Local News

Wake County fire stations silence sirens

Posted September 9, 2010

— Sirens at rural volunteer fire stations are a tradition. In days gone by, they literally called the firefighters to the station.

But in recent years, as more homes were built near fire departments, the sirens became a nuisance to some.

Wake County resident Connie Dallas said the sirens wake up her grandchildren in the middle of the day. "You have a baby startled from their nap," she said.

As of Sept. 2, Wake County asked all volunteer fire departments to stop using the sirens.

County leaders said they silenced the sirens because neighbors complained and they simply weren't necessary anymore.

“Those fellows do an outstanding job, and we really appreciate everything they do, but with the modern technology of communication, I don't think we really need the siren anymore,” Wake County resident Dennis Smith said.

“When I first joined the fire department, anytime we had a call it blew. I live about 4 miles away and I could hear it blowing,” Fairview firefighter David Williams said.

Wake fire stations silence sirens Wake fire stations silence sirens

Firefighters like Williams said they are reluctant to see this part of their history go by the wayside.

There's been a siren at the Fairview Rural Fire Station since 1963. The switch to activate it is now locked.

“The times are changing – with more population moving in,” Williams said. “It's sad because it's a tradition that we've always had.”

The volunteer fire departments affected by the county's decision include Swift Creek, Fairview and Rolesville. All three stations said they will comply with the county's order.


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  • datalife Sep 10, 2010

    There needs to be some clarification to the story as reported by WRAL. The fire departments were not asked to turn off their sirens. They were forced to turn them off through a new county fire contract. Departments received letters from the county stating that if they did not turn their sirens off they would withhold the departments funding that is provided by a special fire tax that each citizen pays for fire protection in the unincorporated areas of the county.

  • Mugu Sep 10, 2010

    Connie needs to go back to Ohio and quit ruining our way of life... and why does she have custody of her grandchildren?

  • dixieboy Sep 10, 2010

    I'll bet ya'll would'nt mind the noise if were your house burnin'

  • Gen1 Sep 10, 2010

    Seems to me those that want it off want their cake and eat it too. You want the benefits of having lower insurance but you do not want the side effects to go with it. Leave the sirens alone and let them blow.

  • eghmessenger Sep 10, 2010

    As a volunteer firefighter, this is sad to see. Of course, the sirens aren't still necessary, but they do have value. I can tell of many instances when, for some reason or another, a firefighter didn't have or hear their pager and has responded because of hearing the siren. Volunteers to do this service are harder and harder to find and Wake County seems determined to flex its muscle at every chance to root out the traditions and the volunteers that go along with them.

    Firefighters are a curious bunch, but know this - whenever, wherever, or whoever - when you need our help, we'll be there.

  • mscaronm90 Sep 10, 2010

    For those who may question why the members of these departments voted to turn off the siren, but still believe in the tradition and usefulness of them....I give you this..... The county threatened to withhold your tax money that pays for your emergency services if it was not turned off...... How does that grab you??

    I am glad those "horrible sirens" finally got shut down or else what would happen when you call 911? Don't worry. We are still watching over your safety, day and night, wether you appreciate it or not. That's why we do what we do.

  • shortcake53 Sep 10, 2010

    I love hearing the sirens, even at night. It is reassuring to know people are available to help whenever it is needed. Thanks to all the firefighters who are ready to jump and run at a moments notice.

  • com_mon_sents Sep 9, 2010

    I think they should now block this ladies number from all 911 services...If you don't like anything related to protection of life, property and community, you just won't have any chances to use them. simple as that!

  • ncmedic201 Sep 9, 2010

    I don't understand why people are even bothered by them. They are still going to hear the sirens as the trucks leave the station so what's the difference?

  • NCTeacher Sep 9, 2010

    Oh my goodness- those poor babies startled from their naps will probably be scarred for life