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Oklahoma Ambulances Debut Sirens That You Can Feel

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the do-you-hear-something dept.

Technology 128

djupedal writes "Booming like a 1980s video game, the Howler can even make liquids ripple — Oklahoma's largest ambulance company will become the first ambulance service in the nation to outfit its entire fleet with new Howler sirens, designed to emit low-frequency tones that penetrate objects within 200 feet — such as cars — to alert drivers." This is all well and fine, but I wonder what they plan to do when their sirens call up one of the big worms from deep below?

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128 comments

Although Annoying ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750023)

... I'm not so sure people are going to get out of the way of a truck blaring C+C Music Factory.

Re:Although Annoying ... (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751151)

... I'm not so sure people are going to get out of the way of a truck blaring C+C Music Factory

Open fire on it, maybe...

Obligatory link (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750083)

This is amazing if you think about it, because by this point I could nearly feel the pressure waves of sound coming from that siren. I have no idea what the decibel rating of a modern siren is, but it must be huge. Which makes sense, given that the sound of the siren has to penetrate the cabin of modern, sound-proof automobiles and overpower the sound of unmuffled Harleys. But the fact that I was having to hold my ears to avoid deafness, while cars were moving into the intesection oblivious to the siren's sound, shows that we have reached the end of siren technology. It is time to think of a better solution. Sirens cannot get any lounder without causing local earthquakes. Sound waves simply are not the answer.

http://sadtech.blogspot.com/2006/01/sirens.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Obligatory link (2, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750249)

This sounds like a Shampoo description. Was this siren invented by Shampoo?

Re:Obligatory link (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750625)

A wailing siren . . . sounds like a Shampoo description. . .
Are you referring to those old Herbal Essence commercials :-D

Re:Obligatory link (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750447)

The siren head on my ambulance says "up to 120 db".

A nearby PD has started using a similar product, called Rumblers, but I haven't heard much about any successes or failures. I would like to get some for my ambulance, cause people just don't pay enough attention.
Either that, or a microwave emitter. If you don't get out of my way, I'll cook you... that would be awesome.

http://www.ilfireandpoliceequip.com/rumbler_siren.htm

Re:Obligatory link (2, Funny)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751507)

Either that, or a microwave emitter. If you don't get out of my way, I'll cook you... that would be awesome.

it would also ensure ongoing business for you provided you turned it off in time.

Re:Obligatory link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753025)

Either that, or a microwave emitter. If you don't get out of my way, I'll cook you... that would be awesome.

This might be a sign that's it's time for you to get out of the emergency response career field.

Re:Obligatory link (4, Funny)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753557)

A nearby PD has started using a similar product, called Rumblers, but I haven't heard much about any successes or failures. I would like to get some for my ambulance, cause people just don't pay enough attention.

A couple of years ago, I was walking up to an intersection in Boston. A fire truck was driving up to the intersection with lights on, no siren yet.As the drivers stopped at the intersection glanced in their rear-view mirrors, their expressions seemed to say: "grumble, grumble, he's about to turn that siren on and make us get out of the way, isn't he? Grumble, grumble. I guess I'll start getting ready...sigh..."

But instead of a standard siren, the truck started blasting Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" at full volume. It was awesome-- I thought it was FAR more intimidating-sounding than a siren would have been, and apparently the drivers stopped at the intersection agreed-- their expressions all changed to "Holy crap! Get me out of the way of that thing!". And scramble, they did.

You had to be there to get the full effect, I think. Re-reading what I just wrote doesn't capture it at all. But in person, it was just... damn. Especially since it was so unexpected. I was grinning about it all afternoon. So perhaps a well-chosen CD collection for your ambulance?

Re:Obligatory link (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753615)

Arrgg!! Why didn't the <quote> tags work?!

test

[quote]test[/quote] test test

Re:Obligatory link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754133)

OK, it worked after a time delay. Mental note made.

