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It's 2 a.m. You and your family are in a deep, deep sleep. The smoke detector suddenly sounds and you awaken very disoriented because of the extremely high levels of carbon monoxide that the Úquot;fireÚquot; in your basement has been creating! You come to your senses and call the emergency phone number for the Port Washington Fire Department, 742-3300. Within seconds from hanging up with an emergency dispatcher you will start to hear that annoying antiquated siren! Then, within a matter of minutes you will start to hear fire vehicle sirens of the Port Washington Fire Department!

There isn't a week that goes by that these men and women go to work without bags under their eyes! I will tell you that if this were my house or my baby in need, I would want every siren in Nassau County sounding the call for help. This letter you wrote was truly a selfish and foolish way of showing your concern and support for National Fire Prevention Month which you obviously did not know is in October. I have lived in Port Washington all my life. I have been a decorated firefighter for almost 25 years. I am appalled that one man would try to rally a community against the audible alerting system that also serves as a civil defense signal.. The last time I read the newspapers, our country is at war with terrorism which has changed our entire way of life.

I am appalled that one man would try to change a well-proven, nationally known system that saves lives! In closing, I will state that the most important function of these sirens is to alert the community that there is a fire emergency and that you may encounter responding emergency vehicles and to be cautious and give the right of way. Mr. Bluni, please, I urge you to leave the safety of the community to the professionals who have served you for over 100 years. I also encourage you to consider joining Port's Bravest. We are always looking for help. If interested, please call me at 883-2200, ext. 14.

Walter J. Clark Jr.


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