NSW firefighter's response to complaining resident goes viral

·News Reporter
·4-min read

A firefighter has hit back at a resident by issuing a detailed Facebook apology after "some grumbles" about being woken by sirens early in the morning.

It seems some people in the regional NSW town of Griffith aren't happy about their sleep being disrupted by the wailing fire trucks, with one leaving a message on a community board.

Addressing resident concerns, station captain Danielle took to Facebook on Tuesday where she "owned up" to the noise which came from a truck that was responding to a car fire near by, she revealed.

"We are really genuinely sorry," the post read. "We like our sleep as much as you guys do, so we honestly get it."

But the point of the post, it seems, was to explain the process firefighters must follow when being called to a job, and why sirens are necessary.

A NSW resident complained about the sound of the sirens when a fire truck was rushing to a job. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW
A NSW resident complained about the sound of the sirens when a fire truck was rushing to a job. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

"Some of this is probably not common knowledge amongst members of the public, so I will do my best to explain," she wrote in the lengthy Facebook post.

Danielle explained that fire truck drivers undergo "extensive training to be allowed to drive under lights and sirens".

"This training includes a whole bunch of boring theory going over a whole heap of rules and regulations dictated to us in different legislations," she said.

'Trying to keep everyone else on the road safe'

Referencing a Fire and Rescue Act, the station captain said they're required to "proceed with ALL SPEED to the fire and try by all possible means to extinguish it…". This could mean speeding or running red lights, but there are some conditions.

They must do so while taking "reasonable care" and while "displaying a flashing light or sounding an alarm," she said.

"When responding to a call the driver MUST operate the lights and audible warning devices in order to give the best practicable warning to the public," her post continued.

"So Matt (the driver of the fire truck) will not only be in trouble with the brigade if he doesn't use his lights and sirens, he can end up being charged if he has an accident and wasn't using them."

Danielle made clear that they "aren't trying to wake anyone up" when responding to an early morning call at "ridiculous-o'clock," they're just "trying to keep everyone else on the road safe".

To further prove her point, she explained that the firefighters "would feel terrible" if an "early morning shift worker poked the nose of his car out of an intersection" and they cruised on by without sirens, noting there could be an accident.

"To the person who made the complaint – we hope you were able to roll over and get back to sleep, and next time we see you we will shout a coffee to make up for it," the post concluded.

Emergency services applauded online

The post garnered a tonne of love and support from the public with it racking up thousands of likes and comments.

Many thanked the fire service for the great explanation but agreed they shouldn't have to apologise for using sirens.

"While people are whinging about being awoken by sirens there is another person waiting desperately for those sirens to come," one wrote.

Firefighter standing next to car on fire with smoke and flames
The station was responding to an early morning car fire and had to sound the siren. Source: Getty

"I don't understand why first-line responders need to explain the need for sirens. And I don't understand how anyone could complain about them," said a second.

A third thanked emergency personnel for their continuous efforts.

"What a gracious response to really quite an incomprehensible complaint," they added.

The post, originally shared on Griffith Fire Station's page, was also shared by NSW Fire and rescue.

"Occasionally we ruffle some feathers by waking people up when we travel under lights and sirens to an incident, but we don't do it for fun or to ruin your sleep," they explained.

Meanwhile, others didn't hold back on ridiculing the person who made the complaint.

"Wow! I honestly can't believe people are thick enough to complain about emergency services doing their job," wrote one.

"I can’t believe someone made a complaint," another said.

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