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  1. TopTop #1
    arthousefilms
     

    What's with the air raid sirens?

    Hello All,

    I just moved here from L.A and now live near Ragle park off Bodega Ave.

    Anyone know what the deal is with the air raid sirens I keep hearing? Is there a schedule? Are we under attack?

    Kirk
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  2. TopTop #2
    "Mad" Miles
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Probably volunteer fire department alarms. Welcome to semi-rural life.

    "Mad" Miles

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  3. TopTop #3
    calafia
    Guest

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    it is the Graton fire department noontime siren.
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  4. TopTop #4
    alegria910
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    And it isn't JUST at noon (although you can certainly count on that one). It seems to blow at various and sundry times, sometimes 2-3 times in one day. I can't believe that there are that many fires around Graton (at least I hope not!). On what other occasions is it customary for the Graton siren to sound (births, deaths, winning the Lotto...what!??!)? Can we please hear from someone who has inside info?? Thanks!

    Quote calafia wrote: View Post
    it is the Graton fire department noontime siren.
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  5. TopTop #5
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    See this thread.


    Quote arthousefilms wrote: View Post
    Hello All,

    I just moved here from L.A and now live near Ragle park off Bodega Ave.

    Anyone know what the deal is with the air raid sirens I keep hearing? Is there a schedule? Are we under attack?

    Kirk
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  6. TopTop #6
    RichT
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    I use the siren to set my clocks (instead of dialing POPCORN).


    By the way, if we ever do get nuked, I think we are far enough away from S.F. that we will have a bit of time to kiss our ASS goodbye. And we won't have much fun doing it.
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  7. TopTop #7
    alegria910
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Hi, Rich...

    It's a good thing you haven't been relying on POPCORN...It was discontinued a couple of years ago!! The demise of a cultural ritual, as far as I'm concerned...I remember calling it when I was a little girl and pretending I was actually talking to someone...Kinda miss it!

    Quote RichT wrote: View Post
    I use the siren to set my clocks (instead of dialing POPCORN).


    By the way, if we ever do get nuked, I think we are far enough away from S.F. that we will have a bit of time to kiss our ASS goodbye. And we won't have much fun doing it.
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  8. TopTop #8
    arthousefilms
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    It seems a little like the boy who cried wolf. I mean, when something major happens, we are all going to think... "Na... that's just the silly Graton Fire Dept. celebrating a birthday. I think I'll just sit back, pour myself a nice beverage here BANGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!SCREAMING!!! MAYHEM! AHHHHHHHHHHH!
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  9. TopTop #9
    RichT
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Quote arthousefilms wrote: View Post
    Hello All,

    I just moved here from L.A and now live near Ragle park off Bodega Ave.

    Anyone know what the deal is with the air raid sirens I keep hearing? Is there a schedule? Are we under attack?

    Kirk
    So, being a new invader from Gross Angelos, do you know what # to dial in an emergency?

    Around here, if you dial 911, your call goes to someplace far, far away where they don't even know that Sebastopol exists.

    If you are outside city limits, 565-2121 gets you the County Sheriff's emergency dispatch line.

    Sebastopol Police, call 829-4400
    Sebastopol Fire, call 823-2434

    Next time you hear the siren go off at any time other than noon, wait and often you will hear fire vehicles responding to a call.
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  10. TopTop #10
    arthousefilms
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Hey That's great to know. Thanks for the tip about not calling 911. I'll print these numbers and put them on my phone.

    Regards,

    Kirk
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  11. TopTop #11
    Sylph's Avatar
    Sylph
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    If you are outside city limits, 565-2121 gets you the County Sheriff's emergency dispatch line.

    Sebastopol Police, call 829-4400
    Sebastopol Fire, call 823-2434

    Rich, Thank you for the numbers! Sometimes 911 doesn't work.
    Last Christmas Eve we were coming home on 101 on the Petaluma grade and witnessed and stopped to assist with an accident. We were all trying to call 911 to no avail. In this case would the Sheriff's number been appropriate? Does anyone have the SR Police #? I feel dumb, but it's not easy looking these numbers up in the directory.

