Hawke's Bay volunteer fire fighters say neighbouring stations in the Bay of Plenty shouldn't have to do away with traditional fire sirens after complaints from the public.
More than 6700 people have signed a petition calling for Tauranga City Council to rethink silencing the fire brigade sirens in Ngongotahā and Pāpāmoa, which were muted on a trial basis after a resident complained.
Although he knows not everyone "likes it", Bay View Volunteer Fire Brigade senior station officer Richard Hinks said sirens were an important "fail safe" for rallying the volunteer crews.
"You can't always depend on new technology," he said. "We have outages with the paging system."
He said the siren was used during the day to alert their about 22 volunteers of a "big" event that might need more people to respond.
"During the day I don't mind the siren going because if I haven't got my phone or pager [it's the best way]."
The siren didn't sound the night of the Bay View BP fire on Friday because it was on a timer and not used between 9pm and 7am except in extreme cases.
Hinks didn't support scrapping fire sirens all together.
Although the sirens can be "loud and inconvenient", they could mean the difference between life and death.
He said people would probably feel differently about it if it was their house or loved one the firefighters were trying to help.
Havelock North Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Rod Triplow agreed the siren was an important back-up system.
"The technology doesn't always work. It is really because technology can't always be relied upon."
Of the 245 jobs the brigade attended last year, half were during the night when the siren was on a similar timer, he said.
Triplow said the siren probably sounded about three to four times during the week as it wasn't just fires the volunteer crews responded to - they were also often called to medical events and car crashes.
"A lot of people probably don't realise the brigade is made up of volunteers.
"We get up and go and serve our community for no return."
Hawke's Bay area commander Ken Cooper was sympathetic to those disturbed by sirens.
"I can definitely understand it."
The region "moved on the issue" several years ago, with local brigades adopting night siren curfews based on feedback from the community, he said.
"We can see the community appreciates it."
He said callout times had also improved since implementing new technology to alert volunteers.
The sirens were still relied on in case of a pager system failure though and Cooper said he didn't see them being done away with completely "any time soon".
"It is our back-up system."