire neighborhood because one person's house MIGHT be on fire. There are obviously dependable alternatives, considering the number of fire companies that don't use horns/sirens anymore. I am not coming down on the firefighters. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I respect them and what they do and I do not take them for granted. If my house was on fire, there would be nothing more that I would like to see but a firetruck pull up. Don't try to make it sound like I am against the firefighters or the fire department. I respect them a lot. It is the antiquated siren that I have a problem with.
Most communities use their horn to indicate that a local emergency of epic proportions (tornado, earthquake, hurricane, terrorists shooting up the neighborhood) that requires residents to take cover or evacuate is happening. This is why the horn should not be removed.
However, blasting it everytime someone's house catch fire completely makes it useless. Its the boy who cried wolf. If you hear the horn your not going to evaculate or take cover because you hear it every day. I don't understand why the need to blast it all the time. Firefighter have cell phones and cell phones are far more likely to get the fire fighters attention than the horn. If cell service is out, use the horn, but that is unlikely during a normal service call. This is 2010. Technology has advanced. Lets make our community safer and nicer by limiting the horn to true emergencies like those in the first paragraph. Until that happens, I'll be donating my money to the fire companies who have figured this out.
Lets try and answer your questions and comments as best as possible. The Garrettford-Drexel Hill Volunteer Fire Company in Drexel Hill currently uses 2 different house sirens. If you are a resident of Drexel Hill you probably have noticed this. Our house sirens are used for a few different reasons most importantly to notify volunteer firefighters of an emergency situation that is calling for there help. Yes of course we do use pagers and for many of the members but in many instances not all of our members are supplied with pagers since they are very expensive and we are not supported by Upper Darby Township for that type of equipment. Also as many of us are married with children, those of us who have pagers sometimes are misplaced by children, forgotten by the Volunteer Firefighter, slept through the paging system and so on. Many times volunteers are in the back yard with there families enjoying a nice weekend or weekday and may not have put there pager on the belt or may not have a scanner out side of there house not to hear the fire call. At that point they are notified by the sound of 1 of 2 house sirens depending on the type of emergency to which siren is blown.
The small house siren blows 3 times which is used for car, brush, leaves fires, ect. This particular siren is able to be adjusted for the amount of times blown.
The large house siren is used to notify Volunteer Fire Fighters of a house fire, Fire alarm notification, Vehicle rescue, natural gas in the house and so on. The equipment that times the number of cycles the large house siren blows is very old and is not adjustable. With estimated cost of over $5,000.00 to replace the timer we can not justify the cost. We have tried getting the community to help us with this and has been effortless.
Imagine, you wake up at 3:00 AM to the sound of a smoke detector and the smell of smoke in your home. When you opened your bedroom door there is tremendous heat and smoke that hits you in the face. All you can do is get to the children’s bedroom and escape to a roof in the back of the house and await the fire company to rescue you. While waiting, you hear the house siren starting to blow and then hear the truck starting to come. I am sure this would be a great relief to know that volunteers were coming to save you and your families lives..... This did happen in 1995 and the father of that family thanked us for many reasons but one thanks in particular was for using the house siren that brought such relief to him knowing that his community fire station was notified about his house that was on fire. Hopefully one day we can replace our equipment and not disturb or neighbors, just the volunteers and there families would be disturbed.
I hope this gave you some insight into your questions, complaints and concerns.
I have been a Volunteer for 30 years, married with 3 children. We don't enjoy waking anyone up especially my own family, but some times we are all inconvenienced for the sake of others. If you would like to discuss this further your welcome to contact our station and we will help answer answer any other questions that you might have.
You are also welcome to come join our profession if you may want to help your community when in need.
Upper Darby Noise Ordinance
When is the noise violation in effect?
Before 7 AM and after 10PM the noise violations will be enforced. This includes barking dogs, construction work, trash removal, or any other type of “loud” noise that is disturbing to the public.
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Drew - You are right, I am not in the fire service, nor do I need to be in order to figure this out because that argument is absurd.
First off, I highly doubt that many firefighters are getting run over these days, but let's humor you and pretend they are. How is a siren supposed to increase a driver's visibility? Look both ways before walking into the street. It's worked for me so far.
