East Quogue, Quogue Fire Departments To Sound Alarms for Newtown Victims Friday

While the East Quogue and Quogue Fire Departments, as well as others further west, will ring alarm 26 times at 9:45 a.m., some fire officials said they are afraid it will cause panic.

On the one week anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, vigils and various acts of remembrance for the victims will take place, such as the ringing of church bells, in communities around the nation. Fire departments are also expected to participate by sounding their alarms 26 times at 9:45 a.m.

Both the East Quogue Fire Department and Quogue chiefs have confirmed that they will have volunteers sound their alarms.

The Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services sent out a memo to all county fire departments on Thursday noting that they could, if they chose to, sound their alarms 26 times on Friday morning at 9:45 in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and as a way to honor fellow firefighters and EMS personnel.

However, there are some fire departments have opted not to do out of fear it will cause more alarm during a week that already has many on edge after last week's violent attack. In addition, Friday marks the day the Mayans predicted the world would end.

East Hampton Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen, who also heads up the village's communications department that dispatches for five of the fire departments in town, said he was opposed to the exercise because he felt it would cause panic and overwhelm the 911 system.

"I understand where the fire departments are coming from. It's honorable that they want to pay respect," Larsen said on Thursday afternoon. "If they were going to do something like this, they needed a lot more public notice than one day."

Joe Williams, the commissioner of Suffolk FRES, said his department is not advocating for the commemoration, but that the memo was sent out on behalf of fire departments that said they wanted to do it.

"We're not telling them to do it. We have no authority to tell them do it," Williams said.

"Naturally everybody is concerned," he said that people won't know what the sirens are for exactly. He hoped the departments will spread the word. "I know for a fact that not every department is participating."

Westhampton Beach and Hampton Bays Fire chiefs were not immediatly available for comment.

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Irina Richardson December 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Maybe the churches should be ringing their bells, and not the firehouses.
jks December 21, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I definitely agree, churches should be ringing their bells today instead of fire department sirens that may alarm people.


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