-6 votes

Fire company sirens

I noticed this a few years ago and never really seeked out any information on it. Fire houses used to have a loud siren that would go off before they would leave the fire house. All of them in my area did it up until about a decade ago (my best guess). Why did they stop doing this? Was it the penetration of the mobile technology, people being complaining about disrupted by it or just getting people's minds trained to not having any alert systems for bad things coming? I don't really buy the mobile penetration thing. Pagers have been out for decades. I also noticed that the trucks have been more obnoxious in their siren usage since this has happened. It will be midday and they will go down a small neighborhood street blaring the hell out of their sirens, honking their horns like assholes, and it's just deafening and annoying. I don't see the need for all of those sounds beyond just a regular siren. But then again in my area they aren't professionals, they are volunteers, and are usually dumb hicks.

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In the little town where I grew up

they stopped using the siren when all the firemen got pagers. You are right, they did not stop right away, it was several years later - after confidence in the pager system was established. The change was suppoed to reduce confusion, also. The fire siren was an undulating wail, the air raid siren (and tornado warning, in that town)was one long tone. Seriously, after 17 tornadoes hit the area in one day, I was glad to be rid of the noise. That first 20 seconds or so as the siren cranked up, not knowing if the pitch would drop down again... it was intense.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

bigmikedude's picture

My fire dept has no sirens.

It's about 100 ft long, and hanging on the garage wall.

The local fire dept's sirens and trucks are only for getting there to see how well you did.

All the firestations I have

All the firestations I have seen have signal lights instead of sounds. The lights turn red when they are about to leave. Its basically a specialized traffic light.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

SIREN seen on DP.

These days siren means "an implement used as a whistle, fog signal, or warning device", on ships & fire-engines.
It is not the bell-sound that awakens &/or alarms.

Siren, noun. 1.in Mythology, sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing. 2. a seductively beautiful or charming woman, especially one who beguiles men.

6.adjective, of or like a siren. 7. seductive or tempting, especially dangerously or harmfully.

Synonyms, 2. seductress, temptress, vamp -(to concoct or invent ugly rumors to discredit her enemies.... A miss-leader that distracts, opposite of Light-House.


The Reason Those "Dumb Hicks"

are blaring their horns and sirens is to alert drivers and pedestrians that a 56000 lbs fire truck is driving fast to an emergency. Its to prevent a child chasing a ball into the street from being run over.

Advice - don't move next to a fire house or deal with it.

Good reply

Also, maybe never move near any hicks too, evidently. geez

And Get Off My Lawn! Darn Kids!


Our fire alarm in town still goes off - but only for nastalgia

The fact is technology did replace it. The fire alarm was so the local volunteers would know to go to the firehouse - where they would then be notified of the emergency etc.

In our town we also used to have sirens all over town - not for fire - but in case of an emergency at Yankee Nuclear Power. All towns within a certain radious were equipped. The sirens were put in place to alert the town of a serious danger from the plant - at which time you were to jump into action on the pre-arranged evacuation plans - which were pretty much kiss your ass goodbye since on a normal day you cannot get out of the state on any major highway - LOL. The plant is now gone though - due to major safety violations it was shut down and dismantled.

As for honking and blaring like assholes. I think you may just be a little cranky. They are supposed to be loud - to warn you a big truck is speeding down your road - get out of the way.
And if you don't like volunteers - feel free to double your taxes and pay professionals with professional retirement plans and healthcare. I for one will stick with my volunteers.

I personally think it

I personally think it shouldn't be tax-funded, it should be funded by them putting out fires. They also make plenty of money from running fire company bars.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

Private Fire Companies and Insurance.

That's the solution.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

How about we consider taxes a pre-payment and if you don't

as in a voluntary tax, then if you don't want fire protection, then don't pay and when your house is burning down you can get your neighbors and buckets and pails and try to put the fire out yourself. /sarc

I can think of problems with this pay for your own fire bit or have the insurance company pay for the fire...how many more fires would be started for financial gain?

As far as firemen's bars, don't know what you are talking about. We have a volunteer fire department. They have a fish fry to raise money. But as far a I know...the firemen do not get any money. They do the job because they like the action and/or are service oriented and/or see the value in being a part of a caring group of individuals.


Pre-paying for some kind of

Pre-paying for some kind of protection is a mafioso tactic.

Why would people be setting fires for financial gain just because you would pay the fire company after the fact? People can already commit insurance fraud today.

The fire company bars aren't for firemen, they're just private bars for ordinary people.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

"Pre-paying for some kind of protection is a mafioso tactic."

I see what you mean...pay OR ELSE!!!

I personally have never had an issue paying or not paying fire department taxes. Really, I just didn't like the negative tone towards fireman that I seemed to hear from you.

I may have heard wrong. I think our fire department system is something that Americans have been proud of. I think the thing is, that if people have to pay after-the-fact it would be very difficult for some people. Some people have their complete lives destroyed, loose everything, and end up in the hole. I am thinking that the fire department system is a neighborhood of people chipping in together to help each other in the case of a fire. I help you when you need it and you help me when I need it. I don't know. Maybe that is socialism?


