Brocton siren may be silenced at night

BROCTON – Area residents in the Brocton/Portland area may rest a little easier overnight.

Members of the Brocton Village Board authorized Mayor Dave Hazelton’s signature to a letter drafted to County Fire Coordinator Julius Leone proposing the silencing of the Brocton Fire Department’s siren during the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mayor Hazelton cited that there have been numerous complaints from the community about the sound, frequency and duration of siren blasts during overnight emergency dispatches. He asked Brocton Fire Department Chief Brian Woleben what the consensus of the department’s officers was on the matter.

“I have spoken to most of the officers, and the one concern that kept coming up was what if there’s a natural disaster, or an event like a tornado warning, could it still be toned out. I think we would have to speak to Julius on that. At night, for the most part the EMS calls don’t utilize the siren for response, but in the case of a fire, that’s what gets responders motivated,” stated Woleben.

The fire chief explained that responders who utilize text messaging service automatically get a text message with the call information, but as Hazelton pointed out, “those that don’t use texting also have pagers with the information. I just don’t see a lot of our members responding only to the existence of the whistle.”

“We can at least try it with no whistle between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless it’s a major event at the discretion of the dispatcher in Mayville, and if it doesn’t work out we can change it back,” stated the mayor.

Woleben also reminds the general public that the department is still seeking new members to serve the community as volunteer firefighters and first responders.

The board will meet again Wednesday May 29 at 7 p.m. for its year end fiscal business meeting.