1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105 View Post
    Odd - have you never seen the police do the exact same thing? Quite often I've seen police cars running just lights, no siren and not speeding to a call - they are responding, obviously, but not to a situation that requires immediate drastic response.

    We do the same thing.... I'm... a touch puzzled as to why you would think this is "one of the most bizarre things I've seen here".
    I'm with him, I think that this is really bizzare too. No, in nearly 20 years of doing this have I ever seen a police car ride around with the lights on when they're not speeding, overtaking an intersection, or the like - and I worked in law enforcement before getting hired with the FD! No matter fire, police, or EMS, it simply doesn't make sense to have the lights on if you're going to be driving the speed limit.

    Is the call still an "emergency call" if the other rigs are there and the condition is mitigated?

    I understand that at 4AM on a country road, some EV's are going to exceed the speed limit with lights on and no siren. But to just drive along with the lights on while not going any faster than the flow of traffic is wierd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I'm with him, I think that this is really bizzare too. No, in nearly 20 years of doing this have I ever seen a police car ride around with the lights on when they're not speeding, overtaking an intersection, or the like - and I worked in law enforcement before getting hired with the FD! No matter fire, police, or EMS, it simply doesn't make sense to have the lights on if you're going to be driving the speed limit.
    Weird - happens all the time here in Nova Scotia. With cops, EMS, and fire.... any call requires lights, but not necessarily siren/high speed unless it's a high-priority call.

    Is the call still an "emergency call" if the other rigs are there and the condition is mitigated?
    Here it's an emergency call until the apparatus are back at the station and dispatch clears the board.

    I understand that at 4AM on a country road, some EV's are going to exceed the speed limit with lights on and no siren. But to just drive along with the lights on while not going any faster than the flow of traffic is wierd.
    Usually, honestly, traffic gets out of the way even if it's not requested with a siren/horn blast - emergency vehicles have the right of way when lit up here. However, the apparatus obeys stop signs, traffic lights, and posted speed limits when only running lights.

    Personally, I'm perfectly fine with this - if the gear/resources aren't need *right now*, why risk anyone's life to get it there? Run the lights, but move at a safe and reasonable speed.
    Last edited by 105; 03-22-2011 at 10:13 AM.

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    The reason why some of us disagree with the concept of responding with lights alone is that we don't understand the point. Emergency light, sirens, air horns, etc are emergency warning devices. If you are driving normally, obeying the speed limit and all traffic laws where is the need to warn the other drivers? Is it so your preemption devices activate the traffic lights in your favor? If so, if the incident requires your expedited response why aren't you using the siren as well?

    I am sure there are times when lights and no siren is appropriate... it would seem to be a good for a tender that is moving well below the speed-limit due to weight and road conditions to use lights to warn other drivers of the hazard it is creating (or any apparatus in these conditions).

    The other reason that there is some confusion is that many states consider it dangerous to respond with lights and no siren. My personal experience is that emergency lights tend to bring the moron out in the average driver, lights don't always change that but they help.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
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    I too have never seen a cop just driving around with their lights on. Also your analogy is off, tow trucks and construction vehicles have hazard lights that are to warn people "hey I'm working here or towing something watch out" our lights are saying "Hey I'm going to an emergency, please move out of the way to that I can get their in an expedient manner". If you are following the rules of the road, there is no need for your lights. Its pretty much just "Hey ma, look I'm a firemans and I'm driving the fire truck, look at me"

    Its very puzzling. Honestly

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I too have never seen a cop just driving around with their lights on. Also your analogy is off, tow trucks and construction vehicles have hazard lights that are to warn people "hey I'm working here or towing something watch out" our lights are saying "Hey I'm going to an emergency, please move out of the way to that I can get their in an expedient manner". If you are following the rules of the road, there is no need for your lights. Its pretty much just "Hey ma, look I'm a firemans and I'm driving the fire truck, look at me"

    Its very puzzling. Honestly
    Given that all branches of emergency services here do it - it's not an attention whoring device. It must be written into legislation somewhere. I can see how it may be puzzling to areas that have never seen it - I simply assumed, given it's prevalence here, that it was rather standard across the board.

