Westmorland installs new siren but keeps old tradition

New Westmorland siren

WESTMORLAND, Calif. - In an effort to continue an old tradition The Westmorland Fire Department has installed a new siren in town.

We caught up with the fire captain to learn why they are still using this system today.

 “Once you activate 9-1-1, you go through our dispatch center. Our dispatch center will send a page out, and it is over a radio frequency. Once we receive that page out, out pager automatically activates our siren,” said Captain Michael Ginnis of The Westmorland Fire Department.

Once the siren is activated it will sound off for 45 seconds, and the new siren has a different pitch than the old one.

The new sound is a little different from the old siren using a lower frequency which enables people to hear the siren on windy or rainy days.

 “Our department is 100% volunteer fire department so we don't have people that stay here at the station 24 hours a day like any career fire departments,” explained Ginnis.

When the siren goes off, it alerts other fellow volunteer firefighters that an emergency situation may be happening.

 “Our firefighters may come from home, from work or might just be in town and they’ll have to respond at any given notice,” added Ginnis.

The old siren was here for 80 years and now The Westmorland Fire Department is trying to figure out where its new home will be.

 “Right now we have no set plans, that siren is over 80 years old, not too many things are around at that age anymore,” said Ginnis.

Captain Ginnis hopes they can find a home for the siren where it history and tradition will be preserved.

 “When I was little I’ve always remembered the siren. I mean ever since I was a little kid. It does matter a lot to our city and I believe it means a lot to our citizens,” shared Ginnis.

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