    I grew up hearing the noon (or random time) siren out in Occidental. Makes me feel safe!
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  12. TopTop #12
    Ken
    Guest

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    See this thread.
    I'm surprised no one from the local volunteer fire department has not responded. The key word here is volunteer. The fire fighters don't live at the fire station they live within hearing range of the siren and jump out of bed at any hour or drop what they are doing to respond to the call...and I for one very much appreciate there work. Pretty much all local fire departments co-operate in fire fighting so many sirens, at least not since WW2, are for fires not in the Graton area but any where they are needed. It's not just fires either. The next time you have a heart attack hope you hear that siren coming to save your bacon. Then there is the Thursday night meeting...one long siren...the noon blast which, I believe, was originally used for the lunch time break for the apple processing plants that were numerous in the Graton area years ago. And then there are folks like me...like Pavlovs dog...hear the siren and salivate for lunch. You're in the country now folks and ain't it great. Country Ken[originally from NYC...now there's a city of sirens]
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  13. TopTop #13
    arthousefilms
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Hey Ken,

    Thanks for the info. Now I get it. I had no idea it was for the firefighters. I thought it was for the townspeople. Oops. I guess that's a little blond of me.

    Please don't think we aren't EXTREMELY grateful for the good service of our volunteers!! We are in fact deeply indebted to their contribution toward the community. I guess I expected telephones, text messaging, and radios to do the work of the siren.

    Kirk



    Quote Ken wrote: View Post
    I'm surprised no one from the local volunteer fire department has not responded. The key word here is volunteer. The fire fighters don't live at the fire station they live within hearing range of the siren and jump out of bed at any hour or drop what they are doing to respond to the call...and I for one very much appreciate there work. Pretty much all local fire departments co-operate in fire fighting so many sirens, at least not since WW2, are for fires not in the Graton area but any where they are needed. It's not just fires either. The next time you have a heart attack hope you hear that siren coming to save your bacon. Then there is the Thursday night meeting...one long siren...the noon blast which, I believe, was originally used for the lunch time break for the apple processing plants that were numerous in the Graton area years ago. And then there are folks like me...like Pavlovs dog...hear the siren and salivate for lunch. You're in the country now folks and ain't it great. Country Ken[originally from NYC...now there's a city of sirens]
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  14. TopTop #14
    Graton Fire's Avatar
    Graton Fire
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Hi ArtHouseFilms and other Gratonites,

    Yes, the air raid siren signals an emergency call for the fire department (and it tests every day at noon as others have noticed). Other than 7pm on Thursday nights to signal the start of drill (7-10pm every Thursday), siren does not go off for other events. FYI-It is the same number of revolutions for any type of call.

    We respond to 500 calls each year (more than any other all volunteer dept), so it is very possible that you will hear 2-3 sirens in one day. The calls could be for a fire, but are more often for medical aids, vehicle accidents, trees/power lines down, etc. We respond to Sebastopol, Forestville, Gold Ridge, Occidental, Santa Rosa, and other towns when they have a large fire and they do the same for us, which happened twice last month- once on Vine Hill Road and again on Mill Station Road.

    Most volunteer departments continue to use a siren to ensure the firefighters know there is a call. We do carry pagers, which work pretty well, but there are dead spots... just like a cell phone (and we know what that's like in West County). There have also been instances where the dispatch center cannot activate our pagers and the siren is the only way to call firefighters. As departments move to paid firefighters, the siren becomes less critical to ensure an adequate response. We are fortunate to have a great group of volunteers that can take time away from work/home to respond (and employers/families that permit it).

    CALLING 9-1-1: It is best to call 9-1-1 and not a seven digit number during an emergency. Why?
    1) It rings to the same place- Sonoma County Dispatch in Santa Rosa for unincorporated county and Sebastopol Police for Sebastopol (within the city limits- just because you have a Sebastopol zipcode, doesn't mean you are within their borders. Anything north of Mill Station Rd is Graton's service area)

    2) The 9-1-1 system is designed to automatically bring up your address in the dispatch computer... calling the 7-digit number does not. This makes getting the address instantaneous and many people get flustered during an emergency and give the wrong information.

