Noise pollution is probably one of the largest quality of life issues in the Village of New Hyde Park. From the to the rumble of the Long Island Rail Road, residents prefer their peace and quiet.
But what about when that noise can help save a life or prevent loss of property?
The employs a siren/horn that sounds off during an emergency call during daylight hours which some residents say is just too much of a noise and not necessary.
During a meeting of the New Hyde Park Village Board Tuesday night at the , one resident questioned why the fire horn has to be heard by all several times per day.
“There is a big noise issue here in New Hyde Park; there is just too much noise,” she said.
Trustee Richard Coppola, a member of the fire department, suggested that residents attend the New Hyde Park Fire District Board of Commissioners bi-monthly meetings held at the firehouse to voice their concerns. That board meets twice a month on every other Tuesday night.
“You can also go down or call the firehouse to speak to someone about this issue,” Coppola said.
Resident Ed Powers, who is also a member of the fire department, explained that the horns were originally turned off several years ago along with similar sirens in and Stewart Manor. A siren system in Floral Park was switched off many years ago as well.
However, as time progressed, in order to augment and increase the response of volunteers during the day because there were less people around during working hours, the departments felt they needed another way of notification, so the horns were once again turned on. New Hyde Park utilizes a “hybrid-paid” system of volunteers and some paid on-call staff.
Garden City Park turned their siren back on in late 2011.
The alert system employed by the fire department uses different horns for different types of alarms.
“Turning them back on was not turning them back on to what we used to have,” Powers said, noting that the number of blasts per call have also been reduced and that the horn will blow only during the 12 hours of daylight during the day. “The horn goes off several times per day, but the firehouse should work on getting information into peoples’ phones.”
The notification system to firefighters also has the ability to send out text messaging and communicate via walkie-talkies.
Yet, some other residents did not mind the fire horn as much and some feel it is akin to a necessary cry for help and is a good warning signal.
There are multiple siren towers throughout the district – including one by – that are still off. Horns also exist on the New Hyde Park Fire Department headquarters building on Jericho Turnpike, the Estates firehouse as well as the Protection location by , the latter of which is also turned off.
The village also has 100 fire boxes on telephone poles which send an alert out to the fire department, but which do not sound a siren call.
“We’ve got less sirens, less horns and less number of times the horn goes off,” Powers said.