By David Bizwurm
The purpose of the siren atop the old firehouse is to alert the Volunteer Fire Department members of an emergency. While we rely on other forms of communication such as pagers and cell phones, they have their shortcomings. Batteries die, members may not have their pager or cell phone with them, text messaging and smartphone apps could be delayed, with some calls not coming through at all. Unfortunately in our area
there is no cell service whatsoever, and there are many dead spots where radio pagers fail to receive a signal.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that there are at least 2 reliable means to alert firefighters. The siren gets the firefighters attention at any time. It says to everyone, somebody needs help! When people in town hear the siren, it tells them there is an emergency going on somewhere. And it helps with traffic. It warns citizens to be alert for volunteers responding to the firehouse and to watch out for trucks responding to an incident. When it’s your time of emergency, a siren reassures you that help is
on the way!
Like the distance to the closest fire hydrant, sirens also help with the cost of homeowner’s insurance, counting as points towards a better score on Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluation. The higher the score given the department, the lower the insurance costs to the homeowner. So instead of being annoyed when you hear the fire siren, do what one resident said she says when she hears the siren, ”I’m thankful that the emergency is not for me or at my home.” Or, if so inclined, have a good thought or prayer for the person(s) who need help as this may be the worst day of their life.~