Home owner's insurance could

Home owner's insurance could cover such things, or they could be put on a payment plan. Any way, if their life was just destroyed, then I could assume that means their house burned down, and I would consider that the fire company didn't do their job good enough and they shouldn't be paid.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

My friend, Don't worry so much about Loud Sirens

My parent's house burned to the ground. My brother was found by the front door under what used to be the book case. The house burnt to the ground in the middle of the night. My father thought the dogs were running and barking thru the house because of the noise that woke him up. When he went out the kitchen patio sliding glass door, the handle was so hot it left is hand burned, which had to be treated. My sister who was about 12 at the time slept with her door shut so the fire/smoke did not get into her room. She was standing at the closed window afraid to open it when my dad got to the window. By the time he got her out the house was aglow and pulsing from the heat. He couldn't get my brother who had fallen asleep in the front room...we think, but he could have come from his bedroom, I don't know. My mom was with my grandparents as my grandmother was ill. If the volunteer fire department hadn't of shown up, their business next door would have been burned to the ground. As it was some of it did catch fire.

My parents lost everything including their son. My sister can still hear the sound of his screaming.

My father's brother had committed suicide 6 months earlier. My mother's mom had died 2 months earlier. Then the house and their son and then my dad's mom died 2 weeks later.

My parents were in a state of shock. We all were. Don't worry so much about sirens. Please. My parents didn't have insurance. They had to basically start over after being married 30 years. They ended up filing bankruptcy and my dad lost his business too. 3 years later he was killed in an auto accident.

I appreciate the fire department...whatever system...even though the ambulance people could not save him after his wreck. I was glad someone showed up to give a care. My husband's dad died 5 months after that, alone, and decomposed on his kitchen floor because no one knew to give a care until he didn't answer his phone on Christmas Day.


I'm so sorry for your loss..

I grew up in/live out in the "country" and we do hear the fire/rescue sirens.. To me the sound means there is help on the way to someone who needs it .. that someone happened to be me last January when I developed an emergency situation and was unable to risk driving myself to the er. No sound has ever been more beautiful.

I do have sympathy for the people who live next to them but unless it was added after they moved in it's a case of let the buyer beware.

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

Thank you for your kind words,

I was hoping to help ramicio see that perhaps tragedy awaits the arrival of the sirens, no so much to get sympathy. But your thoughtfulness is appreciated.

I am glad to know that your sirens reached you on time.

I can imagine living next to a fire house would be difficult. That is not the situation I preceived from the OP though, but I am glad you brought it up. I know I wouldn't enjoy living next door to sirens day in and day out.


Uhh, what does this have to

Uhh, what does this have to do with anything?

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

You said:

"Home owner's insurance could cover such things, or they could be put on a payment plan. Any way, if their life was just destroyed, then I could assume that means their house burned down, and I would consider that the fire company didn't do their job good enough and they shouldn't be paid."

I am telling you a real story from my life about people who have lost everything and a fire department that couldn't keep their house from burning down. I am also telling you LOUD SIRENs can mean that peoples lives are being destroyed. Don't worry about the sirens, use your energy to care for the people to whom the sirens are on their way. Those sirens are on the way to death in my personal experience on multiple occasions. An uncle that put a gun in his mouth while he was on the phone with his common law wife, a house fire which included the death of my brother and the complete loss of my family's belongings, and to my father who rear-ended a sand truck that pulled out in front of him

...I didn't hear a single one of those sirens, but they existed and someone did hear them. Perhaps it was you? Perhaps it was not. But when I hear sirens, I know that peoples lives are being turned up-side-down.

That is what my comment had to do with your comment about firemen not doing their job and not being paid if they can't put out a fire. Maybe your house might be next to the house on fire. Would you like them to try to do a job that is hopeless so that your house doesn't burn down too? Who should pay to keep your house from burning down? The person who has already lost everything in their own home? Or you? Or maybe the person next to you wants to pay while your house is being burned to the ground to keep his house from burning? Or maybe a tax to protect people from ravaging fires is something that is worth its weight in gold?

After all, maybe Nero fiddled while Rome burned and blamed a certain group of people?

Maybe someone else will pay more to keep the firemen from showing up at a fire...if the job is open to the highest bidder. Maybe someone would like the block of property your house sits on.



interesting that you should mention that

When I hear a fire/rescue siren I make a point of sending strength and courage out to whomever is in trouble. I encourage others to do the same.. I don't know if it helps but it can't hurt.

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists

I don't get what you are

I don't get what you are rambling about, but it seems purely emotional.

Why should someone get paid for a job not done? Who do EMTs charge if they lose a person on the way to the hospital? They do just fine surviving by charging people a fee. The fire company can stand on its own. They all run bars. Most of the are volunteer-based, so they don't need to pay anyone. The people have their own jobs.

This is just another instance where people have been conditioned to think that because some system is in place, they're completely safe. When seconds count, all of these people are minutes away. Maybe people should have their own hoses and fire hydrant keys. Maybe as part of some small course in school, kids could be taught how to use that crap and people from the neighborhood could simply band together and run fire hoses instead of waiting a while for a truck to show up. Maybe if a person was responsible for their fire starting a neighbor's house on fire, they would have more drive to put out their own fire.

