1. #26
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    Thanks a lot I hadn't even thought about a nameplate. Thats a really good idea. and I'm also not so much concerned with response times because I'd say that about half the time I respond I don't even see another car but more so with gaining accsess to a scene and visibility once I'm there. However I don't know how much a single rotator would increase my visibility to other traffic. I just fear that one day my jeep is gonna get hit because someone couldn't see it from inside a truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Actually that's not true.

    They exist, and are very common in at least NY, NJ and Vermont.

    No they do not carry guns and cannot arrest but, at least in NY, they do have the power to detain until law enforcement arrives.

    They are quite useful and are a very important part of many VFDs.
    How are they gonna detain them if they don't have guns and arrest powers?? We really have no need for them in Ohio. We have the real thing, and barring that, parking the truck across the road works real good.

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    I'd rather have a LEO out patrolling than sitting and directing traffic.

    No, fire police do not have guns nor arrest powers. They do have the authority to redirect traffic as needed. They can close roads. They can change the direction of traffic. They can control traffic regardless of traffic signals. Yes, it is a certified position in the state of NJ...they have to attend training, test, and get a certificate from the state.

    As for hard to get volunteers....as I said in my post above....these are men/women that can't/won't do the job of FF....so it's not taking FF's away from the FD.

    There are times where the Police Department will call for the Fire Police to assist them with traffic duties...pretty good sign that they are a respected organization and not a bunch of whackers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    We have the real thing, and barring that, parking the truck across the road works real good.
    We have the "real thing" here in my area of NY, too. And if we're lucky, we might get two of 'em at an MVA (MVC, TC, etc). Controlling traffic at the intersection of two fairly busy state highways takes more that two cops (not to mention that one of 'em has to write a report), and if we decide to close both roads entirely, it's gonna take at least four.

    Most days, that's all the sheriff has on the road. The state police aren't much better off.

    We've been known to call mutual aid to assist with traffic control. We've only got three rigs on the front line, and two of 'em will be tied up at the scene. In fact, it's not at all unusual to see blue light equipped POV's used to block the road.

    And, as has been pointed out in another thread, as well as here, it's a place where the folks who can't necessarily take an active suppression role can be "put out to pasture."

    We've been known to hold a scene for several hours in the case of a fatal accident, so the cops can concentrate on their reconstruction tasks.

    And our fire police also get called out for such tasks as directing traffic during power outages, etc.

    As for blue lights and juniors - I don't think so. I'm not of the school of thought that juniors should be limited to activities at the firehouse, but there's no reason they should be in a hurry to get to an active scene.

    A bumper placard or issued ID card should suffice for getting past roadblocks.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    I'd rather have a LEO out patrolling than sitting and directing traffic.

    No, fire police do not have guns nor arrest powers. They do have the authority to redirect traffic as needed. They can close roads. They can change the direction of traffic. They can control traffic regardless of traffic signals. Yes, it is a certified position in the state of NJ...they have to attend training, test, and get a certificate from the state.

    As for hard to get volunteers....as I said in my post above....these are men/women that can't/won't do the job of FF....so it's not taking FF's away from the FD.

    There are times where the Police Department will call for the Fire Police to assist them with traffic duties...pretty good sign that they are a respected organization and not a bunch of whackers.
    To me it sounds like a pretty good sign you are short of LEOs in your area. Between county, city and state departments here we get around 10 on a MVC scene.

    In reality these guys have no power what so ever other than to direct traffic. DOT can do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    To me it sounds like a pretty good sign you are short of LEOs in your area. Between county, city and state departments here we get around 10 on a MVC scene.

    In reality these guys have no power what so ever other than to direct traffic. DOT can do that.


    Wow,


    I don't much experience with the fire police but sure wish we had them or a unit like them here in SC where my department is at. In the county I live in there are 600+ sq miles of land. There are roughly 12 sheriffs deputies that patrol that land (when no one is out sick) on any given shift, they do not direct traffic or close roads. I can't tell you how many highway patrol we got but it's less than 12 for the same area. If you have a wreck that is outside city lines, good luck getting a hp there within an hour most times....thats one guy, within an hour. If we get stuff on the highway we usually get two hp and us or a mutual aid department supplies traffic control until scene is cleared (including fatality wrecks where we have spent 4-5 hours+ on traffic duty).