Re:Obligatory link (1)

AppyPappy (64817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753103)

I need one of those under my bed.

"Yeah baby. Feel that. That's my Love Sonar. You can't hide from my love".

I need somethin', that's for sure.

Re:Obligatory link (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753305)

I have no idea what the decibel rating of a modern siren is

Not very damned loud at all. Sometimes "progress" goes backwards.

On March 12, 2006 two tornados [wikipedia.org] blew down quite a bit of Springfield's infrastructure, power was out city-wide. Later that night the sirens should have gone off again, but they couldn't, as the power was off.

In the aftermath, the cartoons in the city government (incling the guy who runs the power company [sj-r.com], alderman Simpson, [google.com] and Mayor Quim... er, Davlin) [springfield.il.us] decided to get some new high tech emergency sirens that could run on batteries if the power went off.

You can't hear the damned things. They're completely worthless, but we're paying $2 a month extra on our electric bills to pay for the worthless pieces of crap.

I can hear the train whistles just fine, miles away.

Re:Obligatory link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25753319)

Ha... too cheap to buy emergency generators, I suppose?

Next on Slashdot: (1)

danhm (762237) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750087)

Oklahoma Ambulance siren sued for sexual harassment.

Re:Next on Slashdot: (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750313)

No, see, the siren doesn't feel you, you feel the sound.
The siren will be the one filing the sexual harassment suits, against everyone who feels it's sounds.

An Idea... (1)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750099)

They can just mount all those old Federal Thunderbolt sirens to the ambulances.
They only weigh... what? couple hundred pounds? Not including mompressor?
I miss the sound of Federal Thunderbolts. I hate the tornado sirens around here.
(How picky is that?)

bomb squad (1)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750115)

I wonder how disruptive this is, especially for sensitive situations like evacuations due to explosives, etc.

Re:bomb squad (4, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750161)

Or the even more sensitive situation of having already soundproofed a room at great expense on a popular street so your baby can get some damned sleep.

Re:bomb squad (4, Informative)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750501)

As someone who was effectively trained to only sleep in quiet situations like that, I have to say for the love of god, turn a TV on, vaccum while it's sleeping, poke it from time to time! It's HORRIBLE! When the neighbors are playing their TV with the subwoofer on, I toss and turn trying to think up ways to drown it out. If my wife is watching TV in the next room, forget about sleeping. Don't do that to your kid!

Re:bomb squad (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751207)

I feel for you man, that sucks. I was exactly the opposite. When I was a babe, my dad was in a rock band that played live in bars, and my mom would often go to the shows, taking me with her since they couldn't afford a sitter. I would literally sleep on the bar while the band played several times a week for years.

To this day, I can sleep fucking anywhere.

Re:bomb squad (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751353)

Actually, this doesn't effect me, but I do know someone else who just did this a couple houses down from me because they bought their house years before a fire station was built just a little ways away from us.

Their child wouldn't go back to sleep all night after the firetrucks came by so they spent over 10k (if I remember correctly) getting the room they slept in soundproofed. He even spent another few hundred on some fancy white noise machine.

With all this money, though, I'd think he'd just think to move to a better neighborhood, I don't exactly live in Bel Air.

Re:bomb squad (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751387)

Box fan FTW!

Re:bomb squad (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751567)

That's what I grew up with! Unfortunately now that I've moved to the very cold midwest, it's not such a comforting thing sometimes.

Re:bomb squad (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752259)

I also require a box fan every night, it's such a waste, I have to put it pointed at the wall at the foot of my bed. It's either run a fan pointlessly or start taking sedatives. Thanks a lot, mom.

Re:bomb squad (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752309)

Now I'm thinking of getting an overpriced noisemaker, myself...

Re:bomb squad (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752587)

Did some quick calculations, and running a box fan for 9 hours a night every single night would cost about $22/year to run. That's assuming it pull 60W and $0.11/kWh, which seems about right if it's not on "super-high-blow-you-across-the-room" setting.

