Arcata’s noon siren removed from downtown fire station

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ARCATA - Modernization of the old fire station in Arcata took a big step forward Wednesday, with steel going up, but a beloved tradition coming down.

It was a day to remember in Arcata, as the Fire Station's Noon Siren came down forever.

From 1975 to the early 90’s the siren was used to summon firefighters to duty. Meanwhile, an Arcata tradition was born and residents could hear the siren whistle, every day at noon.

"I used to hear it every day my freshman year and then I'd see the helicopter fly over when I lived in the dorms, so it was something I kind of liked. And when it first went off, it was like, whoa what is that, what's going on and then I just got used to it,” said Christy Dunne, Arcata Resident. 

"It was very strange first time hearing it, because I didn't know what it was but when people explained to me, it was just a warning sign. It was kind of comforting,” said Arcata Resident, Edward Escude

Residents say, the siren was another interesting part of the Arcata experience.

"You know, it was something unique to Arcata and it was part of the character,” said Escude

The decision was made to retire the siren after upgrades began on the downtown fire station. But the noon siren's not done just yet. It's made its way to a new home at the Kinetic Museum in Eureka. “

"They were excited that it would end up in the museum and they were also excited that we would bring it out every year to start the race," said Christopher Boyle, Kinetic Museum Director.

The noon siren has kicked off the Kinetic Grand Championship race, for many years, and now, the Kinetic Universe will make sure that tradition continues.

“We're setting up an engineering team, so we have a mobile platform to get that thing out there and make it all work, so we're very excited,” said Boyle. 

Even though the siren is gone, it will be replaced with an even more historic, Fire Bell, that was used from 1908 to the 1940’s. Once construction is complete, the bell will sound daily from a tower on top of the station.

The siren will sound off again in the Arcata Plaza at the Kinetic Grand Championship race on May 23rd. The downtown fire station should be complete this summer.