Silent emergency sirens stir up controversy in Monsey

Posted: Updated:

After decades of alerting local firefighters to emergencies, complaints from residents have silenced a siren atop a Monsey firehouse, but officials say safety and financial problems are looming.

Local fire officials say that pagers and the siren are the only methods in place to let firefighters know there's an emergency, when every second counts. They say that the blaring horn is the only method when a firefighter's pager is in a dead spot.

Monsey Fire Chief Adam Gordon says the firehouse has been there for more than 100 years and residents shouldn't have moved so close if they didn't want to hear the horn.

The siren's still turned off, but local homeowners could soon be making a lot of noise themselves. Officials say homeowner's insurance premiums could skyrocket because insurance companies set their rates based in part on whether firefighters have alert methods in place.

The Monsey Board of Fire Commissioners voted to turn off the horn for three months and they plan to revisit the issue after that time.

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