    I hate it, I wish we had a unit that would help with this problem.


    Sidenote, we have had to call DOT before...it sucks..response time sucks too...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    To me it sounds like a pretty good sign you are short of LEOs in your area. Between county, city and state departments here we get around 10 on a MVC scene.

    In reality these guys have no power what so ever other than to direct traffic. DOT can do that.
    County has sherrifs....won't see one at traffic duty ever. State police? No chance.

    DOT - ya, in about 2 hours.
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  8. #33
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    It would seem to me that the issue with getting the Fire Police to recognize you is ID Cards. If questioned you could present this Identification to the Fire Police and it can also be used as Accountability on scene if they can be scanned. Just My Two cents and all
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    Just to put something into perspective....

    Federal Air Marshal= on the ground, can only detain until law enforcement arrive
    Fire Police= Can detain until law enforcement arrive

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    Fire Police= Can detain until law enforcement arrive
    But then again, anyone can detain until law enforcement arrives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    One of his main issues is not being able to get to scenes because of fire police not knowing he is with the department. I took this as an opportunity to take a jab at the fire police, seeing as I think it is a crazy concept that does nothing but breed a bunch of whackers. If it was that great the rest of the country would do it too.

    It takes a disturbed individual to volunteer to come direct traffic all the time.
    So pretty much typical deputy sheriff minus the badge, gun (on which marginally qualified), and wannabeRambo attitude?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    DOT can do that.
    Wow - thanks! I haven't laughed that hard in years.

    DOT - responding to an accident scene to direct traffic. Man - you better lay off the 'shrooms.

    Last time I saw DOT respond to an incident for traffic control it was at least three hours into the incident (major power lines down over the interstate - had to wait for the power company to locate and deliver a tall enough pole to replace the one that failed). All they did was lay out a bunch of traffic cones to direct traffic over to the exit. I'm not so sure they even stuck around afterwards, unless it was so they wouldn't have to be recalled to pick up the cones when it was over. Fire and police (mostly fire) handled traffic duties.

    It's rare to see the traditional "whacker" crowd as fire police. It's almost always the "retired" firefighters who have put in their time on the front lines but who still want a piece of the action. Give 'em a vest, flashlight (with traffic cone) and flag and put 'em to work.
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    Oh boy, here we go again!

    No sir, don't like it. Don't like it at all.
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    Juniors with blue lights? Absolutely not. Period, no room for debate. You are NOT an adult. Legally, emotionally, physically... in every sense of the word. It's not an insult, just a fact.

    You can argue that most 18 year olds are no better, and you would be right... except they are legally an adult. There is a difference.

    Fire Police. As long as they are trained and follow recognized guidelines about traffic safety, are a VALUABLE commodity. Seriously, they free up police to do the other tasks they need to do.

    Construction and DOT guys also do this same work.... you don't need a cop to direct traffic.
    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.

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    What I want to know what is the freaking point of blue lights in the first place? They do not give you the legal right of way or make you exempt from any traffic laws so why even bother? Why assume anymore risk? I have never understood the "courtesy light" concept...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    What I want to know what is the freaking point of blue lights in the first place? They do not give you the legal right of way or make you exempt from any traffic laws so why even bother? Why assume anymore risk? I have never understood the "courtesy light" concept...
    In NJ it is no longer a courtesy light. You need to yield. True in a few states.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    What I want to know what is the freaking point of blue lights in the first place? They do not give you the legal right of way or make you exempt from any traffic laws so why even bother? Why assume anymore risk? I have never understood the "courtesy light" concept...
    Precisely why they should be outlawed in the state of Pa. They cause more harm than they do any good......
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    What I want to know what is the freaking point of blue lights in the first place? They do not give you the legal right of way or make you exempt from any traffic laws so why even bother? Why assume anymore risk? I have never understood the "courtesy light" concept...
    Because in areas where blue lights are used, a goodly number of the residents (and thus the drivers) know what they mean (that a volunteer firefighter is responding to an emergency) and extend said courtesy.

