Funkstown resident wants siren removed from Town Hall

Volunteer Fire Co. President Dale Hill: 'We're not going to turn the siren off'

March 16, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |

Funkstown resident Greg Sullivan told Funkstown's mayor and Town Council Monday night the town no longer needed the siren atop Town Hall to alert firefighters because they can be notified by electronic devices such as pagers.

Sullivan has three properties in downtown Funkstown, including his home next door to Town Hall, he said after a council meeting.

Sullivan said he's been unsuccessful in getting the fire company to stop using the siren, which he described as being at an unhealthy decibel level.

"I'm trying to appeal to you because I believe you have the power," Sullivan said. "That siren doesn't have to be atop the building."

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. told Sullivan he understood his situation, and the council would discuss the issue with fire company officials.

"We're not going to turn the siren off," said Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. President Dale Hill at the fire hall after Monday night's meeting.

While firefighters can be notified of calls through pagers or cell phones, they might not hear them when outside doing yard work such as mowing, Hill said.

The siren also serves as a backup for when the local communications system goes down, Hill said.

Glenn Fishack, president of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, said the siren also can be used to notify citizens of emergencies such as hurricanes.

The siren atop Town Hall and a smaller one behind the fire hall are operated from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hill said. They used to go through four cycles, but now only go through one cycle when activated.

In a cycle, the siren gears up to a high pitch and then the sound decreases.

The sirens are activated for fire and personal injury calls, but not when the fire company is called to assist an ambulance company with a medical call, Hill said.

Last year the sirens were activated about 650 times, Hill said.

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