No, your ears haven't been playing tricks on you. Upgrades to police and other emergency vehicles have been rolling out across the country, but the "rumbler" sirens are in a class of their own.

New York is full of both professional and volunteer first responders, and nearly all of them have different light and siren combinations. Learn about the difference between blue and green emergency lights (and when the law requires vehicles to pull over) here, but back to those new sirens...

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Rumbler Sirens in New York

The name "rumbler siren" gives a hint to their function... The new sirens were developed to be felt as well as seen. The siren sound includes, quite literally, a bass boost. The louder and lower frequencies are easier to hear inside of a car and have a "rumble" effect that creates a vibration that drivers can feel. Listen to a New York Police Department (NYPD) cruiser equipped with a rumbler siren below.

Emergency Vehicle Sirens and Lights

Sirens play a vital role for emergency vehicles. While flashing lights can often grab the attention of other motorists, sirens are required to be used by professional emergency vehicles when they need to disobey rules of the road like stopping at stop signs and red traffic lights.

SEE ALSO: What Blue or Green Emergency Lights Mean in New York

Rumbler or not, it's the law to make way for emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens activated. Check out some local New York heroics, including the rescue of a dog from the frozen Hudson River and a HORSE from a backyard pool below.

City of Newburgh Firefighters Save Dog on Frozen Hudson River

Lilly, the dog needed a little help from Truck 1 and the City of Newburgh Fire Department back on February 11th. Thankfully, she was returned to her owners without injury. Round of ap-PAWS for the City of Newburgh Fire Department for their quick response and heroic efforts.

Horse In A New York Backyard Pool?! See The Dramatic Rescue Photos

God Bless our amazing First Responders. They have to see and react to unique situations every day to save not just human lives, but also those of our four-legged friends. This past weekend a horse-faced a life or death situation after getting caught in the cover in someone's backyard pool in Bohemia, New York. Thankfully, the Bohemia Fire Department came to the rescue.