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Curious Mind: Jerome siren signals shotgun starts and warns golfers of incoming thunderstorms
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CURIOUS MIND

Curious Mind: Jerome siren signals shotgun starts and warns golfers of incoming thunderstorms

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Q: Occasionally I hear an alarm or a siren across the Snake River Canyon in Jerome County. What is it? (Part 2)

A: “When they have tournaments at the golf course, they sound a siren when it is time to start,” said Christine Danos who lives nearby.

Tony Sabala said “If those of question, are living on the south side of the canyon and in a close directional proximity to the Jerome Country Club golf course, they may hear a siren being sounded from there and it is a possibility that it would be heard on a Saturday or Sunday when there is a golf tournament in progress and being played. The air currents have to be just right (i.e., very still) and it is being sounded for those to begin their play. We live one and a half miles northwest of the country club and will often hear the siren sounded as stated above.”

“There were three sirens, one on the main fire station on East Ave. A, one on the water tower on East Ave. B (the water tower is now located at Crossroads ranch in Jerome) and one on a pole at the Volco lumber yard on West Main Street,” said Jim Auclaire, Retired, Career Fire Service.

He said “Upon receiving a reported fire, the siren was activated by the on-duty firemen at the main fire station. The main station had full time firemen on duty to my knowledge since the 1940’s. The siren was also used for civil defense and any local emergency alerts, if you turned on the local radio station, they would give you the location and what/where the emergency was.”

“There are two fire departments in Jerome, the Jerome City Fire Department and the Jerome Rural Fire Department,” said Auclaire. “Both department volunteers were alerted by sirens. It was also used at noon, and I believe it was a 9 o’clock curfew.”

“The sirens were deactivated in the late 80’s. This was due to new fire alerting systems and complaints by the public. The siren going off at 2 in the morning wasn’t pleasant to some. Due to public input, the noon alert was reinstated,” said Auclaire.

He said “There are no sirens located at any of the new stations, the only siren left is at the main station on East Ave. A.”

“In the 1990’s the Jerome Rural Fire Department and the Jerome City Fire Department donated the last siren, which had been stored for years, to the Jerome Country Club, it was to be used to alert golfers to incoming bad weather, it is also used to start tournaments,” said Auclaire.

Gary Krumm said, “I am a member at Jerome Country Club, and I also live on the south rim of the canyon in Meander Point subdivision.”

“The siren from our club’s ‘shotgun’ starts is what people are hearing. They are normally blown at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on certain days, but those times can vary as well,” said Krumm.

“The Jerome Country Club has a siren that they got from the city of Jerome a few years ago. It is used to signal shotgun starts and when a thunderstorm is close by to warn golfers to seek shelter,” said native John Harding.

“As a young man of 76 years of age having lived over 59 years in Jerome County and spending my early years on the family farm six miles north, one mile west and 3/4 mile north of the city of Jerome I can tell of hearing the ‘noon whistle.’ It was time to come in for dinner (no supper was served at 6 p.m.). The Jerome Country Club has a siren that sounds at the start of many golf tournaments. Just like bad news sound travel far and wide,” said Dennis Moore.

Have a question? Just ask and we’ll find an answer for you. Email your question to Kimberly Williams Brackett at timesnewscuriousmind@gmail.com with “Curious Mind” in the subject line.

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