David Wilson for The Boston Globe

If there is a soundtrack to life in Bowdoin-Geneva, it is sirens. Ambulance sirens. Police sirens. Fire truck sirens.

They can be heard through your living room windows, from the front and back porch, from bedrooms. At all times of the day, and night, the high-pitch wailing sounds.


Sometimes, they are in the distance. At other times, they rumble up close.

Their racket drones on and on. At first it’s alarming, grating on your nerves. Then, eventually it fades into the background, becoming another ambient noise.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Wheeee-ooooong! Wheee-ooooong! Wheee-ooooong! Wheee-ooooong!

Why are they sounding? Is someone hurt, an elderly person at the Pasciucco Development or a young man in the street? Were there gunshots, a car accident, a heart attack?

You pray that whoever awaits the sirens still breathes. You hope that if handcuffs, drawn guns, and arrests are involved, that they are warranted. But really, you fear the day their sound doesn’t bother you at all.


One Sunday afternoon between 12:28 and 12:38 p.m., two distinct sets of sirens sound. And before you determine if the last set is fading or a new set is gearing up: Sirens again.

12:46. Sirens.

12:58. Sirens.

1:12. Sirens.

2:22. Sirens.

2:51. Sirens.

3:29. Sirens.

3:34. Sirens.

3:49. Sirens.

Akilah Johnson

Akilah Johnson can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @akjohnson1922.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of