Those fancy noisemakers suck, for me anyway. You don't get the "bass" component like you get from a fan, it's all high-frequency nastiness. Plus I like (a little) airflow.

Re:bomb squad (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753637)

I had been wondering about how much that was costing me, but never bothered, thanks! Someone should really make some white noise machine with decent subwoofers, I agree, the ones I've seen had speakers you wouldn't put on a radio, and it's the deep sounds that are impossible to muffle with a pillow or earplugs. I have my fan at the foot of the bed so the vibrations are transfered more directly to the frame and cancel out my neighbor's woofer, that helps a bit.

Re:bomb squad (1)

Dave Tucker Online (1310703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752849)

Same here. I have to have a fan on to sleep well. But not because of noise, because of silence. I need white noise to sleep. I can't sleep in absolute silence.

I used to live 20 feet from train tracks. On the other side of the tracks were a parking lot and a baseball field (college). Fighter jets often flew low altitude bombing runs (or something) right over me. Not too mention yelling drunk college kids. I could sleep fine through all of that...but a silent room kills me.

Re:bomb squad (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751403)

that. is. awesome. I can just imagine guys trying to pick up your mom -
Guy: Hey can I buy you a drink.
Your mom: *points at baby on bar* That's my kid.
Guy: ...?

Re:bomb squad (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751681)

that. is. awesome. I can just imagine guys trying to pick up your mom -
Guy: Hey can I buy you a drink.
Your mom: *points at baby on bar* That's my kid.
Guy: ...?

Ha ha! I never thought of that, and yeah, that probably worked better than the other option.

Guy: Hey can I buy you a drink.
My mom: I'm married.
Guy: Yeah? Where's your husband?
My mom: He's on stage.
Guy: Oh. *starts to back off, but then thinks* Wait, which one?
My mom: The drummer.
Guy: Ah. So... can I buy you a drink?

Re:bomb squad (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751559)

Best advice my wife and I ever got. Put the baby to sleep and don't tiptoe around.
We can turn on the lights and tv, and talk at normal volumes and she won't stir.
The dog can even shake off, jingling his collar and tags, causing his ears to flap loudly, and finally whipping his tail into the side of the crib making a loud thud.
Nothing from the baby, ha.

Re:bomb squad (1)

grimarr (223895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753293)

Yeah, that does make life easier for the parents, and maybe for the kids, too.

But there may be a drawback, too. My kids are in their late teens now, and they seem to need lots of noise to sleep. It's common for them to have the playstation on, or a DVD on the menu screen, and the stereo playing all night. And my son routinely sleeps through almost any alarm clock, telephone, whatever.

So maybe a little white noise is good, housework noise OK, but don't train them to sleep through rock concerts. They'll never be on time to work!

Re:bomb squad (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753667)

If you can't wake up in the morning, it means that you're not getting enough sleep (either that or some sort of narcoleptic disorder, but sleep deprivation is much more common). The answer is adjusting the sleep schedule, not finding ways to more effectively deprive your body of something that it needs to function.

Re:bomb squad (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751475)

I'm with you. I grew up in the country and now live in the city. The slightest unusual noise and I'm awake. Thankfully both my kids can sleep through most noises, but this siren would probably be disturbing enough to wake them up, crying.

I hope this idea fails. The solution to blissed-out drivers is not to be louder and more annoying than them. I think the solution is to set power limits on stereo equipment, set limits on cell phone use and make drivers take tests every 5 years or so when they renew their licences.

Some people might think that infringes on their freedoms but I think it's a lot less infringing than a freaking sonic weapon blasting anyone and everyone in the vicinity.

Quite a show (4, Interesting)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750131)

Just imagine a bunch of cars all parked tightly on a nice street. Now imagine half of them chiming in with their own sirens when their shock sensors get set off.

