Reader-submitted: Blaring Sirens at 5 in the Morning

opinionTo whom this may concern. First, I’d like to thank you for your services to the town. That being said, I’d like to know why exactly the fireman responding to a call at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning felt it necessary to blare his sirens?

I’m sure there was an emergency, but who exactly are you trying to move out of your way at 5 a.m.? I reside on a very quiet block that sees very little vehicular traffic during the week, and almost no traffic on the weekends. So why did you, mr. fireman, deem it necessary to blare your sirens, waking me and my neighbors up? Wouldn’t have just flashing lights helped to move along the ‘traffic’. I look forward to the one day a week when I don’t need to get up early to work, and getting disturbed by blaring sirens is very annoying.

I don’t know if the law requires you to use sirens at all hours of the day and night, but I have observed many emergency vehicles responding to calls at night with just lights on.

If it is not a requirement, please take this concern into consideration the next time you respond to a fire call.

Thank you.


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  1. I really think you need more sleep – if this is what you are complaining about you obviously have things going very good for you lately. I think you should take your extra time from waking up early and thank Hashem that this is what you are worrying about!!!

  2. Dear EM, please get a life! These emergency responders are there for us 24 – 7. If they need to ensure that they themselves do not get into an accident while rushing on their way to help us out, I would gladly lose some sleep. And yes, there are other drivers on the road on a Saturday at 5AM.

  3. Dear EM theres a famous story of a man who criticized a Hatzloha member every shabbos when his radio went off in shul”why are you on such a high volume”he used to say”I cant concentrate”one shabbos the radio went off and he got so mad he yelled at the guy till the “code1″came in again and he heard his own address. …chas vishaolm you should have no need for emergency vehicles by your house but please feel for the ones who are goin through the emergency trust me they amd the FD do not want to be up 5am either but let them do the hob how they feel is right….

  4. Dear em ,

    I agree with your point and I applaud you for attempting to take action .

    Do not get discouraged by some
    unsympathetic comments .
    While there are always those that will mitigate our quality of life complaints as unimportant, we really do not have to accept it. Of course there Are more serious problems out there, but that does not mean we have to resign ourselves to mindless abuses of our quality of life.

  5. Wow. How selfish can you get. Perhaps the fire department should have a Shabbos clock attached to their vehicles. Say, from 8:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. during the winter months and 10:30 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. every Saturday, the clock will ensure that the sirens won’t go off.
    Are yo so inane no to realize that even if you had ONE car on the road or intersection at whatever time that the safety measures of the siren are just as important?
    Has the selfishness of a few reached such low heights that they even THINK of posting such ridiculous comments? This is systematic of the society we live in: IT’S ALL ABOUT ME. ICH.

  6. Believe it or not some cars don’t move over for lights (or sirens for that matter), be it because they don’t notice or think the emergency vehicles will simply go around them, or just don’t care. As a fire fighter myself who sees the other side of the coin, I can assure you this is probably what occurred. Fire fighters don’t use sirens on their personal vehicles so you must be referring to the fire engine. None of my fellow fire fighters that I know would be that insensitive as to run sirens for no reason. Even at 5am, traffic can get in the way, all it takes is one vehicle driving where it shouldn’t. But be that as it may, let me ask you, how many times has a siren woken you up? Can’t you judge this one particular time favorably? Be thankful they weren’t coming to you. I’m certain you’d want them to do all they can to get to you as quick as possible.

  7. Please bear in mind. If someone is driving at an intersection on a small street at 5 AM they may not notice lights on a speeding megaton fire engine an eighth of a mile away around a bend. They turn onto the street and a speeding fire truck comes around the bend and hits them full force. There will be nothing left but pieces… besides a house that may burn down with people in it since the truck never made it and the road is now blocked. Irrelevant of your street setup, they need to respond fast and safely and consider any traffic setup irrelevant of the time of day.

  8. The point seems to be that if in middle of the night all that is needed in a given situation is for the emergency vehicle to flash his lights, then there is no need to wake up locals with blaring sounds.

    If, on the other hand, it is necessary, or if it may possibly be advantages in a given situation, then by all means wake up the town. But, if Mr. Fireman knows that in this particular case he can get where he need to go without clanging, then don’t clang at 5 in the morning (unless legally he must)

  9. Speaking of complaining of noise how about construction noise on Sunday mornings. That is my Sabbath and only morning I can get a few extra winks. What happened to rules no construction on Sunday? I like to sleep a little later before church

  10. I am a firefighter and I want to say that if they were coming to your house on an early morning request would you ask for them not to respond lights & sirens?? Because just because It is a Holy day for you doesn’t mean there are not cars and other traffic on the road. We don’t do it to “wake people up”, we do it to make sure that everyone knows we are coming and will either pull over or not jump out in front of us. We have families too and don’t like leaving them in the middle of the night or early morning. We can not predict when the tones drop or where we are going. We just Go..someone was needing our help. I am sorry you were woken up but that day was important for us because a business in this town was calling for HELP.
    Thank you in advance.

  11. How about the train on Thursday nights. He blows his horn all hours of the night. He not going to a life threatening situation unlike the fire dept.

  12. It all comes down to some courtesy and common sense .
    Of course when you are dealing a with a serious call and seconds count ,everyone expects and understands the ruckus .
    Unfortunately a large percentage of calls are not true emergencies (and many cases seconds do not count) but have to be responded to anyways.
    I believe EM is annoyed at those cases .
    While we understand that the overwhelming majority of emergency responders are dedicated and use common sense ,it is Ok for EM to speak out .

  13. Sam,
    you may be right after the fact, hind sight is 20/20, but we don’t know the full nature of the call until we get there. Even those ‘false’ alarm calls can turn out to be serious calls. We just don’t know, hence every call is treated as a true emergency. In this particular case, as it turns out, the call was for an actual structure fire. It seems EM wasn’t differentiating between true emergencies and false alarms, after all how could he/she know, is he/she listening to a scanner at 5am – on Shabbos (and one that doesn’t disturb his/her sleep)? No, EM seems more concerned about his/her sleep than whether or not the call was a true emergency, which it was in this case. Please don’t be so quick to judge.

  14. As an aside to the point of this article, has anybody noticed that since Lakewood got new firefighters the amount of emergencies involving fire trucks has increased? Suddenly wherever you go there are fire trucks racing to get to emergencies. I recall about three years ago the same thing happened with Lakewood EMS when joining them was the cool thing to do. Of course I doubt TLS will print this and if they do I’m sure a thousand and one people will talk about how I shouldn’t need them and all other sorts of smart comments but I’ve made my point.

  15. I’ve been up since 4:30am. The birds won’t stop chirping. I moved to this beautiful neighborhood in January and for the last few weeks this chirping will not stop. I contacted animal control and they refused to help me. What can I do?

  16. To “awake in the am” – was your post serious??? Birds start chirping at
    3:30 am EVERY morning in the spring. I for one love it! It says that the warm weather is here. After this winter they are probably happy too. Tell me you really didn’t call animal control, as if they don’t have enough problems in this town; how embarrassing. Try ear plugs.

  17. raintree resident – I believe “awake in the am” was being sarcastic to point out the ridiculousness of EM’s complaint.
    awake in the am – I chuckled 🙂

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