I also have a problem believing that the apparatus is being crashed into that often. Again, I will humor you. Being in the fire service, you should know this fun fact: Firetrucks have strobe lights on them. These strobe lights are bright. If you flip the right switch, THE ENTIRE TRUCK WILL FLASH!!! Turn them on as you leave the station. If someone crashes into a flashing truck, I don't have much hope that a siren mounted atop the adjoining building could have prevented it.
Ok jeff no need to be disrespectful or sarcastic. I am only making an argument from a firefighters standpoint respectfully.I am only speaking from my experiences and you hit the nail on the head. Fire trucks are painted for visibility and have many warning lights, unfortunately drivers these days are too preoccupied and do not pay attention. your guess is as good as mine to why people fail to see the apparatus. Will a loud warning siren do any better ? It may or it may not but it is sure worth a try to try to keep these guys safe. What they do is hard enough.
And FYI you should know that the garrettford fire house has its parking lot across the street so the firefighters have no choice but to cross. The audible warning if anything will at least catch peoples attention enough to slow down when they see the firemen crossing. And like i said before i do understand it gets annoying... but i do notice a difference in the drivers when the siren is on vs. off
JJ - If it were the year 1970 and no other technology was available, I would tolerate it without batting an eyelash because I am a reasonable person and I would realize that there was no proper replacement for the siren.
That being said, it is not 1970. It is 2011 and the technology is available.
You refer to the 5 minutes of sleep that somebody might lose. This is true, it might only be five minutes of sleep. Even if losing 5 minutes of sleep every night were acceptable, what about the the good, hard working people in this community who have trouble getting back to bed after they are disturbed? Perhaps they have a child to attend to. Maybe they have a pet with sensitive ears that they need to calm down. Perhaps they have a sleep disorder. Now, it isn't just 5 minutes of sleep... it is an hour or, in some cases, the rest of the night that the lose. Looking at it in that light, it seems to be more harassment than tradition. A fireworks show on the 4th of July is tradition. Awakening the entire neighborhood every time there is a fire call is, quite simply, an inessential annoyance.
Drew - There was no disrespect meant by that response. Yet, the sarcasm came naturally as a result of the ridiculousness of the notion that a siren would stop a person from crashing into a large flashing object.
I am being dead serious here when I say that I don't understand what is so hard about looking both ways before you cross the street. I realize, they are in a rush, but it doesn't take much time to accomplish this. I still don't believe that this is a problem not resolved by the firefighters being more careful as they cross the street, but if this is a serious problem, I am certain there are alternatives to the siren. It is no reason to disturb people that are miles away from the fire station.
I would put my money on the fact that just about every firefighter at that station believes that the house siren is a tradition. You do not see it the same way Jeff simply because you are not involved with the fire department. Yes 4th of july is an American tradition not to mention a holiday which is why you can relate to it, but to many firefighters, the house siren is just as much a tradition and they take pride in it. The house sirens have been in service since most companies were organized. Especially for some of the older veterans of the department. Im sure they would hate to see it go.
They are volunteer. You ask them to protect your community for free which all of them do willingly. The least the community could do is let them keep the siren ( maybe limit it as stated below)if they want it. And i don't care what anyone says. If firefighters are posting saying that they want it and it is useful for safety or to help get the volunteers responding to the call quicker in addition to the paging system. I would say that the siren is quite far from inessential.
Drew - I respect your answer and your point of view there, but I still do not see how the additional element of a siren helps a driver who is, as you stated, oblivious enough to justify taking their license away. Then again, if that is the conclusion you've come to from your experience, you are entitled to that opinion.
I would love to see the fire department step up to the plate and cease sounding the siren from 10pm to 7am, as it would be a great first step in resolving this problem. Just as an added point, the fire department is not on a busy street. So, the traffic difference between night and day is minimal. If it isn't needed at night, I don't understand why it is needed during the day when visibility is higher.
