There once was a time in Stephenville when the sound of sirens was a fairly rare occurrence, something that drew attention when one or multiple emergency vehicles were heard.
It was a fairly quiet town back a few decades ago. It wasn’t that there were no crimes or emergencies, but the occurrences of wailing sirens seemed to be a lot less than today.
It’s to the point now where hardly a day passes that you don’t hear at least one siren and probably more. When an accident occurs, the sounds are likely multiple as different responders make their way to the scene.
There was a time that those sounds were best known from watching television or going to the movies. It wasn’t something that was familiar locally. If there were sirens, people often followed the sound and went to check it out.
Today it’s different. It’s just like in the larger cities where they are commonplace and many hardly bat an eye now at an ambulance or police car passing by with its siren engaged. It usually takes the different sounds before curiosity is even piqued.
So what’s different between today and yesteryear when it comes to responding to emergencies?
It seems like back then ambulances and some other responders would often go with just the emergency lights engaged and not use sirens unless there was a real need with drivers slowing them down.
Still today, ambulances just using their flashing lights starting out but when they near intersections the sirens are usually engaged to warn drivers they are coming through stop signs.
There also seems to be more emergency vehicles around today with communities on the Port au Port Peninsula like Cape St. George and Lourdes having a full-fledged ambulance service, which adds to the amount of sirens traveling through Stephenville.
Fire departments don’t only have their fire trucks today but also have support vehicles that carry extra equipment needed in an emergency adding to the amount if responding vehicles. There are times when search and rescue also rush to a scene.
Usually the RCMP are the first responders and if the occurrence is deemed of a life threatening nature there may be multiple police vehicles rushing to a scene.
With an aging population, there are more medical emergencies than ever before so that adds to the number of ambulance call outs.
Unfortunately, as can be attested to of late, there are situations that cause the RCMP to respond in Stephenville with armed robberies.
It’s not something that anybody wants to hear breaking the silence in a fairly small town, but something that people feel confident about when those responsible are apprehended.
The noise of sirens are the reality of today and something that citizens of a town have to live with when it comes to security and to possibly even saving lives at times.