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Sirens are Unethical
Posted: 15 March 2011 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Occum, my first post outlines the entirety of my problem with them. There are almost no (but more than I thought) uses for auditory signals on the road, and rather than being used unneccessarily and constantly, should only be employed when they serve a purpose, as otherwise there is only the problems I outlined in my first post.

Asanta, a thousand stories do not reason make. But I seem to recall you argue with your other senses anyway.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 15 March 2011 07:46 PM

Asanta, a thousand stories do not reason make. But I seem to recall you argue with your other senses anyway.

(Are you accusing me of using an Appeal to Authority?)
Stormy, I am just giving you examples to educate. My point is that an emergency vehicle travels Code III for a purpose. They do not do it purely to annoy you. I worked as a transport nurse for 15 years, and during that time, we only used Code III twice, (we usually traveled Code II) and believe me, we needed every second we could squeeze out of that transport.

[ Edited: 15 March 2011 07:54 PM by asanta ]
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Posted: 16 March 2011 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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asanta - 15 March 2011 07:00 PM

In the case of a serious car accident you have what we call a ‘golden hour’ to get the victim to a level 4 trauma center in order to optimize their chances of not only survival, but to minimize disability. Every minute counts.

When my son was in the 7th grade, he had an anaphylactic reaction at school. Not only did they take him Code III, but they stayed on the phone with the base station as they struggled to save his life, to determine which hospital would be the most appropriate to take him. Because the decision changed several times en-route as the hospital EDs were scrambling to get ready for him, I ended up in one hospital, and his father in another based on the info we were given at the time we were notified.

When my son was 14 he hit his head, and several hours later, he started having a seizure. I called 911, and the (poorly trained) answering paramedics were not as impressed with his condition as I was they decided to take him Code II to a hospital that had no facilities to treat him. I showed them my license and my work badge and told them to take him to a trauma center, and they completely blew me off. When we got to the hospital, it took me a minute to talk to the nurse, who instructed them to do as I asked because they could not treat him there. THEN we went Code III to the trauma center that had been waiting a half hour for him as he continued to seize. They very pointedly asked the sheepish paramedics “what took you so long?”. If he had been bleeding into his brain, those minutes would have made a BIG difference. Luckily, his brain was only bruised.

When I was in my 20s I lived in a duplex which caught fire one night. A man died in the house on the other side and we barely got out with our lives.

The point is; Emergency vehicles travel Code III because it is an emergency, and you need to get over it. I’m sure you would not sacrifice a family member in the event of an emergency, just because you don’t want to wake the neighbors.

Well put and very interesting info, asanta. Sorry to hear about your son!

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Posted: 16 March 2011 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Thanks Doug, my son is fine. I’m just trying to make the point that emergency vehicles use their lights and sirens for a specific purpose based on set guidelines. For every lights/siren you hear, there are probably another 20 running without either, that you don’t even notice… It would be unethical, to conduct all emergencies the same way, follow all of the traffic laws as if there were no urgency, and let people who could be saved, died for no good reason, other than that the sirens annoy you.

[ Edited: 16 March 2011 08:35 AM by asanta ]
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Posted: 16 March 2011 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Sorry, S-F, but I went back and read your first post.  Your arguments are apparently based on the fact that you don’t like sirens rather than logical reasons for dispensing with them.  I then re-read the following posts and it appears to me that each of your agruments have been addressed and refuted, although you claimed there were almost none.  I can accept that you have an animus, but that’s not a reason to ban sirens.

Occam

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Posted: 16 March 2011 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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One person claiming they have not seen people people flock top a siren does not refute my point on that.

No one has even commented on my note about the false impression constant sirens creates about society.

No one has commented on useage of sirens at times that disturb people on empty roads. (maybe in the states there are different protocols, but in Canada I have seen/heard many emergency vehicles on empty roads and the wee hours wih sirens blazing)

And not one person even seemed to have noticed that my largest argument against them is that we could use the siren for better purposes.

And while I did conceed that in select situations an audio cue can be useful, for some reason no one here seems to able to understand that a distict and loud horn would serve all the purposes a siren currently does (all two of them) without the drawbacks I brought up.

Every single comment made has been made from the presumption that sirens are valid, I don’t think even one person actually considered what I had to say, outside of ‘believing’ I am simply wrong.

I understand the viewpoint of people who like sirens, anything to increase the chances of saving lives, right? There is a cost/benifit discussion that needs to take place, and peoples faith in sirens is so strong that it seems as though such a discussion cannot take place at all.

You cannot reason with the faithful, even if that faith is in an inanimate object, or the sound it generates.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Probably because your reasoning is so faulty. Get over the sirens, they are there for a reason. And yes, you still need them on empty country roads, because you never know if someone should decide to cross the road, and the lights may not be visible. Your argument against sirens seem to be rather petulant and self serving. Others have pointed out the necessity of the sirens, and you have pointedly ignored them as well.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Because asserting ‘they are neccessary’ is not reason.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 16 March 2011 07:52 PM

Because asserting ‘they are neccessary’ is not reason.

Why? Its function has been explained. You postulate that they are NOT necessary, we have told you why they are. You refuse to accept our reasons. Can you put forth a viable alternative? Lights alone are not a solution.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 15 March 2011 02:48 AM

I mean the warning sirens on emergency vehicles.

The warning sirens are there because it is an emergency. In an emergency, seconds matter.

If a driver requires a siren to be alerted to the presence of a vehicle with bright flashing lights they should not be driving. I have, in twelve years of driving, never once been alerted to the presence of an emergency vehicle I needed to be aware of via sirens. Never met a blind guy that was allowed to drive, but deaf ones have no problem. Never met anyone that could give me an example where sirens would be benificial. Even in the most extreme case of an intersection surrounded by tall buildings, it is the flashing lights people will see and react to, unless they simply freeze two blocks away.

