Fire Siren Will Return in Brookville Borough

brookville-fire-company-sirenBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — The fire siren will be back.

A few weeks after voting to silence them, Brookville Borough Council did an about-face and gave its blessing Tuesday night to allow the Brookville Volunteer Fire Company to begin the process to return the siren at the fire department to active service.

Brad Hice, president of the BVFC, talked at the meeting about a recent call to a vehicle accident near Crayon Castle on West Main Street.

“We left the station as usual with lights and sirens going and proceeded on to Main Street, and it seemed like the town came to a complete stop,” Hice said. “People looked at us like ‘What are they doing?’ They had no inkling we were coming from, where we were going or what we were doing.”

“We’d like to have the downtown siren turned back on, and we’d reduce to three cycles so the three cycles would be 30 to 45 seconds and may even be less than that. I can’t verify that until after we do it.

“We feel it’s a public safety issue,” Hice said. “The three cycles is enough time to give somebody a warning that we are coming.”

Many members of council said they had residents approach them recently about the siren being turned off.

Hice said the department will contact a company in State College to set up a time for it to come and set the siren up with a timer. It will remain off between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Hice wasn’t sure when the work would be done, but that he would make the call Wednesday to begin the process.

The Waterford Pike siren will remain silent.

The issue arose at a council meeting earlier this year when veterinarian Dr. Marin Boghean brought the matter up. Boghean has lived on Pine Street for 12 years near where one siren is located.

At the February 21 meeting, the vet said that “it gives a good loud sound. You know when there’s a fire or an accident.”

“But, in this day everyone has pagers and cell phones, so I’m not sure why we need this siren.”

“It’s really become noise pollution. When my son and little granddaughter came to visit recently, every time the siren went off late at night, we had to go to her to make sure she was okay, to reassure her everything was okay.”

Members of council, including council President John Blazosky and council member Ken King, then met with fire company officials who said they were fine with turning the sirens.

President Pro-Tem Bill Kutz was pleased with the decision at the time because he has heard from people who have had to deal with the siren going off at odd hours or while they are trying to get their children to bed.

“This is the 21st century, everyone has pagers or cell phones,” Kutz said.

“We always said this was not a permanent decision, and something that could revisit if we needed to,” Blazosky said.

Also, siren testing will remain once a month, on the first Monday of the month.

In other fire company business:

Assistant fire chief Mike Allgeier reported that the membership has voted to discontinue its Quick Response Service.

“The vast majority of calls we get are from Laurelbrooke Landing, and they are staffed with trained nurses,” Allgeier said. “We will continue to respond to cardiac arrest situations and to assist ambulance services if they need help loading patients.”

The fire company will not stop QRS immediately until they get more information from EMMCO East, which sets the standards for what the fire company can and can not respond to.

“Once we determine that, we will report back to council about our plans,” Allegeier said.

Allgeier also reported that the company returned the Community Emergency Response Team trailer to the county.

It was primarily used for major accident cleanups.

“One of the issues was when we had to take it somewhere, we were to be reimbursed, but that wasn’t happening,” Allgeier said. “Since it was bought with a grant from Northwest Regional Planning and Development, we might have to take it as far as McKean County.”

“We have the supplies for cleanups on two to three of our fire trucks and extra supplies in the station. We will buy our own supplies for cleaning up accident scenes,” Allgeier said. “Nothing really changes.”

Mayor Richard Beck also pointed out that the fire company has to store the trailer inside, maintain it, and there are also expenses.

“You have to buy the license for it, and you have to keep it insured. The county doesn’t pay for that,” Beck said.

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