Fire Chief Anthony Stowers announces that the Maynard Fire Department is beginning to remove hard-wired street boxes in town, as part of its process of modernizing its fire notification system.
The venerable old street boxes were manufactured by The Gamewell Co. of Newton, and have been in service since the 1800s. They rely on a hard-wired telegraph system that sends a numerical code to the dispatch center, corresponding with its location, when someone pulls the handle.
The system requires extensive upkeep and costly repairs, and in today’s day and age of cell phones, the boxes are not being used as much as they were in years past.
The boxes will soon be replaced by radio boxes, which are less costly and require less maintenance. The radio boxes work much the same way cell phones operate, and they are able to relay more information, much quicker.
“The street boxes served our department well over many decades, but times have changed,” Chief Stowers said. “New technology will allow us to receive vital information quicker with much lower maintenance costs.”
Crews are starting at Mockingbird Lane and will continue through town until every box is removed and upgraded. The total upgrade process is expected to take up to two years.