Unwelcome Alarm

Aug 22, 2018

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to a letter by Carolyn Goeckel supporting the emergency siren (“Sounding the Alert,” 7/25).

She mentions the siren provides a heightened awareness for the public to be aware of an emergency and the volunteers who are attending the call. This is a valid point and may be helpful during the day and evening, but I’m not sure this explains the reasoning between midnight and 6 a.m. when an alarm is truly unwelcome.

She also mentions that the siren shows support for the dedicated firefighters volunteering in the community, and is a way of showing appreciation. If this is the case, maybe the siren should be blown every time a resident fights with our armed services or a parent volunteers at a school. Sirens could also be blown to show support for volunteers at historical museums or nature preserves, or for coaches and referees at youth sports. Isn’t it only fair to show support in this very loud way to everyone who volunteers for the community?

Her letter ends telling us that upon hearing a siren in the middle of the night, we should reflect on the volunteers and then roll over and return to a sound sleep. I’m glad Ms. Goekel is a sound sleeper, but I wonder if she understands others are not. As she may easily be able go back to sleep at 4 a.m., others are now unhappily up for the rest of the night.

Maybe she is also not aware of how miserable it can be to put crying babies to sleep only to have them woken up by a siren at 2 a.m. and then up for the night.

Please don’t forget Long Beach Island is in the tourism business. If loud sirens keep visiting families from having a decent night’s sleep for several days, a vacation could be ruined. People choose to come to LBI and they could easily choose another destination next year. Thanks for considering removing this extremely challenging noise.

Bill Orleans

South Burlington, Vt.


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