JJ - I would not take that bet, because I agree with you on the fact that just about every firefighter at that station believes the house siren is tradition. In fact, I think you hit the nail directly on the head when you used the word pride. Pride and nostalgia is a really bad reason to hinder the quality of life in a community. If it is a mere issue of pride, then I am free to equate it to a person putting an airhorn on their roof and sounding it every time the Flyers score a goal. When the community tells him to shut it off because it is a disturbance, his arguement that "I take pride in the team and want the community to know it" doesn't hold much water, does it?
JJ - That comparison was in response to you saying that they should be allowed to keep the siren for no other reason but tradition. So, in that case, it isn't a different ball game. What's the difference between the fire house awakening the entire community for what they consider a tradition or a resident awakening the entire community for what he considers a tradition?
The "they can do it just because they want to" argument doesn't hold up.
whoops... little typo in there...
here's what I meant
... So I doubt I'll be given the opportunity to vote against having my kids woken up every night, within my lifetime.
Just read this entire thread and want to cast my (ineffective) vote for silencing the siren! I studied the point-counterpoints, and can't see any realistic purpose to continuing this racket. Save the siren for true area-wide emergencies (tornado warnings, etc.).
That said, I truly appreciate and support what our firefighters do, but I don't need to be reminded several times a day of their great public service. If it's all about 'tradition', might I posit that many of our country's old traditions are today considered inappropriate if not downright illegal.
I've recently received my fund raising letter, I wish I could direct my donation towards silencing the siren, whether it be supplying firefighters with cell phones (you can get $10 phones and $100/yr service from TracFone), a timer, switch, or volume control, whatever technology would help.
It's embarrassing when I have guests and we have to stop talking outside for the duration of the blast; I have to think it cheapens the neighborhood when a prospective homebuyer hears the siren. I guess I'm oversensitive, but the whiny nature of the sound is especially irritating, but I suppose that's the way they are designed, to get attention.
A few comments on what 'Guest' of 06/09 said -- Point 1, if you've never been awakened by the siren, then what good is it to actual firefighters who might be sleeping? Or doing something noisy or in a quiet part of their house?
Point 2, if the whine is comforting to you, that's nice, but wouldn't it be better to get a scanner radio so you could keep track of the fire calls? Also, how do you know it is working if you hear nothing?
Point 3, about tornadoes, etc., that is exactly the feeling of many commentators in this forum, a community siren WOULD be useful to warn of an area-wide emergency, as it stands right now it is NOT designed for that sort of thing (at least that I know of, and if it is, how would you differentiate that from the many sirens that occur each day?).
Interesting that at times I've seen fire trucks racing down my street and the siren was still blaring. In one respect that's comforting to see that our department was responding so quickly, but if the call is already dispatched, couldn't the siren be turned off at that time?
In response of what "Prof Quill" said 11 hours ago. I know that no matter what I write in response to your comments, you will find a way to pick it apart and turn it around so that it will make you look intelligent. So, here it is. Pick it to pieces. Make yourself feel big. Have a great day.
#1. The firefighters have the equipment to be alerted when they are needed. I don't need it since:
A- my trust is in God to wake me up if I need to be awaken and B-I trust the fire department to respond since that is their chosen profession.
#2 I do have a scanner and I think it would be morbid to listen to it for the sole purpose of hearing a fire/police/ambulance call.
#3 Tornado vs. other calls? That is where a designated # of sounds comes in. One = fire. Two = ambulance. Three = police. I've tried to keep this simple but I'm sure you can pick it apart. Go for it.
I DO know the system is working since I was told the call was for testing purposes. It's not relevant who told me.
Turn off the siren? Hmmm, let's see: In an area where there are curves and mountains if the siren was not on how could you possibly know they were behind you and that you needed to move? How would you know there was a fire truck/ambulance/police coming so you wouldn't pull out on the road?
On the Interstate though where it is relatively straight road you could see the lights so the siren could be turned off. That way the people that is not in the habit of looking in their rear view mirror wouldn't have to worry about that noisy siren or what is behind them. The call has already been dispatched and we should all have a scanner to get the alert so why use the siren?
Now Prof. Quill, I have given you as many real and/or sarcastic answers as I can think of. Except for the part of my trusting God for my needs. Go ahead and pick and put your sarcastic replies. Hopefully you put your fund raising to good use.
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