    There aren't as many problems with them as some folks would like to believe there are. Anybody who's going to be stupid while running a blue light will probably be just as stupid without one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post

    There aren't as many problems with them as some folks would like to believe there are. Anybody who's going to be stupid while running a blue light will probably be just as stupid without one.
    There is a lot of truth in that statement. Blue lights (red lights, whatever) don't cause accidents. Idiots who never should have been allowed to run them in the first place do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    In NJ it is no longer a courtesy light. You need to yield. True in a few states.
    And it causes more confusion than ever. Cars pull over to let the blue light go by...and then the blue lighter sits at a traffic light, waiting for the light to change...and all traffic stops wondering what the heck is going on. Watched it happen a few times this past week.

    Why a car that can't exceed the speed limit needs to warn people (going the same speed limit) to move is beyond me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    And it causes more confusion than ever. Cars pull over to let the blue light go by...and then the blue lighter sits at a traffic light, waiting for the light to change...and all traffic stops wondering what the heck is going on. Watched it happen a few times this past week.

    Why a car that can't exceed the speed limit needs to warn people (going the same speed limit) to move is beyond me.
    I hear you.. I'm not a huge fan of the lights. I know that back when I ran with a blue light, I would shut it off at red lights.

    However, there are some instances where it can get you through traffic easier and some people do move over.

    The time it saves is probably not significant, but that could (arguably) be said for red lights as well.
    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.

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    The difference is the majority of people recognize a firetruck, ambulance or squad car running lights.

    Many look at a POV with red or blue lights and go WTF?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Why a car that can't exceed the speed limit needs to warn people (going the same speed limit) to move is beyond me.
    You don't.. if the other cars are going the speed limit. My response takes me right past the local wrinkle ranch and to them the traffic speed limit is as inapproachable as the speed of light. Of course it's this same demographic that can't see the blue light through the back window anyway.. so really it's a lose/lose.

    Full disclosure: I used to have, and use, the bluelight in my old truck. It never transferred when I bought my new one. There have been a few times where it would have been useful but by and large I don't miss it.

    I'll say there are valid reasons for emergency lights in POV.. and just as many invalid, confusing, or embarrassing ones.
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    I use a blue light, I have a dash light that I bought used. I live in a unique area where, while it is considered rural, we have a high population density and it probably doubles in the vacation months.

    anyway..Does the blue light save me time? considering my drive time to the FH, more often then not I'd say yes. This was more important before when I wasn't qualified on any of the apparatus. the extra 30 seconds or a minute I saved is the difference between making a truck, and sitting at the FH.

    Does it cause confusion? I don't think so. If I don't make the truck and pass it en route, or pass a police,ems or chief's vehicle en route I always turn my light off so as not to confuse the people.

    Call it what you will, but maybe on a Tuesday at 1pm when you get that call that sounds like BS and not a lot of people show up and you go with your blue light that minute or 30 seconds you save might be the difference in someone else's life.

    Saying that blue lights are for whackers or whatever is like saying guns kill people, people don't kill people.

    Education on part of the DOT to new/existing drivers, community outreach/awareness programs and not giving EVERYONE a blue light..would make things a lot easier.

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    The dept plate is a great idea, should solve your issues. As far as blue lights go, don't bother. They really don't help that much, despite what some people claim. Adrenalin does funny things to people.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    the extra 30 seconds or a minute I saved is the difference between making a truck, and sitting at the FH.
    Minute? 30 seconds? How long is your drive to the station where you are saving that much time?! I'd be surprised if you actually saved more than 1 or 2 seconds with a blue light, unless you're also going through traffic lights and speeding excessively. I doubt even our engines save a full minute responding lights/sirens.

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