Thread: Be Honest!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Be Honest!

    Okay, I've got to ask this because it's been a thorn in my side for quite some time. I read EVERY WEEK of fire department vehicles crashing. And, as I read the articles, over 80% of them are at intersections. (ie. in NY today)
    How many of you are stopping at stop signs or intersections and then proceeding when you KNOW it's clear?????
    My department has had a policy of doing just that for over 20 years!!!!! Why are we still smashing up at intersections, injuring ouselves, and killing people??
    State Law says: You have the right to disobey certain traffic laws BUT, you must drive with due regard. Blowing through intersections is NOT driving with due regard! Especially if cross traffic has the green light!
    Where is the sense of responsibility that we as public servants, are supposed to have? Driving with Lights, Sirens, & Horns only ASKS for the right-of-way, it DOES NOT demand it!
    Let's smarten up!
    There, I said my 2 cents.

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    I sat at a GREEN LIGHT one day with lights/siren on while idiots made right turns on RED in my path of travel.....to me, ANY intersection needs to be checked, and checked again.

    In my opinion there is no excuse for the majority of the accidents that occur - yes, you can't always fix the other, stupid driver, but you ~should~ put yourself in a position to avoid accidents also.

    My motto - what good are you if you don't get there in one piece?????

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    I have only ever driven ambulances, and then for private companies, not fire departments. Still, the point of the question applies.

    "How many of you are stopping at stop signs or intersections and then proceeding when you KNOW it's clear?????"

    I proceed when I know it's clear, period. If I can know it's clear without having to stop, I don't stop. Stopping isn't always necessary. Many intersections have good visibility of the cross road for a reasonable distance in either direction even before you actually get to the intersection. I will slow down and pay extra attention, sure, but if I can clearly see before I get there that nobody is coming or moving, no, I don't come to a full and complete stop.

    Does this apply in a heavy urban environment? Not usually. Due to the buildings it's usually not possible to visualize the cross street adequately until you actually get to the intersection, which means you need to stop.
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

    The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

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    jjr so you are saying that you blow a stop sign or light for the heck of it, knowing that the motor vehicle code says to stop?


    If the fire department rules and guidelines states that a piece of fire apparatus shall come to a complete stop for red traffic signals and for stop signs, then by the rules your are suppose to stop.


    In some departments, which I am familiar with, have rules like this. If the driver blows a light or stop sign, then the driver and officer will have charges preferred upon them for violating the rules and guidelines.


    If I was the Officer in the front seat and you or anyone else was driving and disobeyed the rules as you say, don't stop, you mister would be in serious trouble.


    Paso-- I agree with you on your post.
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    I started on a 1948 Seagrave with an open cab and no seatbelts. You can now get ABS, ESC, RSC, air bags, engine brakes, VDR's and IFS which make it safer to operate rigs. I drove carefully then, and I drive carefully now. If the operator can't operate safely all the new stuff is just money out of your pocket to make you feel safer. Buckle up, slow down and pay attention. It saves money and you still get there in plenty of time.

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    Our state code does not require us to come to a complete stop at controlled intersections, but it does say that we must proceed through with due regard. My career department allows us to proceed through at 10mph or less, at the volunteer department we must come to a complete stop.

    I certainly don't advocate blowing through a traffic light at 30mph just because it appears that cross traffic has stopped, but I also don't believe that a full and complete stop is necessary at every controlled intersection. Nevertheless, I still follow the rules of the respective department that I with at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    jjr so you are saying that you blow a stop sign or light for the heck of it, knowing that the motor vehicle code says to stop?
    No, that's not even close to what I'm saying. Can you quote me saying anything even close to "I blow through stop signs and stop lights just for the heck of it"? No, you can't. What you can quote from me, though, is this: "I will slow down and pay extra attention." Slowing down and paying attention is quite a bit different from "blowing through".

    I know you remember me as a member here and that you can easily recall off the top of your head many of the threads I've participated in here. You should know by now that you should not try to read too much into what I write, and you should definitely not try to read between the lines. If I didn't write it, don't assume I meant it.

    If the fire department rules and guidelines states that a piece of fire apparatus shall come to a complete stop for red traffic signals and for stop signs, then by the rules your are suppose to stop.

    In some departments, which I am familiar with, have rules like this. If the driver blows a light or stop sign, then the driver and officer will have charges preferred upon them for violating the rules and guidelines.

    If I was the Officer in the front seat and you or anyone else was driving and disobeyed the rules as you say, don't stop, you mister would be in serious trouble.
    You seem to forget that there are over 300 million people in the USA, 50 states, hundreds of counties and thousands of cities and municipalities. And who knows how many fire departments. Each has its own rules and laws. But yet YOU are going to tell ME what I know about my own local laws and rules, that I know the motor vehicle code says to stop. I know no such thing. I know that I've been told by several different instructors that Maryland's law does not say an emergency vehicle is absolutely required to stop at all stop signs and red lights. Nor do they specify the maximum amount over the speed limit emergency vehicles can go. I know that county departments, or even individual volunteer companies, can put in place rules that are stricter than the local law.

    I have only ever driven for a private ambulance company. They had a rule about not exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph. I do not recall if they had a rule about stopping at all signs and lights, to be honest.

    I agree with the principles mentioned by BoxAlarm187. Drive with due regard. Use your judgement. If you can't see, can't tell, or aren't sure, stop. If you can see the cross street for half a mile in both directions and can see there are no cars on that street when you're still 500 feet from the intersection, and there's no state or local law or local rule or policy that says you are required to stop, should you stop? That's up to you. I would not. I would slow down, as I said I would earlier.
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

    The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

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    Making a complete stop, with lights and sirens going, can have a negative effect as well, with cross traffic having a green.

    While I had just hit a red light, a med and engine coming the opposite direction (towards me) got a lane cleared up to the intersection. With the light red, they stopped. Again, lights and sirens are going. Since they stopped, and didn't venture into the intersection, they had to wait for the green light before they could advance. I noticed several drivers stop, to yield to the rigs. When the med didn't advance, they drove through the intersection.

    Stopping at all stop signs and red lights might be fine, but you have to put your nose out there to be recognized, and yielded to.

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    My department's policy is you STOP at all Red Lights and Stop signs.

    In my opinion for the few seconds that it takes to stop your apparatus are a few seconds that are well spent ensuring the safety of bystanders, other motorists, your crew, and yourself.

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    Well, we don't have a single stoplight in this town or our response area, and the roads are laid out to where we don't have to worry about stopping on most response routes. Flatlands equals ability to see far, unless its during the summer when the crops are tall. We'll slow down at intersections and proceed with caution when going through them, but we don't stop. And for you people with stoplights, this may be a stupid question, but what about Opticons? Is it that your lights haven't been switched to be able to work with them?

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    Every traffic light where I work (100's of intersections) and volunteer (7 intersections) is Opticom-equipped, and I'd say on average, they're capturing the signal about 90% of the time. Even when I capture the light, I'll still use due regard going through the intersection: I'm prepared to take evasive action in case someone's trying to run the light, since the Opticom will cause the traffic lights in the other directions to have a short cycle.

    My posts were actually referencing stop-sign-controlled intersections. You bring up an excellent point, though.
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    You don `t have to be life-threatening for your co-worker or people who make it their business for MABY,MABY save someone. We take to many risk !

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    We just don't leave the firehouse anymore.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    We just don't leave the firehouse anymore.
    Better yet, I call dispatch when I come on, and take them all OOS. No service calls, repairs, etc.

    When's dinner???

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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