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Resident complains about fire whistle

Published November 29. 2011 05:01PM

Polk Township's Volunteer Fire Company's recent public event got good reviews. "It was well attended," said Supervisor Nancy May who received a thank you letter from the fire company for all her help on that day.

"It was a big success," agreed Chief Terry Jacoby as Polk Township Supervisors held their monthly meeting.

What is not a big success in the words of resident Christy Cassatt is the fire whistle that has caused her "countless sleepless nights," as she e-mailed the township on Nov. 3, adding that she was "sick and tired of being woken up nightly by this midevil (sic) noise."

Two more e-mails continue that message, suggesting the phone could be used to call the firefighters to their job by phone, or that the township spend some money and buy them beepers.

Invited to come to the township meeting, Cassett said "We do appreciate the fire company," but continued her denouncement of the siren going of during "ungodly hours."

"There has to be a better way to summon the employees," she said, describing the siren's sound as one that is invasive in people's lives. "You're going to drive out all the residents," she added in regard to the sound that calls the firefighters to being needed. She finds the calls inconvenient and inconsiderate

From the Supervisors she was told that the firefighters are not employees but volunteers. They do not get paid.

The fire whistle alerts traffic Chairman Brian Ahner told her while Gary Hoffman, Monroe County Control Center, said in his 35 years of involvement in emergency services he has had two complaints concerning sirens or whistles. Hers is the second.

And, he added, pagers and electronic devices are used, but the community siren provides back up.

He said that, "We push the button (for the fire siren)" in the various county emergency services entities so she should blame him.

Supervisor Nancy May referred to an article by Beth Brelje about "Action heros needed" in Delaware Township, Pike County, in the Saturday, Nov. 26, issue of the Pocono Record to define what the volunteers do and then told of how the Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company came to be due to the "blood, sweat and tears" of volunteers.

The siren warns the community that the volunteers are coming. They are not employees May reiterated.

Chief Jacoby told Cassett that if he is in a deep sleep he does not hear the beeper, but the siren wakes him up.

Cassett responded that she thinks using the siren is rude and that she is offended.

"This loud noise is to save lives," said Solicitor James Ferari. Cassett, however, said she plans to take the issue to the state and also vowed to continue to send her e-mails to the township regarding the siren although it had been suggested she should have checked out the situation before moving into Kresgeville in close proximity to the firehouse.

In the various township reports that followed, Supervisor May said she does not anticipate an increase in taxes next year. A budget meeting has been set for 3:30 p.m., Dec. 9. The budget adoption will take place at 9 a.m., Dec. 30 and the Board of Supervisors reorganization meeting will be on Jan. 3.

The township's annual tree lighting will be held at the Veteran's Memorial either Dec. 9 or Dec. 10. Posters will inform residents. The regular Supervisors meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 19, due to the fourth Monday being a holiday.

The Steven and Lucille Denunzio lot joinder plan of 4 lots in Robin Hood Lakes got a 3-0 nod, as did the Monroe County 2011 Hazard Mitigation Plan and that data be provided to change the flood plain designation for Polk Township.

Various updates were received, including that neighboring Eldred Township was in agreement with what Polk has proposed regarding Carney Road.

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