N. Shelby Fire District's new gadget may startle you

SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A new siren being used in Shelby County could startle you when you encounter it But that's the idea.

Not only can drivers see the flashing lights and hear the sirens, but now they can feel an ambulance approaching.

Emergency crews at times have a problem with drivers who don't move out from their path. In some cases, drivers are distracted. Yet, in many cases, drivers just can't hear the sirens because they are riding in a newer vehicle that's more sound proof.

To get those drivers' attention, some emergency vehicles in the North Shelby Fire District now have what's called a "Howler."

The siren sends a vibration to nearby vehicles through a low tone frequency out of the speakers and drivers can feel it.

Crews tested out the siren with one driver who feels like it will alert unaware drivers.

"It's like where you have contact with the car. It's a light vibration," said Aaron Smith.

"It gives you some vibration, will let you know to hey look around," said Battalion Chief Buddy Tyler.

In addition to the new sirens, super L.E.D. lights have been added to North Shelby Emergency trucks. They are highly visible in the daytime.

All helping to get drivers to clear a path for emergency crews, which helps to improve their response time when someone needs help.

Some emergency vehicles with Hoover also have them.

The "Howler" is a $400 addition for each vehicle.