While at the library's Shakespeare program last week we were reminded of something we hear mentioned time and again by Morenci residents: the fire siren that blasts for two full minutes.
The soliloquy of Henry V just got underway when the siren went off across the street. That can't be helped, of course, there's no scheduling of emergencies. When trouble arises, people want help as quickly as possible. But a siren for two minutes?
It seems that the siren could serve its purpose—calling in firefighting personnel and warning residents to look out for vehicles—in a much shorter period of time. Just 30 seconds would get the job done. It's a loud enough siren that a couple rotations of the horn would suffice in spreading the word around town.
In addition to changing the time limit of the blast, emergency personnel at both the fire hall and the EMS station have the capability to shut off the siren early before the two minutes is up. There have been times when the ambulance has driven by the Observer office on its way to an emergency and the siren is still needlessly blowing. Emergency vehicles, of course, have their own lights and sirens.
We hope first responders don't take this suggestion as a personal affront. That's not the case at all. Use the siren as it's been done for decades if you must; just trim it down to a reasonable length—and maybe the volume a little, as well.