For firemen, bygone signal still impo...

For firemen, bygone signal still important - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 23 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Aug 4, 2010, titled For firemen, bygone signal still important - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

The Leominster Fire Department whistle will catch even the longest-term resident by surprise now and then, but most people are used to the sound, even if they don't know what it means, acting Chief Daniel Kirouac said Tuesday.

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Andy M

Raleigh, NC

#1 Aug 4, 2010
back in the 60's every kitchen had the sheet which listed the areas in town and the 3 digit whistle code that corresponded with that neighborhood. We'd sit and count the whistles and figure out where the fire was.
NO CELL PHONES NEEDED
south side resident

Leominster, MA

#2 Aug 4, 2010
So true Andy!! And the bigger fires it seemed like the horns would never stop.
Kathy

Cambridge, MA

#3 Aug 4, 2010
Legere Insurance in Leominster used to have a list of the fire box codes on the back of its calendar. I wish someone had a copy of the old codes. It would be interesting to see!

Also, a couple of weeks ago on the evening when we had tornado warnings, the whistle definitely went off to call another team in. It went off 9-3, 9-3.

I wonder if Fitchburg ever had a whistle system in the past. Does anyone know?
Kamin

Shrewsbury, MA

#5 Aug 4, 2010
I love the whistle. We had one in Westford as I was growing up. It's great while working in the yard to have a reminder it's time to eat.
Maurice Clifford

AOL

#6 Aug 4, 2010
I have heard that whistle since the early 1930's when I was about 2 years old. The call box nearest to our house was number 27 at the corner of Pleasant and Manchester streets. When we were away from home, if 27 blew, we prayed it wasn't our house that was on fire! I am glad it is still used as it is a reminder of the way Leominster was then--I would miss it.
amazing

Marlborough, MA

#7 Aug 4, 2010
i love this whistle..... I can't imagine how loud it is in the little area where it is sounded........ I guess we can thank motorola for its usgae decline...
DRD

North Babylon, NY

#8 Aug 4, 2010
What is it's operating cost? Including maintenance? We have replaced many things over time with technology? If there is a significant operating / maintenance cost associated with this dinosaur, why pay for three ways to contact firefighters? Use phones or beepers. Sounds like a waste of money and effort. If the firemen are maintaining during work hours, it needs to go. We are paying for that dated system.

Let it go. Move on.
Former Townsender

Nashua, NH

#9 Aug 4, 2010
In response to DRD: In a case like the Ice Storm of 2008, there was a need to call firefighters in the manner you to know so much about, it might surprise you that...

A. The repair costs are likely MUCH lower than the systems in the Fire/Police Communications center.
2. The operating cost is QUITE low considering the cost of utilites with the Communications Center.

In the case of the Ice Storm, where most people DID NOT have electricity, their beepers/pagers/scanners would have been useless.

DRD, instead of trying to fight City Hall for what amounts to peanuts to operate and use, try finding something more productive with your life.

Even if your fire department is maintaining the whistle on work hours, it is their job.

I guess you'd bark at them for washing their Firetrucks on City Time???
Former Townsender

Nashua, NH

#10 Aug 4, 2010
We had an old whistle system like that in Townsend, that would scare the bejeevers out of me, because it was so sudden. However, it served a definite purpose. When all three would go off, you could hear them as far south as Resevoir Rd, in Lunenburg, and at least 3 miles north over the border in Brookline N.H. These low tech items, while great historic value still have a specific purpose in Public Safety
Leominster3614

Sandwich, MA

#11 Aug 4, 2010
The whistle is such a mainstay for Leominster!!

I do truly miss the 2 2 2 signal on snow days, despite the effectiveness of the call system to parents.

May it blare for ever!!
Kathy

Cambridge, MA

#12 Aug 4, 2010
DRD wrote:
What is it's operating cost? Including maintenance? We have replaced many things over time with technology? If there is a significant operating / maintenance cost associated with this dinosaur, why pay for three ways to contact firefighters? Use phones or beepers. Sounds like a waste of money and effort. If the firemen are maintaining during work hours, it needs to go. We are paying for that dated system.
Let it go. Move on.
It's an air whistle operating on weights and cranks. It doesn't use electricity. That's a win. The firemen maintain it and have for decades presumably while they are at the station. That's a win. It can work while there is no electricity, or the computer system or phones are down (storms, major crises overwhelming cell service). Win three. It has some charm, history and seems a nice counterpoint to Walmart, Olive Garden and every other homogeneous thing that comes to cities. Win four. I vote for looking at it as an asset to feel good about.
Gail