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    The only time I would consider running lights, but no siren is at 2 in the morning when no one is on the road, except when coming up to intersections, blind curves, other times someone may not be able to see us coming. No point in waking people if you don't need to. (and I know i will probably get flack for that)
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    Police often run lights/no siren when responding to things such as silent burglary alarms, workplace incidents or high risk situations like a jumper so they don't scare off a criminal, infuriate an emotional individual or further push a person on a roof top.

    They'll tap the siren at intersections for safety, but won't wake the dead.

    There are also several places that medics run lights only if the patient dies en route to the hospital or they have a stable, but priority transport to another facility.

    Can't say any of the above is official SOP, but it happens every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarified27 View Post
    Police often run lights/no siren when responding to things such as silent burglary alarms, workplace incidents or high risk situations like a jumper so they don't scare off a criminal, infuriate an emotional individual or further push a person on a roof top.

    They'll tap the siren at intersections for safety, but won't wake the dead.

    There are also several places that medics run lights only if the patient dies en route to the hospital or they have a stable, but priority transport to another facility.

    Can't say any of the above is official SOP, but it happens every day.
    The Police does what they want, when they want to. End of class.

    Med Units here run either hot or cold. Never lights only. If a patient dies while going to the hospital, they stay hot. It is not the Medics place to make a deceased call enroute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 105 View Post
    Odd - have you never seen the police do the exact same thing? Quite often I've seen police cars running just lights, no siren and not speeding to a call - they are responding, obviously, but not to a situation that requires immediate drastic response.

    We do the same thing.... I'm... a touch puzzled as to why you would think this is "one of the most bizarre things I've seen here".
    Around here I see cops speeding and rolling through busy intersections with lights and no siren, most of the time in unmarked cars. I can't tell you how many times i've seen them almost get smashed.

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    and they get smashed a lot too.

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    Not that long ago, a driver in the No. Virginia area was killed by a police officer who ran a red ight without sirens. Here in Maryland, you must use audible warnings along with the light show if you want to request right of way. Anyway, I have to agree with those who are puzzled by the idea of using emergency lights on a non-emergent response; around here, it would just confuse people. The only time we turn on emergency lights other than an actual emergency response is when we need to back into the station.

    Now, as to the original question - we run routine responses for:
    - service calls (help a patient into bed, lockouts when there is not an immediate danger of fire or harm)
    - when the first arriving unit has nothing evident and requests the other units to slow down their response
    - an assault or suicide call when our good friends the police haven't secured the scene yet.

    ETA: this is for Montgomery Co., MD

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    Quote Originally Posted by 105 View Post
    Subsequent trucks leave the hall with only lights flashing unless there is a dire need to get them on-scene as soon as possible. They also obey all traffic laws and act as just another vehicle on the road.
    So what happens if one of the lights-only trucks comes to a red light. Do they sit there in traffic with their warning lights flashing and wait for the light to turn green? I'm honest to goodness asking out curiosity.

    In Arkansas, state law says that you are not considered an emergency vehicle unless you use an "audible bell, siren or whistle" in conjunction with your emergency lights. With that said, I work for a suburban department and we don't use the siren much if there is no traffic on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    So what happens if one of the lights-only trucks comes to a red light. Do they sit there in traffic with their warning lights flashing and wait for the light to turn green? I'm honest to goodness asking out curiosity.
    Yepper - all stop signs, yield signs, red lights are obeyed. It's interesting that is seems to be quite rare - I've honestly only suspicions why it occurs here (such as liability issues, visibility issues, etc. etc.) but they are only suspicions rather than actual facts regarding legislation.

    Notwithstanding, it's pretty much policy up here. That, and freezing your arse off from september to may.

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    Our Department policy is unless its is a fire or medical or mva in your first due or we are upgraded by the battalion that every one else responds non emergency...

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    we do ...........
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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38 View Post
    There isn't much we don't run lights and sirens for, but when I say "lights and sirens" Sirens are not always a requirement. The things I can list we don't run code for, are flooded basements calls. And honestly that is about it, any other non-life threatening call its left up to the officer and driver/operator on whether or not lights are used.

