On November 4, 2020

“10 of 9” whistle will be fixed

City of Rutland Fire Dept. addresses repairs needed

Many people have heard that the “10 of 9” whistle has sounded a little off the last week or so. Many more have taken to Facebook to find out what’s going on, the City of Rutland Fire Department posted on Facebook Nov. 1.

The Department explained‚”We have a computer, called a Digitizer, that decodes Gamewell boxes and telephone line alarms that are directly connected from the business to the station. This tells us the business and address of the alarm. This computer is also programmed to sound the whistle two times a day, and is used to sound the whistle when we have a large fire.”

“The reason it has been sounding ‘off’ last week a component in the computer failed,” the dept. explained. “We are using a backup component, which had to be re-programmed to sound the whistle. Unfortunately, some system settings still need to be tweaked to allow the whistle to sound normal. This system is complex, and has to be worked on by a qualified technician. There is nothing wrong with the whistle itself,”the department assured it’s followers.

The “10 of 9” whistle is unique to Rutland. The evening blast has been a curfew call for children for generations. And the tradition is overwhelmingly supported. In 2008, an article was put up to vote on Town Meeting Day asking voters if they would approve a measure to return to the tradition of blowing the horn at 8:50 in the morning as well as at night. The article passed 3,453 to 1,419.

The reason behind the morning call is unclear, official s said at the time. Some believe it’s simply to test the horn regularly as it was the only way to summon firefighters before more modern communication systems replaced it.

The whistles have been blowing for over 100 years.

The horn sits atop the fire station in the center in Rutland City.

“We are working on getting the back up system fixed to sound the whistle correctly, until the primary system can be repaired. We apologize for the abnormal sounds it making now, but appreciate all of the positive comments about keeping the system alive and well,” the department concluded in its recent Facebook post.

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