July 16, 2010 Brunswick 1

It’s after 9PM here and I just had Co.5, Co 19 go by my house with a parade in tow loudly hitting their sirens and air horns as they went by.  I staunchly defended BOTH of you for your sirens a bit back and you folks pull this?  Luckily this suddenly, intrusive, and radical change in the local noise profile didn’t wake up my baby.  I AM however going to be publishing this to my blog, sending a copy to both the presidents of Company 5 and 19 as well as City Hall.  Please folks as much as i appreciate your service and I do still support the house sirens this type of activity so late at night has no place at all at this time of night.  do it before say 7PM or don’t do it at all.  This was a bad decision by all involved.

*UPDATE*  I jsut got an e-mail response from one of the Brunswick City Council members.  I quote:

This was a celebration by the railroaders winning a tournament.
It doesn’t justify it, just letting you know the reason.

Great news.. just not at 9pm at night..:)


Same said council person seems to think I DON’T like the house sirens..well that can’t be farther from the truth.  Here’s a letter to the editor i placed to the Brunswick Citizen that was subsequently published:

I have grown weary of the complaints about the sirens for the Fire Company and the Ambulance Company.  It’s time to address them.

1.  There’s no sure fire way to direct sound waves in one direction.  However the sirens are omni-directional which means they radiate equally in all directions.  The hill behind Brunswick across the river makes some of this energy bounce back.  However to say the sirens are “aimed” at us down here isn’t true and frankly is insulting to the dedicated volunteers who staff our emergency services.

2.  The sirens aren’t controlled fomr the stations…they are controlled from Central alarm in fredcerick.  The only siren that goes on longer than normal is the fire house siren and that’s only when it gets stuck…which is rare.  When that happens i have personally watched folks come to the station and do whatever needed to be done.  Therefore the sirens aren’t in any way related to a train whistle.

3.  Yes technology is changing but the topology in Brunswick really makes it challenging.  I have personally seen fire, rescue, and police have reception issues in various areas of Brunswick.  This would make pagers unreliable.  Also I’m sure they are willing to take up a collection for this…are you willing to be one of the first in line to donate a significant amount towards this technological wonder?

4.  I live less than two blocks from both houses and frankly the noise isn’t excessive.  My 22 month old can sleep through the times when both go off at the same time.

5.  I understand with your proximity it can seem excessive…but considering the services they provide…the high level of service they provide, for the low cost to us they provide, i think the current system works well.  If we try to “improve” things it’s going to cost us more money both directly and indirectly and might cost us in terms of the ability of these fine folks to provide the level of service they do.  The ambulance company’s siren doesn’t go off at all after 8pm.  I don’t know if the fire company could support the same thing.  i leave that to the members of the fire company to decide.

6.  Finally I am not a member of either company.  if i am wrong about anything i invite correction.

Wiliam Warren

Also same said council person is apprently wanting to see the house sirens disappear as this person is “rooting” for the fire hall to move as fast as possible.  How then are the vounteers going to get notified of a call?  I say to this and others who are not understanding me..read the above about how i feel about the house sirens.  Also I don’t dislike all parades..nor all late-night ones.  Santa at 10pm is fine…i know it sounds contradictory.  I EXPECT this one in a rural area.  It’s a long standing tradition…having parades for local sports teams for victories past 9pm or heck even past 8pm?  Not something I have routinely experienced.  If it’s going to become routine..how about letting the folks along W. Potomac know about this?  We can then go along the street and see if folks mind it.  Many don’t mind the Santa ONCE a YEAR late night.  Many might mind this becoming a regular occurrence for any reason though.

Let me reiterate I fully support the house sirens as noted above….these late night parades(Santa not withstanding) really don’t need to be occurring this late.