    3) 9-1-1 is designed to call the emergency center assigned to your address. If you call another number, and it's not your provider, they will have to transfer you to the correct center... again, wasting time.

    4) My wife used to be a 9-1-1 police dispatcher. She says that the 9-1-1 lines are the highest priority, the seven-digit is second, followed by the business lines.

    5) Exception: If you are calling from a cell phone, you may or may not get the right dispatch center. Historically, your call would go to CHP dispatch in Vallejo. Newer phones/cell systems are routing calls based on the cell tower to the right dispatch center. Theoretically, if you call 9-1-1 in downtown Sebastopol, you should get their police department. So... in you cell phones, you can add 565-1212 for police and 576-1371 for fire for any unincorporated area such as Graton.

    If there are any questions, please post them publicly or privately.

    Thank you,

    Bill Bullard, Deputy Chief
    Graton Fire Protection District

    3205 Ross Road, P.O. Box A
    Graton, CA 95444
    mailto:[email protected]http://www.gratonfire.com707-823-5515 ext. 3707-823-7251 fax
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  15. TopTop #15
    Sylph's Avatar
    Sylph
     

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Quote Graton Fire wrote: View Post
    Hi ArtHouseFilms and other Gratonites,

    Yes, the air raid siren signals an emergency call for the fire department (and it tests every day at noon as others have noticed). Other than 7pm on Thursday nights to signal the start of drill (7-10pm every Thursday), siren does not go off for other events. FYI-It is the same number of revolutions for any type of call.

    We respond to 500 calls each year (more than any other all volunteer dept), so it is very possible that you will hear 2-3 sirens in one day. The calls could be for a fire, but are more often for medical aids, vehicle accidents, trees/power lines down, etc. We respond to Sebastopol, Forestville, Gold Ridge, Occidental, Santa Rosa, and other towns when they have a large fire and they do the same for us, which happened twice last month- once on Vine Hill Road and again on Mill Station Road.

    Most volunteer departments continue to use a siren to ensure the firefighters know there is a call. We do carry pagers, which work pretty well, but there are dead spots... just like a cell phone (and we know what that's like in West County). There have also been instances where the dispatch center cannot activate our pagers and the siren is the only way to call firefighters. As departments move to paid firefighters, the siren becomes less critical to ensure an adequate response. We are fortunate to have a great group of volunteers that can take time away from work/home to respond (and employers/families that permit it).

    CALLING 9-1-1: It is best to call 9-1-1 and not a seven digit number during an emergency. Why?
    1) It rings to the same place- Sonoma County Dispatch in Santa Rosa for unincorporated county and Sebastopol Police for Sebastopol (within the city limits- just because you have a Sebastopol zipcode, doesn't mean you are within their borders. Anything north of Mill Station Rd is Graton's service area)

    2) The 9-1-1 system is designed to automatically bring up your address in the dispatch computer... calling the 7-digit number does not. This makes getting the address instantaneous and many people get flustered during an emergency and give the wrong information.

    3) 9-1-1 is designed to call the emergency center assigned to your address. If you call another number, and it's not your provider, they will have to transfer you to the correct center... again, wasting time.

    4) My wife used to be a 9-1-1 police dispatcher. She says that the 9-1-1 lines are the highest priority, the seven-digit is second, followed by the business lines.

    5) Exception: If you are calling from a cell phone, you may or may not get the right dispatch center. Historically, your call would go to CHP dispatch in Vallejo. Newer phones/cell systems are routing calls based on the cell tower to the right dispatch center. Theoretically, if you call 9-1-1 in downtown Sebastopol, you should get their police department. So... in you cell phones, you can add 565-1212 for police and 576-1371 for fire for any unincorporated area such as Graton.

    If there are any questions, please post them publicly or privately.

