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New ambulances equipped with 'howler' siren

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:16 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2014

Four new ambulances were placed into service this week by the city Emergency Medical Services Department.

The ambulances, which cost $190,000 each and have an additional $100,000 in equipment, are stationed at the Waianae, Nanakuli, Makakilo and Wahiawa stations.

The four 2013 Ford-350 ambulances are first to be equipped with siren called the howler -- which emits a low frequency rumble -- and works in addition to the siren to warn drivers.

The city maintains 20 ambulances and two rapid response vehicles, SUVs that don't transport patients, but begin patient care or determine if the patient needs an ambulance.

All ambulance units are designated as advanced life support and are staffed by at least two people: emergency medical technicians trained in basic life support.; and mobile intensive care technicians trained and authorized to perform advanced life support and invasive medical techniques.

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st1d wrote:
the banshee wagon.
on February 13,2014 | 08:25AM
Poipounder808 wrote:
Our EMS people do a fantastic job.
on February 13,2014 | 08:32AM
Pali_Hwy wrote:
Honolulu is already the noisiest city I have ever lived in our visited. All day and all night, sirens wail like wolves. Yet when wailing emergency vehicles try to navigate the roads and intersections, other drivers just ignore them. People don't pull over. Obviously all that noise is ineffective, people just block it out. If sirens were used more sparingly, and aided by some vigorous HPD enforcement, drivers would respond more appropriately. As it is, all the noise, plus congestion is making this a very Un-livable city.
on February 13,2014 | 09:29AM
entrkn wrote:
Sorry you feel that way but if you ever take a ride in one of our ambulances, you will almost certainly have a change of heart...
on February 13,2014 | 09:57AM
PMINZ wrote:
Agreed When in 1972 Me in the front seat and my wife in the back, of an ambulance wizzing thru the traffic. It really gives on a New Look on the EMS sevices! I have a great respect for all the EMS, Fire and HPD.
on February 13,2014 | 10:23AM
MANDA wrote:
Totally unrelated to siren noise. Unnecessary siren noise, like sirens at 3:30 am down empty streets, do not enhance safety or wellbeing or treatment.
on February 13,2014 | 10:47AM
mcc wrote:
Happens in my neighborhood all the time. No traffic, late at night, wailing sirens!.
on February 13,2014 | 04:24PM
MANDA wrote:
You said it, Pali_Hwy. It's sad when NYC has better control over their sirens than we do.
on February 13,2014 | 10:47AM
kamoae wrote:
NYC doesn't have better control of their sirens! You hear it all the time day and night in Midtown!
on February 13,2014 | 11:31AM
Sarak wrote:
Exactly Pali, or they run their sirens on empty streets and then stop at every stop sign or light just like regular, its pointless. Also, disturbing the peace contributes to public health problems too, its not a freebee to wake up a couple thousand people to arrive 10 seconds sooner somewhere. Sleep is when the brain repairs itself and eliminates toxins, preventing among other things Alzheimer's and brain issues. They are literally killing people with all the noise. And it has nothing to do with the great job first responders do, they do their job to help people not harm them, this is a public policy health issue, we need akamai policy, not what we have.
on February 13,2014 | 01:57PM
Kealii wrote:
Every emergency vehicle is SUPPOSED to slow down and prepare to stop at stop signs and red light intersections and to proceed only when it is safe to do so. They can't just race through intersections with their siren blaring or not. As other commenters said, not everyone hears the siren or is paying attention and we don't need multiple emergencies because an emergency vehicle got into an accident. Yes, the noise sucks at 3 in the morning but better just that one emergency vehicle making noise rather than an army of them because there are now multiple accidents all due to no siren and no warning of an approaching emergency vehicle. It's all about perspective. Someone has an emergency and is need of help. And it could even be life-threatening. I would hope that help reaches them safely and quickly.
on February 13,2014 | 02:40PM
dsl wrote:
Why does the government need to spend money they say we don't have on a media event to introduce new equipment? Private businesses bring new equipment online every day and they don't call the news people to make this grand announcement of their new "stuff". Oh, forgot, election coming up!!
on February 13,2014 | 11:46AM
eoe wrote:
Oh I am sure this will win an election / sarc
on February 13,2014 | 03:43PM
bpet wrote:
I agree that Waikiki/Honolulu is very much polluted with the sounds of sirens, day and night . . .but perhaps a 'different' sound such as the howler would cause motorists to take heed and allow the emergency vehicles the right of way. . .for a change.
on February 13,2014 | 01:06PM
kekelaward wrote:
They should have a siren that sounds like someone racking a round into a 12 gauge shotgun. That should clear the area.
on February 13,2014 | 03:13PM
RandolphW wrote:
All too many drivers don't pull or get out of the away of emergency responding vehicles as they should be doing. Very often, they seem to freeze until the vehicles get right on their tails with sirens blazing. I'm in favor of bringing back the sirens that were in use back in the 1930's, 40's and 50's. The sounds were much more pleasant, and got the job done right. People really had to look around themselves to pinpoint the direction the vehicles were headed. This is more than you can say for today when the drivers mostly freeze up.
on February 13,2014 | 03:27PM
Steve_Souza wrote:
Saved my life 2X last year.
on February 13,2014 | 04:32PM
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