The Siren Board

Discussion of Outdoor Warning Systems
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:09 pm 
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Hello!

My name is Scott Bourque, and I'm a reporter for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix, AZ. I grew up here and vividly remember the Saturday siren tests at noon.

First, some unfortunate news to report: the siren on the roof of the East Court Building in downtown Phoenix has been removed. That means Phoenix Fire Station 22 has the last known relic of the City/County's old CD siren network.

When I saw that the Courthouse siren was removed, I decided to start researching for a story on the region's abandoned air-raid siren system - almost a Cold War obituary, as the last relics of that era are disappearing without any fanfare. So far I've been able to compile a vast amount of information from government agencies and local historians, and I look forward to sharing that with you once the story goes live.

That said, I think the expertise this forum offers could help me tell the story better. So, if anybody has any suggestions, or if anybody is willing to speak with me about what they know, I'm all ears!

Thank you all. For the record, I reached out to a moderator and was given permission to post this.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:36 am 
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Hello, Scott, and welcome to the board!
I know off hand that one of them ended up going back into service in Beebe, Arkansas in 2018 - it was purchased from the big surplus auction in which almost all the then-remaining units were included. As of this writing, it's the only one I know for sure ended up getting a second service life, although a decent handful of them ended up in the hands of private collector.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= HwKiA-rxpj4

I have a hunch, though I lack any proof, that Fire Station 22 is in some kind of operating condition, simply based off the fact that the horn is pointing a different direction in every street view capture and someone's Reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/phoenix/commen ... _in_south/) stating they heard a siren from 19th and Baseline, which is a bit too close to FS22 to be a coincidence in my personal opinion.

Hope this helps!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:47 pm 
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Do you know what happened to the siren atop the court building?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:46 pm 
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ObritSeven wrote: *
Do you know what happened to the siren atop the court building?
The Court's media officer referred me to the county emergency manager, who referred me to the county public works department, who said it was taken down when they were doing upgrades and repairs to the roof. They couldn't give me an exact date, but just from my own personal observations it seems like it happened in the past three months.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:02 pm 
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Jared H wrote: *
I know off hand that one of them ended up going back into service in Beebe, Arkansas in 2018 - it was purchased from the big surplus auction in which almost all the then-remaining units were included. As of this writing, it's the only one I know for sure ended up getting a second service life, although a decent handful of them ended up in the hands of private collector.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= HwKiA-rxpj4
Jared,
Thank you! While that YouTube link was broken, I searched for other videos of the Beebe siren and found it.
I also have a call in to PFD's media office to ask about it and to see if they'll let me take pictures - but given COVID, I'm not sure what they'll let me do.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:02 am 
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sdbourqu wrote: *
ObritSeven wrote: *
Do you know what happened to the siren atop the court building?
The Court's media officer referred me to the county emergency manager, who referred me to the county public works department, who said it was taken down when they were doing upgrades and repairs to the roof. They couldn't give me an exact date, but just from my own personal observations it seems like it happened in the past three months.
Where did it go though? Scrap?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:37 am 
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ObritSeven wrote: *
sdbourqu wrote: *
ObritSeven wrote: *
Do you know what happened to the siren atop the court building?
The Court's media officer referred me to the county emergency manager, who referred me to the county public works department, who said it was taken down when they were doing upgrades and repairs to the roof. They couldn't give me an exact date, but just from my own personal observations it seems like it happened in the past three months.
Where did it go though? Scrap?
Please stay on topic. This is about and related to the reporters request for info.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:56 am 
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uncommonsense wrote: *
ObritSeven wrote: *
sdbourqu wrote: *


The Court's media officer referred me to the county emergency manager, who referred me to the county public works department, who said it was taken down when they were doing upgrades and repairs to the roof. They couldn't give me an exact date, but just from my own personal observations it seems like it happened in the past three months.
Where did it go though? Scrap?
Please stay on topic. This is about and related to the reporters request for info.
Oops, sorry about that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:58 pm 
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I remember seeing the rooftop Thunderbolt when I was in the area in June of 2019, so it was removed sometime after this. I have a statewide map of Arizona with some locations around the Phoenix Area, if you think that would help out at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:46 pm 
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Scott,

Unfortunately I am not a regular member who contributes to this forum, but I am an Arizona native with an interest in these types of systems.

Arizona has an intriguing history with the old air raid siren system. If I recall (from discussions on this forum in my teenage years) the system was owned and operated by the county when Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs were close together. Once Phoenix metro hit its "hyper growth" stage and sprawled out the system became ineffective and the proper authorities invested in reverse 911.

To answer your question about these sirens, you can do a simple Google search and see a fair amount of threads from this board regarding Arizona. Most threads date back around 2007-2010. For the sirens themselves, some sirens were taken to a "grave yard" outside of Phoenix. Others were subsequently sold, and some, even placed in museums for a bit.

Arizona did have a very interesting mix of sirens, some rare in my novice opinion. Although I am limited on information (again, it is just an interest) I would be happy to speak with you privately and see if I can't enlighten you or point you in a direction. Thanks.


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