    Thank you,

    Bill Bullard, Deputy Chief
    Graton Fire Protection District

    3205 Ross Road, P.O. Box A
    Graton, CA 95444
    mailto:[email protected]http://www.gratonfire.com707-823-5515 ext. 3707-823-7251 fax
    Bill, I appreciate your valuable information! But, what can one do in the situation I described above, when 911 is so busy that no one can get through and we are at the accident scene on 101? It did happen to be Christmas Eve, which is very eventful, I'm sure, for the dispatchers.
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  16. TopTop #16
    ekeeran
    Guest

    Re: What's with the air raid sirens?

    Quote Sylph wrote: View Post
    Bill, I appreciate your valuable information! But, what can one do in the situation I described above, when 911 is so busy that no one can get through and we are at the accident scene on 101? It did happen to be Christmas Eve, which is very eventful, I'm sure, for the dispatchers.
    911 calls from your cell phone go automatically to the CHP in Vallejo... they cover Solano, Napa, and Sonoma Counties and get overwhelmed by 911 calls. Accidents on the freeway are always handled by CHP but getting a hold of them is very difficult. Santa Rosa non-emergency number is 528-5222. THey will most likely transfer you to a non-emergency or emergency CHP line. You could always call one of the smaller departments (Sheriff's Department, Sebastopol, Cotati, and so forth and asked to be transferred)
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  17. TopTop #17
    StormDancer
    Guest

    Emergency calls from a cell phone

    It is very important to keep the "non-emergency" number for your local police and fire department programmed into your cell phone. They will connect you with emergency services in their area much faster than 911 when calling from a cell phone. The only time you should call 911 from a cell phone is if you do not know whose jurisdiction you are in and you do not have a land line available.
    The fastest emergency service response is from a land line without caller id blocking.
    -AnnaLisa

    Quote ekeeran wrote: View Post
    911 calls from your cell phone go automatically to the CHP in Vallejo... they cover Solano, Napa, and Sonoma Counties and get overwhelmed by 911 calls. Accidents on the freeway are always handled by CHP but getting a hold of them is very difficult. Santa Rosa non-emergency number is 528-5222. THey will most likely transfer you to a non-emergency or emergency CHP line. You could always call one of the smaller departments (Sheriff's Department, Sebastopol, Cotati, and so forth and asked to be transferred)
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  18. TopTop #18
    Graton Fire's Avatar
    Graton Fire
     

    Re: Emergency calls from a cell phone

    Quote StormDancer wrote: View Post
    It is very important to keep the "non-emergency" number for your local police and fire department programmed into your cell phone. They will connect you with emergency services in their area much faster than 911 when calling from a cell phone. The only time you should call 911 from a cell phone is if you do not know whose jurisdiction you are in and you do not have a land line available.
    The fastest emergency service response is from a land line without caller id blocking.
    -AnnaLisa
    It is a good idea to put seven digit police/fire phone numbers into your cell, but make sure it's the emergency seven digit number, not the non-emergency... your call won't get the attention you need with the latter. The numbers are located in the front of your phone book.

    FYI- It is AWAYS best to call from a landline, when available. Caller ID blocking doesn't block 9-1-1 calls.


    Bill Bullard, Deputy Chief
    Graton Fire Protection District

    3205 Ross Road, P.O. Box A
    Graton, CA 95444
    mailto:[email protected]http://www.gratonfire.com707-823-5515 ext. 3707-823-7251 fax
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  19. TopTop #19
    StormDancer
    Guest

    Re: Emergency calls from a cell phone

    Thanks for the correction!
    -ALW
    Quote Graton Fire wrote: View Post
    It is a good idea to put seven digit police/fire phone numbers into your cell, but make sure it's the emergency seven digit number, not the non-emergency... your call won't get the attention you need with the latter. The numbers are located in the front of your phone book.

    FYI- It is AWAYS best to call from a landline, when available. Caller ID blocking doesn't block 9-1-1 calls.
    Last edited by Barry; 08-11-2008 at 05:28 PM.
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