Wake County fire stations silence sirens
Posted September 9, 2010
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.