Unnecessary Noise

Aug 15, 2018

To the Editor: 

I agree with Linda Harper (“Blast From Past,” 8/8), who spoke out in favor of a silent alert system for our Surf City volunteer firemen and rescue workers. Ms. Harper mentioned the impact on sleeping children, the elderly, those with special needs and even our pets.

This topic always seems to generate a response to those questioning the alarm that they should appreciate the brave rescue teams for their efforts. Well, I do appreciate them and this isn’t a question. What I do question is the need to blare the alarm when there are alternative communication methods at work. 

I spoke with someone at the firehouse last summer to discuss the alarm and was told that multiple communication methods are already in use including text messaging and pagers. I was told that a reason for keeping the alarm is that this is a barrier island and is subject to power and cell phone outages. 

My question then would be why not use the alarm only when the other methods are not available. Surely, this is possible. How else would other towns have police and fire departments without a blast alarm? 

Currently, five blasts are rendered for every alert. Sometimes the alerts are only minutes apart. I can say for certain that if you hear the fourth and fifth, you’ve heard the first three. The alarm sounds every day at noon. Does anyone believe that this is an appreciated service to let us know its 12 p.m.? 

For those who feel strongly about continuing to use the alarm in the manner it is today, do you live within a few blocks of the siren? If not, please spend a couple of weeks at the Surf City Hotel and then let’s have a chat. I’m a Surf City homeowner and have found the siren to be the only negative in the town.   

Glenn Gardner

Surf City 


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