Re:Quite a show (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750361)

Imagine it? Try being anywhere within 5 miles of disneyland when they do their nightly fireworks show.
Even better, be in their parking structure. 70+ cars per level going off with a concrete ceiling to channel the sound.

Re:Quite a show (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752807)

I don't suppose you have ever watched a low-rider with loud mufflers drive by that same row of cars? It actually happens.

Re:Quite a show (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753751)

I lived near Fenway Park during the 2004 world series. You know the flyover with the supersonic jets that they did during the opening ceremonies for the series? Um, yeah. Huge boom, windows of my apartment rattling like there had been an explosion, every car alarm on the street went off simultaneously, every dog on the block started freaking out at the same time. People sticking their heads out windows or standing on the sidewalk looking around trying to figure out what the fsck just happened.

Why is this on Idle? (1)

The Gaytriot (1254048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750205)

This is a lot more interesting than most of the stuff that gets posted to Idle.

Anyways, from TFA:

 

"The ambulance without the Howler sounded its siren and produced its familiar wail. Then, the Howler, which produced booms that sounded like a 1980s video game played at an earsplitting level. The liquids in the three glasses rippled."

I really hope that the howler is used sparingly, especially since I live right off a busy street and get some type of emergency vehicle coming by with sirens and lights at least once a day. I especially hope that the howler siren doesn't need to be played at an "earsplitting" level in order to be effective.

They had to park two ambulances next to each other with the glasses of water in between, and turning on the howler's to the loud-as-fuck volume just made the water ripple? Why don't they just have the T-rex from Jurassic Park follow the ambulance around? Dumbasses...

Re:Why is this on Idle? (3, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750423)

Because then they've got to follow the t-rex around with a giant pooper-scooper truck. And that's just silly.

Re:Why is this on Idle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754197)

> Because then they've got to follow the t-rex around with a giant pooper-scooper truck. And that's just silly.

You forgot to mention that it was invented by Shampoo!

Man, that guy is going to be really useful the next time we need to find prior art for something...

Deaf drivers? (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750207)

> The most frequent thing motorists say to us is they didn't see the ambulance coming

OK, but what about hearing the ambulances? I think the real problem here - stupidity - won't be solved by the new sirens. And what about the seismometers?

Re:Deaf drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751021)

Now, like astronomers complaining about light pollution, geologists will complain about vibration pollution.

Probably not.

But it would be funny.

Re:Deaf drivers? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751155)

I think a better solution: Receivers in cars that can be triggered by emergency vehicles. Light starts pulsing when nearby, to clue the driver into looking around or turning their music down to hear.

Sure, it would be spoofable, but since all it does is light up a caution light... what's the real harm? I would say the gains would be worth it.

Re:Deaf drivers? (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751735)

You'd be amazed. Every dozen calls or so, I'll get behind someone who doesn't see the big farking firetruck or ambulance behind them, despite the lights & siren going full blast. Or they'll see you, and not do ANYTHING different; not move over, not speed up, nothing. A couple times people have just dead stopped, right in traffic, right in front of me. They go into dummy-mode. The Sheriff's Department is more than happy to take vehicle and plate information and send out "interference with an emergency vehicle" tickets; no idea if it helps people not be so dumb next time, but it sure can't hurt.

Only 16 accidents? (1)

consequentemente (898944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750227)

from TFA:

So far this year, EMSA vehicles have been involved in 16 intersection accidents, typically caused by an unyielding driver. Fifteen of those times, the ambulances were on a call, said EMSA spokeswoman Tina Wells.

16 in a year is nothing. If the Howler is as loud as they say, watch this number go up as motorists cover their ears or have heart attacks while driving.

Re:Only 16 accidents? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750899)

That 's 16 accidents where the ambulance was one of the vehicles in the accident.

reply (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750243)

You are not logged in. You can log in now, Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward.

