2009-08-13 / Letters to the Editor

Where did all the silence go?

First, let me thank the great men and women who volunteer at the fire department. Not only do they save lives, but by being a volunteer organization, they help all of us in keeping our taxes down.

Living across the street, I witness their dedication to education and training on Thursday evenings and that’s all wonderful.

The only that isn’t wonderful to me (and to many) is the volume of the horn. Sometimes, I see people grab their ears with the noon and six o’clock blast if walking nearby. The multiple blasts at all hours of the day and night actually make the photos on my walls move, dogs bark and babies cry.

I know there has been debate over the horn for years before I moved here. Some love the tradition of it, some say it’s strictly function. In either case, my concern stems from the level of the sound.

Before the horn went on sabbatical (under repair), the silence was wonderful. Still, I saw fire trucks leaving in a timely manner and fully manned. In a day and age of cell phones and pagers, why do we need the horn as often? OK, keep the tradition with a shorter, softer blast at noon, but drop the rest.

I bought a sound level meter from Radio Shack and I’ve been keeping a log on the level of sound. I’ve also begun some research on levels that cause hearing loss. Once I have completed my findings, I hope to submit them to the town for consideration. I’d hate to see a lawsuit from someone with hearing loss, or a heart attack be the final straw that stops the horn.

In the meantime, let it be known my dislike for the noise has nothing to do with my gratitude for the department.
Connie Slick

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