    Lift assists, tree's and wires calls, similar stuff such as that we will run pretty much lights only.
    Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread but, What do you do at a flooded basement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by treeguy View Post
    Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread but, What do you do at a flooded basement?
    Shut off the water, pump it out, then put the water vac on the low man and let him go.
    IAFF

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    Wink

    OK, I've got some more questions, so I'll start a new thread.

    Back to your thread already in progress. I'll start it off.
    Sometimes at night, I run siren but no lights, just to keep em guessing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoppA124 View Post
    I'm a firefighter doing a research project for a college course; Can anyone answer with any departments they know who respond without lights and sirens and obeying all traffic laws to certain types of calls.

    So far I know that St Louis FD and Detroit FD does. And the FDNY is testing it out. Thanks.
    What kinds of calls are you referring to where Detroit supposedly doesn't run lights and sirens?

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    In Houston we run non emergent for assist a citizen, automatic alarms if OEC tells us to and respond non emergency and on house fires and apt fires. I'll explain.

    If dispatched to house on fire or apt. fire we will all respond emergency to the call. The first in will go on location "investigating," this prompts OEC to sound out a tone on the assigned tac channel that an engine has gone on location investigating and for all units to respond non emergency. " E76 on location, 3 story wood frame apt, will be investigating." OEC- TONE - "All units responding to 4315 s.kirkwood, respond non emergency, E76 is onscene investigating."

    On high rise boxes and building fires we continue to respond emergency even if a unit has gone on location investigating.

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    My Dept. just changed their response priority.
    as a Fire/EMS dept., both the rescue (ambulance) and either a pumper,quint, or ladder would both be dispatched to any medical emergency code 3. now, with this new dispatch system, we have different response types

    Alpha-pumper,ladder, quint code 1
    Bravo- pumper, ladder, or quint code 3
    Charlie-Rescue code 3
    Delta- Fire apparatus and rescue code 3

    now, all response types are determined on what the caller tells the dispatcher, with this new system, it prioritizes what type of responise will be needed. this was basically done to reduce the number of calls the rescues were running.

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    Iselin fire, nj we do a non emergency response to water alarm, co, mutual aid standby's (to cover there house) and only on co calls that a home owner calls it in if the alarm company calls it in or pd we respond lights a sirens

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    The Secret List had this yesterday;

    FDNY EXPANDS THEIR "NO LIGHTS/NO SIRENS" RESPONSE POLICY:

    Thirty percent of FDNY's runs are for non-fire, non-life threatening incidents. The number of non-fire and non-life-threatening calls received by them has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. They now account for nearly 300,000 of 1 million annual runs made by FDNY apparatus.
    Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano has ordered units to begin to slow down. Under the Fire Department's new "modified response" policy, trucks will now respond to some calls here at a reduced speed - obeying all traffic regulations - without the use of sirens and lights. Expansion of the program into Staten Island and Brooklyn follows a six-month trial in Queens, where accidents involving FDNY units were cut by 32 percent.
    The changes being put into effect by the FDNY safety program will not affect full-scale responses to fires and other life-threatening emergencies. Under "modified response," only the first-due units will respond emergency, allowing fire officers to determine what further response is needed.
    HERE IS MORE FOR YOU TO READ, 1 Media and 1 From FDNY:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/pr...511_1811.shtml

    http://www.silive.com/opinion/editor...tional_re.html
    ~Drew
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    Not for nothing, but if you're obeying all traffic laws how "visible" do you really need to be? Do you use them during driver training, district inspections, or going to the school for fire prevention week? The career guys going out to buy dinner might as well use them enroute to the grocery store if visibility is the argument. But they don't, because it's dumb.

    The tow truck uses warning lights because it's got another vehicle hanging off the back of it. Even then, I saw one the other day that had more front-facing lights than our heavy rescue. You'd think they'd want most of their visibility to the rear, especially due to the hazards associated with being on the side of the road during a pickup.

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