Ifrasound generation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750251)

So - where is a link to the maker of such an infrasound device? All I've found is links to the press releases and a $400 pricetag

Interupt the driver's entertainment (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750261)

I always thought that emergency vehicles should be equipped with a method of sending a signal that would be picked up by the automobiles on the road and provide an in-car cue that "hey, pay attention stupid--there's an ambulance!".
Of course, there are privacy concerns (I guess) and people never want to be inconvenienced, so I'm sure the idea would flop. But to me, that seems like a good solution. I would say 99% of the time that the siren isn't heard is because music is on/too loud.

Re:Interupt the driver's entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750789)

Hey everybody else on the road! I am in dire need of a beer, they sold me this here button thingy that warns all other cars I'm coming. This thing is great!

Re:Interupt the driver's entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25754841)

Don't the Europeans have something like this? Legally required?

How many drinks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750283)

Hi

I have drank a champagne bottie
I want to know, how man drinks in it..
Thanksss

The really big worms?!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750321)

>This is all well and fine, but I wonder what they plan to do when their sirens call up one of the big worms from deep below?

You moron, that only happens in the open desert. If you stay in the spaceports and behind the shield walls you'll never have any problems. Of course, if you're a spice miner or you pilot a carryall, well, that's a different story....

Can you hear it over ghetto blasters? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750343)

I doubt it will help hear over a ghetto blaster car stereo. I still think more blinky lights, lasers, searchlights, etc. are a better option.

It *is* a ghetto blaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750923)

Given that this new siren plays "baby got back", where do you think they got the idea?

Will they be heard? (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750349)

With all the idiots with 2000 watt power amps installed in their vehicles, I doubt they will even be heard at all. I can hear most cars in the neighborhood several blocks away, clearly.

I'm waiting for the lawsuit (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750385)

...when somebody claims it caused a miscarriage.

Re:I'm waiting for the lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750949)

...while standing on a street corner smoking a cigarette.

Visual Cues (4, Interesting)

VoxMagis (1036530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750705)

I ride a motorcycle, so I have come to the opinion that 90% of the drivers out there in their 'shiny metal boxes' are idiots.

I've come to the decision that all cars should be equipped with a flashing light on the dashboard or the steering wheel - RIGHT in front of the drivers face - that triggers whenever an emergency vehicle with lights/sirens is within a certain distance. In most urban areas now, emergency vehicles are equipped with signal devices that trigger traffic lights for them. Why not apply the same reaction to inside warning lights for the cars? Shoot - turn off their sound systems at the same time.

In the USA, we over-regulate vehicle safety standards already, to the point of goofiness, why not go ahead and add one more? One that actually has the potential to save lives?

Directionality (2, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751037)

Actually add one more feature - directionality. Half the time when I hear a siren I can't tell where it's coming from. In France I can tell whether it's coming towards me or going away, and it's a big improvement.

As a sometimes cyclist of the motored and non-motored kind, as well as being a car driver, I've been on both sides of near accidents, so I have both bike-rage and "oops, I didn't see you" guilt. I think it would be great if motorcycles constantly emitted some kind of "I'm passing on your left, stupid" sound that you would only hear from about one car-length away. Harleys already have that effect built in, though not exactly for that purpose.

Re:Visual Cues (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751279)

Because just like those traffic light things everyone else will be able to use them as well so tons of people will abuse them. I'd give it a couple months before most motorists rip the damn things out of their cars in frustration of having it go off every day.

Re:Visual Cues (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753267)

I ride a motorcycle, so I have come to the opinion that 90% of the drivers out there in their 'shiny metal boxes' are idiots.

Newsflash: 90% of everyone are idiots, correlation to automobile ownership is not statistically significant.

Re:Visual Cues (1)

laugau (144794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754303)

Waaa????

I ride a bike and drive in a shiny box. The problem isn't the car... it is the congestion and the fact that there is already so much noise that we HAVE to soundproof the car. I was in traffic 2 weeks ago, radio off, and a firetruck came up behind me in an intersection with lights on and siren off because of noise ordinances. How crazy is that?