Most sirens are false alarms. Many times a day the fire trucks come blaring by my house like assholes, and then 10 minutes later they come quietly driving back to their company.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

No emotion at al. That all happened 10 years ago.

Where are you going to get the fire hydrant and the school education to use the fire hose?

Should only those who frequent bars pay for those things? Is that not a "sin" tax? Maybe the sin tax should be added to cigarettes...since of course they do sometimes start those fires.

Fire hydrants are all over

Fire hydrants are all over the place. What is the point of your second question? The only education you need to fight a fire is to aim at the top because the water runs down and the fire goes up. To hold a big fire hose you just need man power.

What is the point of your second paragraph? How is that a sin tax? The profits from the bar would pay for equipment, fuel, and maintenance. Cigarettes don't start fires, people start fires. The only inanimate thing that causes fires is lightning.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

How did the fire hydrants get

How did the fire hydrants get all over the place?

There is more to fighting a fire than aiming at the top. Those guys go into buildings, that is why sometimes they are killed. I think that is where the term "blowback" comes from.

Anyways, you are right cigarettes don't start fires, people do. People with cigarettes start fires, so maybe people who light cigarettes should be charged for lighting them because one never knows when they will fall asleep in bed with a cigarette.

Maybe the lighters and matches should be taxed too, because they are normally the source used for lighting the fires.

My point is about the bars is that those people will be "taxed" for drinking. Thus, a "sin" tax.

I am not trying to pick a fight with you.

I just do not think you have a case against sirens. Why not get up, go to your local fire department and see how you can help. Maybe they need some intelligent people to help who will not blare sirens for false alarms.

Then I guess you would need to know how to determine whether an alarm is false before one gets to the scene.

No sirens until we KNOW there is a fire?


No taxes, period. How is a

No taxes, period.

How is a fire company bar a tax on drinking? You can drink cheaper there than at any bar open to the public.

I don't want to add anything to society, I just don't want my ears bombarded with ignorant sirens a few times a day for false alarms.

How does one determine a false alarm? Do you see smoke? Do you see fire? Easy. This crap happens during the day, multiple times, every day. They're ALWAYS going to some big busy shopping center. Now don't you think stores can disable the service that calls the fire company during operating hours? Do we really need the fire company to go to some office building because someone burned something in a toaster oven?

No even getting ready to go fight a fire until there is proof of a fire.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

Dude, the first thought to come to mind, is "you're crazy!"

Seconds make a difference in a fire. Literally.

A fireman's bar is a voluntary tax, just like buying a lottery ticket is a voluntary tax.

I'm crazy? Thanks.If

I'm crazy? Thanks.

If seconds count, then it should be in the hands of the people, not some goon force. Why doesn't anyone put fire suppression in their homes? It applies to cops, and it applies to everything else.

There is no such thing as a voluntary tax.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

I said that was the first thought in my head. I did not say you

were crazy. I wrote that to be funny. I am sorry to have offended you. But as far as that goes, I figure we are all a bit crazy in our own way.

Anyway, you are not going to convince me that all firemen and all policement are goons. And, I haven't heard a siren in my neighborhood for weeks. Maybe you should call city hall and complain if it is really a problem.

I would say for the most part, people appreciate firemen. You are the first person I have ever heard disparaging them.

We have volunteer firemen where I live. So our fire workers are The People. My brother-in-law is one in a town south of us. He is not a goon. He is a farmer, a father, a husband, an all around great guy to be around.

People are individuals. You may have 1 goon in your area that blares his siren. Why don't you find out who it is or who they are and then file a complaint.

When I call for the fire department, I want them to come immediately.

As far as a tax being voluntary, call it a voluntary fee if you like. Call it a voluntary payment if you like. We don't have to use the word tax.

I don't appreciate anything

I don't appreciate anything "the state" does because I don't ask for it. They just try to tell everyone what they need. I wish to be responsible for my own things. Taxes and these systems do not make society. If I was able to live my ideal life and pursue my happiness I would own land and my house on fire would pose no danger to another home.

When you call the fire department, I'm sure you're not calling for no reason. When a person calls directly, they should respond. Even so, if you sit there and don't act on your own and expect them to do all the work, that's not fair. Why don't homes have sprinklers or other fire suppression systems? It seems like it should be a worthwhile investment rather than relying on "fire breaks" that are made of fuel. Automatic alarm services of commercial buildings should be disabled during business hours, except when someone manually pulls an alarm.

Drinking at a fire company bar is not a tax. It's really just a way to get around state smoking laws.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

In a perfect world where your house is on your own land

and a fire would bother no one else and your house is a cardboard box, who would you like to enforce this rule:

"Why don't homes have sprinklers or other fire suppression systems?"

Houses do not have these systems because people don't ask for them. Why don't people have smoke detectors? They are alot less expensive than a sprinkler system and are effective.

So, I ask, Why doesn't every house have smoke detectors?