Garden City Park tweaks fire siren testing

Garden City Park tweaks fire siren testing

The Garden City Park Fire Department plans to modify its use of sirens under a test program intended to improve the emergency response rate among its volunteer firefighters.

The department will move the fire siren from the Denton Avenue substation to reduce the noise level for residents in the nearby “alphabet” streets, Garden City Park Fire Commissioner Augie Carnevale said last week.

Garden City Park Fire Department Chief William Rudnick said the department will also reduce the frequency of alarms now sounding at the Jericho Turnpike headquarters and the Denton Avenue substation between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. by approximately 25 percent.

Rudick said the sirens had triggered automatic alarms at commercial businesses and residences.

Fire officials said the results of the month-long test are inconclusive.

“We’ve done the test. We’ve come to a few conclusions,” Rudnick said. “But due to the diverse time frame of the calls we receive, it makes it inconclusive for a one-month test .”

Rudnick said the department received “positive feedback” from volunteers who said they responded to emergency calls upon hearing the sirens when they didn’t have their pagers or cell phones with them. But he said the response rates have fluctuated from 40 percent or 50 percent more than normal to 40 percent or 50 percent below normal, depending on the time of day.

The holiday season added to the inconclusive nature of the 30-day test, he said.

The Garden City Park Board of Fire Commissioners agreed at its Dec. 22 meeting to explore moving the siren at the Denton Avenue substation to the fire and water district headquarters at 333 Marcus Ave.

“We’re looking to move the audible alarm system on Denton Avenue to the water district grounds to alleviate the noise factor for the residents,” Carnevale said.

Carnevale said the fire district hoped to make the move in two months.

Rudnick said the fire department received 25 e-mails from residents and fielded four or five complaints among those responses during December.

Michael Levy, fire district superintendent, said the fire district is seeking cost estimates on erecting a pole and mounting the siren on it.

“We are working on moving it,” he said.

Carnevale said the cost of relocating the sirens at the Denton Avenue substation would be negligible.

“It’s no big deal. This way everybody will be happy,” Carnevale said.

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