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Bull horn does sound in Tamaqua, house whistles don't

  • ANDY LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tom Hartz, Tamaqua Fire Chief, and Jim Barron, Tamaqua code enforcement officer, wearing cap, run a successful bull horn test on a pull box located on Pine Street in Tamaqua.
    ANDY LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tom Hartz, Tamaqua Fire Chief, and Jim Barron, Tamaqua code enforcement officer, wearing cap, run a successful bull horn test on a pull box located on Pine Street in Tamaqua.
Published July 19. 2011 05:01PM

There is a misconception among most Tamaqua residents concerning the current status and operations of the borough's bull horn, fire pull boxes and three fire whistles.

The misconception started following the lack of any fire whistle or bull horn during a recent fire that claimed four homes on South Lehigh Street. Currently, all three alert whistles located on top of

each fire house are not operating due to malfunctions, operating costs and other factors. Prior to that, each fire company's house whistle would sound every time that company received a page, no matter where the incident was.

Currently, the bull horn on top of American Hose Company, Mauch Chunk Street, is not turned off and is still operational, as it will only sound if someone pulls a fire call pull box or in case of a fire or general alarm, in which Schuylkill Communications sends out a signal via connected phone line. The bull horn didn't sound during the South Lehigh Street fire because of temporary technical issues.

Tamaqua officials recently performed a successful test on both the call box system, located at many Tamaqua intersections, and the bull horn.

Many residents, with differing opinions, are expected to fill the Tamaqua Borough Council meeting tonight to stress their concerns over the matter. Some of their concerns will involve public safety, firefighter distraction, false alarms and operating costs.

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