Magen David Adom Ordered by "Lemallah" Cut Siren Volumes in Half!

The high pitch whine of ambulance sirens at deafening volumes can be heard on a regular bases day and night from almost every part of the city. In their wake, they awaken infants, the sick and the elderly, they terrify travel weary tourist who braved it to Israel despite warnings, and they trigger stress to the many victims suffering from post traumatic stress disorder forcing them and others to re-live trauma that was usually associated with ambulance sirens. Lemallah says “reduce siren levels in half!

Thereby reducing the aforementioned issues.
Jerusalem - November 3, 2009 While thanking MDA (Magen David Adom) for the very vital work that they do, it is also incumbent upon us to point out the fact that MDA has over the years ignored no doubt hundreds of pleas by ordinary citizens to turn down their siren volumes, and they all no doubt got the same canned response that Lemallah got: "it is a requirement by law that the sirens be turned on and left on during the entire emergency transport in both directions" said Mr. Yonatan Yagodovsky, Director at the Jerusalem office who informed us that these matters are not handled by his office and suggested that we direct our concerns to the spokesperson Mr. Dover. We sent two letters receiving no response. A positive sign? After calling the Director back when we failed to get a response to our letters, he told us that "our letter was forwarded by the spokesperson to the "electronics people" we presume to do the testing that we suggested in our formal letter to MDA. (reprinted below)
The one single way to improve the ambiance of Jerusalem, reducing in half all of the negative problems listed above while at the same time be more effective in having the cooperation of the traffic which is currently lacking according to U.S. standards is to simply cut siren levels in half. Frankly we have never discovered such an easy way to do so much good by stopping so much negativity to easily. The current situation makes you want to call an ambulance for your ringing ears that the passing ambulance caused!

Copy of letter that we sent back in October 14, 2009
-----Original Message-----
From: yossi []
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:02 AM
To: ''
Subject: Siren Levels in Jerusalem
Regarding: Siren Decibel volume:
Dear Spokesperson, October 12, 2009
My name is Yosef Yomtov and I am writing to you on behalf of the organization Lemallah. First I wish to thank your organization for the many fine and vital work that you do.
I am writing to you about your policy as it relates to emergency vehicle sirens the volume as well as the methods used.
Our Complaint:
1) The Siren volume levels are much higher than is required for safe operation.
2) The duration and the way that the sirens are employed are excessive.
The Solution we propose:
1) Reduce Siren volume levels as part of policy for the ambulance drivers.
2) Do testing to determine and set appropriate volume levels for average street situations. Siren volumes are not necessary to hear 5 blocks away. Testing should be done to determine the volume level required to hear a siren 1.5 blocks.
3) Sirens should be very low or not used on clear streets when not in the intersection and ambulance is not being blocked by traffic.
4) Different siren tone pattern should be used when the ambulance is approaching and at an intersection, or when the ambulance is being blocked by traffic situations. Tone patterns can be the siren being turned on and off for example, or a different pitch and tone.
We support your fine work and we know that you do not wish to be the cause of any negativity in the communities that you serve. The use of overly loud siren volumes has several effects:
1) Aggravate trauma that people may have experienced or a loved one and usually that trauma was accompanied by ambulance sirens, this causes someone to re-live the experience.
2) Jerusalem is in the top 10 destination spots in the world for tourists, any of those come with a sense of fear from all the news reports, your loud sirens have the effect of scaring them unnecessarily.
3) Your decision to at least cut your siren volumes in half will be one of the single most effective ways to improve the positive ambiance of Jerusalem and therefore implore you to take immediate action on this very important matter to all Jerusalemites and can be a pattern for all of Israel.
LEMALLAH is a broad based organization composed of community, business, and religious organizations
Yosef Yom tov