Sirens give notice in advance of the lights and the approaching emergency vehicle. When you hear sirens, you should begin to look for lights.

Let me be very clear on this point, if you are not aware enough of your surroundings to notice flashing red lights in front of you (your mirrors are also in front of you) then you are liable to kill someone on the road and for you to drive at all is stupid. And I consider stupid unethical.

during the day, the lights are not very visible, and lights do not work well through buildings, around corners, or up/down hills that may be in the way.

Now, what about potential harm caused by the use of these sirens? Sirens advertise “something interesting over here” and people will flock to it. Injury lawyers, tabloid photographers and the casually curious all get in the way of emergency personnel. Possibly even causing traffic jams, thus delaying medical treatment or fire prevention.

Sirens advertise, first and foremost; “make way”!

Beyond that they also create the false impression that life is more dangerous than it is, that there are ‘bad’ people everywhere, and the media is only too happy to embellish this further. When you hear a siren every few hours you are left with the impression of living somewhere where something criminal is always happening, and it becomes normal. Despite the fact that said sirens are almost NEVER in response to an actual crime. The only exception to this is the infamous ‘pursuit,’ and still can’t fathom why those are allowed to get out of hand. We certainly have the technology to disable a vehicle from a helicopter.

Are you forgetting about fire engines (it only takes a few minutes for a home to burn down once it gets started, I know, I have been in one and barely escaped alive), and ambulances? Police cars do not deploy their sirens only because they are chasing someone. Go to your locale police department and have a talk with them.

Further, the sound is annoying and invasive by design. Emergency personel give zero consideration to what time it is, as well they shouldn’t, but there is absolutely no need to disturb sleeping people at 3:00 am when there are not even any cars on the road to siren for. Again, the only people that need to be aware of the presence of such a vehicle are drivers on or near the same road who would be adequetly alerted by the flashing lights.

Au contrare, 3am is actually the most dangerous time to have to go Code III without lights/sirens. People are likely to be crossing the street without looking and ignoring stop signs. People are also more likely to be drunk, whether driving or walking.. This makes the call no less an emergency requiring transport as quickly as possible. Also, fires do not burn more slowly at 3am.

Finally, and this is actually my biggest arguement against them, it is a misallocation of the purpose a warning siren may serve. There are threats that we need to be able to inform the population of in a hurry. Television and radio are great for relaying information, but do not grab the attention of people doing other things. A siren warning of impending disaster would save lives. Sometimes there is only a few minutes between the warning and the catastrophe, having a siren alerting everyone to this would give each person the best possible chance to protect themselves.

It looks like you are complaining about the test sirens. We have one that goes off every Thursday at noon. I ignore it at that time (I hope we never have an emergency that starts at noon on a Thursday). When I am in my car, I listen to my iPod or a CD. Ditto at home. I may or may not answer my phone, preferring to let it go to the answering machine. The local siren would alert someone like me. I’m not sure what this part of your complaint has to do with the vehicular sirens.

It is my conclusion that emergency vehicle sirens in thier current form do not serve any good, do cause harm, and are therefore unethical. If you see holes in my reason, I would appreciate the criticism.

As someone who has been on both ends of the emergency vehicles—as a responder and a recipient. I can tell you that you are just plain wrong. As the saying goes “You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts” smile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MY82lt0ubQ  Two minutes from smoking to fully afire. Two minutes to rescue the inhabitants who may not have gotten out, and begin resuscitation if necessary. Two minutes to try to keep the fire from spreading to other homes.

[ Edited: 16 March 2011 11:54 PM by asanta ]
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Posted: 16 March 2011 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I agree completely with the initial poster! Using feminine wiles to lure sailors to their deaths by singing is pretty damn unethical.

Then again… Perhaps the sirens are just misunderstood? Maybe they are only looking for some companionship?

Me thinks I was too harsh in casting my initial judgement so quickly.

Take care,

Derek

[ Edited: 16 March 2011 11:53 PM by harry canyon ]
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Posted: 17 March 2011 12:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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harry canyon - 16 March 2011 11:43 PM

I agree completely with the initial poster! Using feminine wiles to lure sailors to their deaths by singing is pretty damn unethical.

Then again… Perhaps the sirens are just misunderstood? Maybe they are only looking for some companionship?

Me thinks I was too harsh in casting my initial judgement so quickly.

Take care,

Derek

precious…. LOL

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Posted: 17 March 2011 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Try growing up next to a volunter firehall with the siren on the roof. shock

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Posted: 17 March 2011 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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garythehuman - 17 March 2011 02:14 PM

Try growing up next to a volunter firehall with the siren on the roof. shock

I don’t see how growing up in that location would be difficult. Now, sleeping on the other hand… LOL

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 17 March 2011 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Occam. - 15 March 2011 05:06 PM

I’ll bet your son could have beaten that ticket.  The Dept. of Motor Vehicle code specifically says something that covers the situation that if an officer waves you on, past a red light, you are to follow his/her orders, rather than obeying the traffic signal.  In your son’s case, the emergency vehicle was, in effect, ordering him to move out of the way.  Unless the officer could show that he could have done it without going through the intersection, I think the judge would have found him not guilty.

Occam

You are probably right, I actually went with him to court one one ticket, Gawd he seems to attract so many. He beat it mostly because the Officer failed to bring any supporting evidence, and really could not provide a convincing reason for giving the ticket in the first place.

I suppose Officers have the same responsibility to prove their case as anyone. Unless of course the other party doesn’t show up.

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