How to buy EMS sirens
When selecting the sirens for your next ambulance or quick response vehicle, remember these considerations
In most places, sirens are a requirement for emergent operations. Sirens warn oncoming traffic, cars traveling in the same direction, and vehicles waiting to proceed that an ambulance is approaching. While we would all like to see more drivers give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles, EMS professionals need to remember that siren use is just one component of safe driving practices.
When selecting the sirens for your next ambulance or quick response vehicle, remember these considerations:
1. Compliance with current federal standards, as well as any state specific standards for emergency vehicles.
2. While a single 100-watt speaker may be adequate, two 100-watt speakers allow a vehicle to remain available for emergent operations if one speaker is broken or damaged.
3. Dual tone sirens can run two tones at the same time. For example, broadcasting the 'yelp' and 'wail' tone simultaneously as the ambulance approaches an intersection may get the attention of more drivers.
4. Select a well-known brand. Kevin Pomasl, an ambulance sales professional, told me that he advises his customers to "select a known name in sirens because an off-brand purchase, while cheaper initially, may lead to future problems."
Finally, lights and sirens response should be decreasing because of the associated risk of collision. When selecting a siren package, get the most decibels for your limited dollars, but don't overspend on a siren system that might only be used on 10 to 25 percent of your total responses.
Any other suggestions? Anything we missed in the list above? Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
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