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Fire Department Sign Vandalized

 

IMG_20150926_122853239Someone’s not happy with Halesite Fire Department. And they’ve expressed their displeasure by spraying the Department’s upcoming Open House sign with messages that demand an end to the use of sirens. The sign is at the intersection of Maple Hill and Fort Hill Roads in Huntington. It is the third time that the defacement has occurred in as many years.

Sources say that in addition to the damage to their property, the Department has received a mailed response to its fund raising drive with calls for ambulances en route to Huntington Hospital to cease using audible warning devices as they pass the Fort Hill intersection.

Maple Hill Road is frequented by responding rescue vehicles from Centerport, East Northport, Northport, Greenlawn, Eaton’s Neck, Commack and Dix Hills. It offers a quick route to Huntington Hospital’s Emergency Room and lets responders avoid the congestion on Route 25A. However, it traverses a quiet residential area. Because of Halesite’s coverage responsibilities, their ambulances rarely use the controversial intersection on their way to the ER. Regardless of that fact, they have been targeted for the outcry.

Halesite Fire Chief Dan McConnell says that New York State DOT regulations require emergency vehicles to display warning lights and audible alarms when engaged in emergency situations. He also says that defacing Department equipment is not the way to bring attention to an alleged problem. Chief McConnell points out that Department officers are always ready to meet with residents or business owners to discuss ways to improve service to the community and observes that “defacing fire department property is not the way to get results.”

Property owners on Fort Hill Road and Maple Hill Road do not seem to be too energetic about expressing their opinions. Telephone calls placed to several homes failed to produce even one comment.

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Since the issue of siren noise only came about after four-way stop signs were placed at the intersection, a preemptor might be a simple answer to the problem. That is an electronic device that allows a responding emergency vehicle to take control of a traffic signal and “pre-empt” all other traffic at the intersection. Since the location already has stop signs at each corner, the addition of a four-way flashing red light controlled by responding emergency vehicles greatly diminishes the need for audible warning device usage. Preemptors can also be fitted with flashing blue lights to warn drivers that the traffic signal is under the control of a responding emergency service unit.

The vandalism is currently under investigation by detectives from Suffolk County Police Department’s Second Squad. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

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1 comment to Fire Department Sign Vandalized

  • Charles

    I live on Maple Hill midway between Fort Hill and View Acre Roads. I have not found the sirens very frequent nor annoying. Over 90% of the emergency vehicles using this route are not Halesite FD’s.

    Residents should be protesting the speeding that occurs on this street.

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