Johnston, RI

#13 Aug 4, 2010
Wow, does this bring back memories! I grew up a block from the fire station. I remember hearing the whistle and checking the chart (on the back of a calendar) to see where the fire was. My friend's father was a fireman and lived two doors down. My mother and I would see him leave when he was called in. And it was always a relief to hear him come home.
happy1

Pepperell, MA

#14 Aug 4, 2010
The whistle is a Leominster trademark for everyone who had it growing up!! Great!! Keep it going!!
FR Bill Hadley

Leominster, MA

#15 Aug 4, 2010
no cost to city, its already been paid for...... they maintain while on duty, not like they are paying some 3rd party to maintain it.... I would love to see the chart again. i think i saw one on back of a Victory calendar at my moms house back in the 50s...... i loved hearing it everyday during the test .....i think it should be a part of lemontown for ever.....
Lisa

Leominster, MA

#16 Aug 4, 2010
The whistle brings back memories for me. Growing up in Leominster, when the 9 o'clock whistle blew it was time to get in the house. But the best was the "no school" whistle. It will always be a part of my childhood. I hope it goes on forever.
wow

Leominster, MA

#17 Aug 4, 2010
One of the things I love about Leominster is the whistle. Sometime it's the simple things....
Al Z

Leominster, MA

#18 Aug 4, 2010
I'm with DRD!!! I say dismantle the thing!! I lived a few blocks from the fire station when I was in elementary school. Couldn't stand the sound of that 8 AM whistle telling me it was time to get out of bed and start getting ready for school. The only good thing was the noon whistle telling me I could finally go home after hours of those Leominster teachers trying to indoctrinate me with their propaganda!! Besides, even when it was used for fires, it was no use to me.. They always repeated the second blast of the whistle! the count was always 1-2-2-3-4 etc. If you didn't have as good an ear as I did, you could easily get messed up on the number they were trying to send.
The other thing that bugs me about Leominster is the yellow police cars!!! Every other police department in the world gave up on that color by the end of the 1980s, but not Leominster!!! Criminals can see those Police Officers coming from miles away!!!
Deacon Steve

Fort Mill, SC

#19 Aug 4, 2010
Until the age of 8 I lived in Clinton, Ma and we too had a whistle, Whenever it blew we would stop what we were doing and run to the kithchen to find out where the fire was. When we moved to Leominster we did the same thing. I live in SC now and the town I live in does not have a whistle. Sure do miss it!

Ps. Sure am glad that Al Z and DRD weren't in charge of the Liberty Bell!
Mom of 4

Leominster, MA

#20 Aug 4, 2010
Al Z wrote:
I'm with DRD!!! I say dismantle the thing!! I lived a few blocks from the fire station when I was in elementary school. Couldn't stand the sound of that 8 AM whistle telling me it was time to get out of bed and start getting ready for school. The only good thing was the noon whistle telling me I could finally go home after hours of those Leominster teachers trying to indoctrinate me with their propaganda!! Besides, even when it was used for fires, it was no use to me.. They always repeated the second blast of the whistle! the count was always 1-2-2-3-4 etc. If you didn't have as good an ear as I did, you could easily get messed up on the number they were trying to send.
The other thing that bugs me about Leominster is the yellow police cars!!! Every other police department in the world gave up on that color by the end of the 1980s, but not Leominster!!! Criminals can see those Police Officers coming from miles away!!!
What are you talking about? Perhaps you are color blind or off your meds. Cruisers are black and white idiot. The point of the use of the series of whistle blasts for fires was not for your use but to alert firefighters of a call for service. Why even post something if it makes no sense?
skinner hater

Worcester, MA

#21 Aug 5, 2010
DRD wrote:
What is it's operating cost? Including maintenance? We have replaced many things over time with technology? If there is a significant operating / maintenance cost associated with this dinosaur, why pay for three ways to contact firefighters? Use phones or beepers. Sounds like a waste of money and effort. If the firemen are maintaining during work hours, it needs to go. We are paying for that dated system.
Let it go. Move on.
so wrong on this one, when thet whistle blows, its the neighbors that react first. they are the life line to the FD when smoke is showing. gets us ready thru dispatch, "this is it". calms us knowing what we have and ready to pull duty.

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