09/09/10 128 W, 1 I - + 8 - 3 Wake County Fire Stations Silence Sirens

Reports this WRAL story, all volunteer fire departments still using sirens at their stations have been asked to stop, as of September 2. The decision by county officials impacted Fairview (shown below), Rolesville, and Swift Creek fire departments. (And others?) The sirens have been deemed a nuisance to some, the story notes. Thus the decision to silence all stations. They'll be missed.

Though radios and pages may rule the modern day, there's nothing like the sound of a siren starting its cycle. Might scare the p@ss out of someone standing close. But just as quickly as you might get startled, you start getting excited. Hopefully they'll still blast their horn in Garner for the start of Fireman's Day parade next month.

this is sad. it sucks this has to end. Its a shame people have to complain about such things. Get a life. or better yet, get on I-95 and head back North!!
lee - 09/09/10 - 18:16

Yes Lee, all change around here results from people who came down I-95 from any place north of Raleigh. Except Santa Claus, of course. He doesn’t use the Interstate.
Legeros - 09/09/10 - 18:52

Yes, it does suck a tradition has to end. But let’s be serious about it for a second and think about if they really are needed with the level of communication and the number of stations who run duty crews. How often is there nobody at these three fire stations? I read the comments posted on WRAL’s website from, I assume, firefighters who are angry about the decision and calling others who are opposed to the sirens as “whiners”. Seems to me like the only whiners are the ones complaining about the sirens being turned off.
RescueRanger - 09/09/10 - 20:05

Heck, I once had neighbors that complained about the tones from my old Plectron! But that too gave way to progress and the belt-mounted, beep or vibrate pagers. And we don’t use horses to pull hose wagons any more, and there are no more pull boxes on public phone poles. Heck pretty soon there won’t be a need for phone poles – everything will be wireless.

CHIEF100 - 09/09/10 - 21:36

Though in Europe and Japan, they still pull (or use motorized) hose reels. That’s too logical for the American fire service. Wheel around big bulky hose? That’s crazy talk.
Legeros - 09/09/10 - 21:47

What is being used as the second form of notification per ISO? Fax?
stretch - 09/09/10 - 21:57

I hope they all set their sirens off every hour on the hour from 6am to 9pm September 1st to go out with a bang and give the complainers a real reason. :-)
2redline - 09/09/10 - 22:00

End of an era. Nothing like being at the old DHFD #1 and that big mammer-jammer Darley siren took off! Or being in Apex or Zebulon when those Federal 3T22 sirens went ff with that hi-lo fire signal. For those of you that are going to have withdrawals, just go to youtube and search “federal 3T22”.
DJ - 09/09/10 - 22:19

We just reactivated our siren about a year ago in Micro (Johnston Co). Goes off for every fire call for 30 sec., plus the saturday noon test.
Zack A - 09/10/10 - 14:40

Does anyone know if these units were put in originally by Civil Defense? Also, are the rip-n-run CAD faxes sufficient as a second form of notification of alarms? Lee, our big Federal Signal siren is still standing. About 50ft. in the air and all of the warning tones work. Fire,Attack,Nuclear Warning. It blows for one 3 minute cycle everytime the tones are dropped.
Chris (Email) - 09/10/10 - 19:18

The reactions to this are not uncommon, but many (if not most of them) are rooted in loss of tradition rather than loss of functionality. Every generation of alerting systems has provided more reliable and flexible notification. When I was in the Midwest, sirens were unhard of in our area. The districts were too big for them to be useful, but in other areas of the US the same dialogs are being heard.
RWECC - 09/10/10 - 20:35

Here’s a history of Civil Defense that I compiled some time back, http://legeros.com/essays/cd/

In Wake County, rural fire departments in the first decades (1950s to 1970s) utilized funding and resources from county, state, and maybe federal Civil Defense agencies. The radio system installed in the late 1950s was from CD. Numerous surplus vehicles came that way. etc.

The county office of CD beget the county office of emergency preparedness which I believe beget the fire marshal’s and emergency management offices.
Legeros - 09/10/10 - 22:49

Sad to see. The funny thing is that in Mecklenburg county, many of the volunteer departments have had their sirens restored and placed back in service after many years of silence. Most were done by this guy: http://www.youtube.com/user/idk6000
Jason (Web Site) - 11/21/10 - 13:42

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