04/24/09 151 W, 1 I - + 17 - 11 Fire Box Traps Prankster, 1938

From a reader, and for your Friday enjoyment, here's an advertisement for a false alarm deterrent. To activate this alarm box, you must reach through a "special compartment." When the box was pulled, your hand was locked. Only someone a saw or a box key could release you, e.g. policeman, fireman. But you did get a good view of the arriving fire trucks! By the way, are any alarm systems still in service around our state? And who has stories to share of pulling a box alarm? Though they were probably in service in Minneapolis in the late 1970s, Mr. Blogger never reported a fire while "in town" in his youth. Nor could he even run to the nearest station, as the family restaurant at Lake & Hennepin was about 14 blocks from Station 8. But, as usual, we digress. Click to enlarge:

“Boxes” are still in service in my old town in NJ, though rarely used now thanks to the cell phone. At night time, when you look down a block (town was laid out in a perfect grid), the boxes are identified with a solid blue light on their corresponding street posts in which they’re mounted. Looked pretty cool…
Silver - 04/24/09 - 12:56

Forgot to add; my bet is “no” on the box system anywhere else. Maybe at one time in Charlotte, who still uses the term “box” in their day to day communications….
Silver - 04/24/09 - 12:59

Charlotte had the old Gamewell system up until roughly 1979. They were maintained by “Fire Alarm” which was a division within Communications (Headquarters used to be what communications was referred to on the radio). Fire Alarm had a chief over them and operated (I believe) out of a building beside Station 11. They operated “cherry picker” trucks that maintained the lines running to the Gamewell boxes. To this day, Charlotte Fire Communications is known as “Fire Alarm.”

Box alarms are anything more than 1 truck. The term “filling out the box” is still used which basically means to upgrade the assignment from a Still Alarm to a Box or to upgrade to a working fire, pin-in, entrapment, etc.

As a side note, we don’t have the Gamewell boxes any more; instead we have Callboxes in the front of every fire station. If the trucks are out of the station and someone needs assistance all they have to do is hit the button and it rings directly into Alarm. We can talk with the person on the other end. Several citizens have used these callboxes to call for help, surprisingly we really don’t get that many false call from them.

Here’s some more history: http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Fire..
Luke - 04/24/09 - 17:25

Raleigh’s last box alarm was received on May 14, 1973.

Read that history, http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/h..
Legeros - 04/24/09 - 17:55

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