The issue is people who think they have more rights than anyone else. (i.e don't infringe on my rights, man! I don't want to hear people around me, turn down my radio, but down my cell phone, respond to emergency vehicles or [wait in traffic on my bike].

A little personal responsibility and sense of community can go a long way.

Re:Visual Cues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25756023)

"why not go ahead and add one more?"

Because fuck you, buddy, that's why.

No offense, really, but motherfucking fuck the hell outta you. With all due respect.

Re:Visual Cues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25756175)

A lot of radar detectors have this as a built in function. The problem is that most of the ambulances around here don't have transmitters.... (yay, rural America!)

Overkill (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25750877)

Is this REALLY necessary? These monstrosities are going to structurally damage buildings just for that one or two times a year when someone might not here and ambulance coming?

Brown Note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25750887)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_note

What about hard drive damage? (1)

freelunch (258011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751007)

Any word on what those penetrating low frequencies will do to hard drives?

Re:What about hard drive damage? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751433)

Probably nothing that the sub in your home theater system or the subs in your neighbor kid's trunk don't already do.

One good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751039)

At least it will keep the ant-lions away!

sickening? (2, Interesting)

baomike (143457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751221)

It is well known that low freq sound can cause illness. Nausea and general sense of illbeing.

The paramedics arrive to too sick to function?

Why don't people care about their ears? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25751377)

I can't smoke in many places now, but for some reason it is fine to make noise bursts that could seriously damage your hearing.
As a sound engineer, I rely on my ears for my living.

If it's loud enough to feel through a car, it's loud enough to damage your hearing.
The restrictions for live music peak db are way less than this siren.

As an EMT (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25751711)

Our ambulance is outfitted with just a regular Whelen siren, but we've considered airhorns in the past (real airhorns, not the fake electronic crap on the siren. Turns out people move if you sound like a train).

I even read about this particular siren last year, in the Whelen magazine we get every month or so. It looks like a bass amplifier with some nice subwoofers, for what it's worth.

In any case, we're in northeast NJ. Traffic sucks, drivers suck, and people do stupid shit all the time. An airhorn would be useful. But as for Oklahoma, I don't really know if this would be necessary. It's kinda empty...

Re:As an EMT (1)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752623)

It's not the wild west here in Oklahoma, lol.

I think a lot of people have this perception that there is nothing in Oklahoma but fields and cows.

We may not be jam packed border to border, but our major cities are just as populated as any other state.

Re:As an EMT (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25753477)

There are approximately 50 people per square mile in OK, and 1000/mi^2 in NJ. I'm not trying to dis your state, but there's a much more consistent problem with moving people out of the way in NJ - especially northeast NJ (near Newark, etc)

And I'd wager that there are far worse drivers in NJ... I've literally been cut off before (lights and siren) while pulling out of the fucking bay, right in front of the police station. They then proceeded to stop at the stop sign because of oncoming traffic... which we could've stopped.

Re:As an EMT (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754525)

There is a company that make super loud horns (150dB). Google "super loud horn" and see all the things that turn up.

I have a much easier solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25752301)

Make it illegal to have those incredibly annoying and anti-social boom-blasting sound systems in cars (and homes too, while we're at it).

Not going to help much (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25752731)

The problem is that when most people hear a siren they freeze. It's the same as in the military. When the explosions start most people freeze. Even with trained troops a large percentage act like a deer in the headlights. It's as instinctual as with the deer and it's a halmark of a lot of social animals. Personally I would use a recording of an authoritative voice and flashing spotlights designed to shine on individual cars in the way.

Federal Signal Rumber? (1)

greenlead (841089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25754651)

This sounds similar to the Federal Signal Rumbler system, which supplements existing sirens on a police car, and works like a subwoofer.

The Rumber has been available for quite a while now.

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