Answer Man: What’s up with Chatfield and its sirens?

October 12, 2018

Dear Answer Man,

I’ve recently moved to Chatfield. Ever since then, I’ve been faced with daily confusion every time 6 p.m. rolls around and what sounds like a siren briefly blasts. It doesn’t matter the weather. It happens when there is not a cloud in the sky and when there are torrential downpours. What gives? — Confused in Chatfield

Dear Confused,

Welcome to the area! I have only a partial answer for you as you might have found one of the few questions neither the Answer Man nor Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young can answer.

What I have been able to learn is that you should be doubly confused as the siren at the fire hall is set to go off not only at 6 p.m. every day but also at noon.

Superintendent of City Services Brian Burkholder told the Answer Man that it has been this way for many years.

But why? Dear reader, that question is hard to answer (even though you technically didn’t ask that).

The Answer Man, with the help of one of the Post Bulletin’s trusty reporters, turned to Young in hopes that he might know.

“I don’t. I’d like to be flippant and say, ‘No, if I don’t know, no one does, but I’m talking to the Answer Woman, how can I say that?’” Young said with a laugh.

While on the phone, Young said he was reaching for a couple of Chatfield history books he had and promised he’d get back to the Answer Man if he found anything. Even after his own research, Young was only able to learn that the first “electric fire siren” was installed in 1922. He was unable to find out why it sounds when it does.

“I trust it just goes back to the old tradition of sounding off when people knock off for lunch and knock off for supper but I don’t know the real story,” Young said.

So, the Answer Man is throwing a question back at you, dear readers. Do you know the real story? If you do, email answerman@postbulletin.com with the subject line “Chatfield sirens” and maybe you’ll see your knowledge in print!

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