Winnipeg emergency vehicles testing new sirens you can feel coming

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is testing new sirens that can send vibrations to the cars around them in an attempt to improve safety for first responders and drivers.

The first siren, called a Whelen Howler,  was tested in Winnipeg in three years ago, before they were installed in six district chief of paramedic operations vehicles.

“It’s almost like a bass speaker kind of tone and resonates like a vibration kind of a feel,” said Tom Howards, the manager of light vehicles for WFPS.

The devices are about the size of a coffee can and placed behind the front bumper.

Don Dacquay, a district chief of paramedic operations, said he’s noticed a big different when responding to a call since the new sirens were installed.

“People just go, ‘What’s that?’ and they turn to the right and move out of the way immediately,” Dacquay said. “It’s actually vibrates their back window and their car.”

WFPS is looking at installing Whelen Howler’s, which cost around $1,500 each, in more of its fleet of emergency vehicles in the future.

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