We're a bit flashy, but the music's not one big noise. (Freddie Mercury)
In Montreal, the fire trucks look cool. They're big and shiny and red and silver and everything a fire truck should be. Ambulances are yellow and square and boxy but they obviously get the job done. Police cars are few and far between in our area despite the police station down the road and we don't hear them too often. But during the summer, when it was quite hot and we had our windows open a lot, we constantly heard the fire truck and ambulance sirens.
The sirens are just like other sirens around the world, a slow whine that rises and falls. Or a high-pitched eee-ooo-eee-ooo. But in Montreal, I've noticed that they are a whole heap louder and a lot whinier!
Here's a youtube clip that I found that gives you a small idea of what the sirens are like here. This one keeps his siren on continuously, but there are others that like to switch it on and off so that they stop and start. Do you know how loud they are? And when they start doing that it's deafening!
If normal sirens were saying things instead of whining, this is what I imagine they'd say: "Watch out! I'm coming through! Get out of my way! Watch out!". But when Montreal fire trucks and ambulances do the on/off thing with the siren and the honking combined, it's more like "Watch out! (SIREN...HONK) I'm coming through! (HONK...SIREN) I'm so important because I'm an ambulance (SIREN) GET OUT OF MY WAY! (SIREN...HONK) I'M A FIRE TRUCK! (HONK HONK...SIREN)".
Now that it's colder and all the windows are shut most of the time we don't hear them as much. It's definitely one thing I won't miss about Montreal when we leave!