Fire and Rescue NSW to roll out new low-frequency sirens on trucks in high traffic areas

New low-frequency sirens can be 'felt' by drivers, says emergency services minister

Following a successful trial in the Sydney CBD, rumbler sirens will be fitted to 25 fire trucks in areas of high traffic and pedestrian activity, including Parramatta and Blacktown.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott and Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins announced the roll-out of new low-frequency sirens on Monday.

The “rumbler” sirens emit low-frequency soundwaves through large subwoofers installed on the front of the fire truck, creating vibrations which can be felt by drivers in sound-proof modern cars and pedestrians listening to music or on the phone.

“These new sirens with their low frequency output can be felt as well as heard,” Mr Elliott said.

Commissioner Mullins said FRNSW drivers are taught to be careful when approaching a busy intersection, however fire trucks weigh more than 15 tonnes and cannot stop suddenly when a distracted pedestrian walks on to the road.

“We trialed the new siren on one of the busiest fire trucks in the CBD and as soon as the rumbler was switched on, people became more alert and aware of approaching vehicle,” he said.

He said drivers should move to the left-hand side of the road when they hear sirens and not brake suddenly or panic.

If it is not safe to move immediately out of the way, keep moving forward until it’s safe to move over.