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MD fire chief says no to ‘selfish’ requests to shut VFD house siren

Controversy in Smithsburg over firehouse siren

Below is a message from the Chief of the department in regards to the use of the house siren. I normally don’t comment…

Posted by Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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In a Facebook post (above) Wednesday by the chief of Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company in Maryland (Washington County) the message is quite clear:The siren will continue to blow in Smithsburg. Chief Danny Gibson lays out his case to those recently complaining about the noise and late night disruption. Chief Gibson calls those people “selfish” and suggests that when they hear the siren to say a prayer for both the person needing help and the volunteers responding to the call. Here is the chief’s conclusion:

So with that being said, the siren will be blowing 24/7 from now on for it’s intended use, as one of the alerting devices for the Volunteer FireFighter’s of Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company.

Sorry if this message has upset some, but for the individuals that have had to make that call to 911 for help, hearing the siren blowing begins to give them a sigh of relief in knowing someone is on the way. Pray that you never have to feel what they are feeling in their time of need.

It’s a controversial decision. As of this writing there are 649 comments and more than 1200 shares of the post.

Two thoughts on this. I always believe if you’re going to make a controversial decision, put your name on it as Chief Gibson did and explain what’s behind your position. Answer the questions that arise and don’t run from it. Also, since this is the chief’s position, I would suggest adding this line, “Since the siren has you up anyway, why not come out and join us? Contact me for an application.”

Valerie Bell,

There have been multiple complaints in Smithsburg in regards to the sound of the fire department’s house siren.

These complaints say the siren is too loud and wakes residents up in the middle of the night.

The volunteer fire department countered those concerns on Facebook with a post stating that hearing the siren is a way to give those in need a sign of relief knowing that someone is on the way to help.

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