04-08-2001, 02:09 PM #1FireWood1Firehouse.com Guest
Lights on POV's; how far is too far?
Ok, I have seen many volunteer private vehicles in my time. Some decorated like a christmas tree, some no lights at all. From what I've noticed, the folks with no lights seem to arrive at the station just as fast as those with numerous lights and sirens. I know each state has different laws, and each dept. has different obstacles to cover.(Highways, intersections, etc.) Please, no bickering, I just wanted some thoughts on this subject.
04-08-2001, 02:14 PM #2Captain GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
You know that you have too many emergency lights on your POV when you have to tow a generator behind you to supply the power demand!
04-08-2001, 02:58 PM #3AFF_Rescue4Firehouse.com Guest
I know alot of you guys out there will/have say/said that I went a bit over board but just keep reading.
I have been Reading the posts on Lights on POV's and I have found it quite interesting, but be prepare to have your socks knocked off.
About two years ago I purchased a 1991 Crown Victoria, from a goverment surplus auction in oregon. It needed a little mechanical work, and some body work. Most of the the lights I have have been purchased from galls, Stiechers and some others from my buddies.
2x Whelen Dashmiser Plus 2 Split lenses-Rear Deck-Red/Clear,Red/Clear
1x Galls Rear Halogen Hide-A-Way-Compatible with Fords
1x Whelen Traffic Advisor w/ Two End Strobes-Red/Red
1x Fed Sig Firebeam Combo-Behind RVM
1x Galls Low-Profile Remote Strobes-Mount on bumper-Red/Red
1x Whelen Strobes-Behind Grille-Red/Red
1x Galls Wig Wag
1x Galls Hide-A-Way-Corner Lense-Clear/Clear
1x Galls Communication Console
1x Galls Speaker
1x Galls/Code 3 Slimline Siren/No pa(Old)
1x Fed Sig 6 Func Switch Panel
1x 20 channel Uniden Scanner
NEW! Galls EXCLUSIVE Modular Console System (D-VE135)
1x Code 3 V-con M-3694 Siren
"Your not paying for the lights, Your paying for the thrill"
04-08-2001, 03:16 PM #4SFDE12Firehouse.com Guest
I found that the number of lights really do not make that big a difference in response time at all. I have a dashmaster II, and have never felt the need for anything else. Much of the time I don't even use my light.
I've never really been impressed with that rolling Christmas Tree deal!
04-08-2001, 05:46 PM #5Nick SBFD 6Firehouse.com Guest
Anything more than a dashlight is too much.
PERIOD. I went through the whole light phase a couple years ago when I turned 18, it didn't last long. I bet I can count the number of dashlights in our whole department on one hand.
04-08-2001, 07:24 PM #6xenophon13Firehouse.com Guest
I my self have a LED dash king and 4 halogen flashers in the rear and sides, however I rarely use them since I live about 500' from the station so whats the point. By the time they get going good I am already there.
When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.
04-08-2001, 07:45 PM #7AXEFirehouse.com Guest
I have a strobe dash light. Anymore than that inside my vehicle would only take too much time for me to turn before I go, and turn off when I arrive at the station.
I dont have them at this time, but on a previous vehicle, I had wig-wags. To be honest, I think they done a great job of moving traffic. I could tell a difference of when I had them and before I had them. One of these days I will probably get around to putting them in my vehicle I have now.
But for myself, That would be about it as far as lights.
And yes, if you dont have far to travel, you will probably get there just as fast without lights as you would with.
04-08-2001, 08:59 PM #8mongofire_99Firehouse.com Guest
It has been my experience that we get more bad PR from running through traffic with lights than for any other reason. It's been pointed out here and again my experience that they don't get you to the station or the scene quicker.
Why have the bad PR?
04-08-2001, 09:10 PM #9FireWood1Firehouse.com Guest
I agree wholeheartedly.
04-08-2001, 09:22 PM #10APG1Firehouse.com Guest
I think the use of POV lighting depends on many things, such as the layout of your response area, the type of traffic, how clueless drivers on the road are, and so forth.
I use POV lights, mainly on scene (and to prevent my car from getting towed. Damn over eager cops).
A single dashlight, wig-wags, and something like a pair of microstrobes, a simple halogen flasher, or simple hazard lights work wonders. You really don't need any more.
04-08-2001, 09:23 PM #11pfr172Firehouse.com Guest
I have nothing. But I Still put out the fire just as good as people with lights. I also get there as fast as the people with lights because when you go code 3 all you do is freak people out and they panic and dont know what to do. I give as good of first aid care as people with lights. But most of all, I drive SAFER than people with lights.
04-08-2001, 11:22 PM #12ignition_pointFirehouse.com Guest
all I have a is a small firebeam halogen, and I hardly even use it. Most people either don't know, or don't care about blue lights enough to move out of the way. Mainly, I don't use it because it sometimes attracts too much attention, especially from some of the police officers, not that you should be breaking the traffic laws or anything . As someone else said earlier, I haven't noticed much of a difference, if any, in response time. The fire isn't going anywhere, take your time getting there and don't risk your life or someone elses by trying to go too quick.
04-09-2001, 12:09 AM #13LtStickFirehouse.com Guest
A few of the members in The Department I run with use lights. Nothing elaborate they all use either a small bar light or a tear drop light. The only exception is one of our members has a full size bar light on a Jeep. We call him the beach patrol. One of our guys has a bar light with clear lenses and blue filter on the lights its very bright even during the day. If he's coming from home he has to travel 7 or 8 miles to the station and he says it really helps. He said people seem to move for him. Even though in Pennsylvania a blue light is a courtesy light only and people don't have to move for you. I think they can be a useful tool especially for those that happen to go to the scene on calls wether its because there a Officer going to size up the incident or Fire Police personnel to direct traffic or do crowd control to make the scene safe for Firefighters or a Firefighter going to the scene for whatever reason.
I believe one should use common sense when deciding wether or not they are going to use a light and what type they use. I think that making a POV look like a Christmas tree is going overboard. The time energy and money they put into it could have gone to something more important than that.
As for AFF_Rescue4 and the Crown Victoria he's already heard a great deal about it from when he posted about it. So I wont give him a hard time about it again.
04-09-2001, 01:50 AM #14JR95Firehouse.com Guest
I use a single CODE3 DashLaser on my dash board. I live about a mile from the firehouse, however the response is thru a heavy residential area and a K-6 school area. The warning devices are particularly helpful during before and after school hours to alert crossing guards. The most any of our members has is stobes in their grille and something on their dash In my experience a single light does move traffic!
04-09-2001, 05:00 AM #15mongofire_99Firehouse.com Guest
The warning devices are particularly helpful during before and after school hours to alert crossing guards.
You should find another route to the station.
Ring - "fire department"
Caller - "yes do you have a guy that drives a blue chevy with a light on it?"
"well he just flew through a school zone"
"In other news a volunteer fireman responding to a call struck and killed three kids as they were crossing the street in front of Washington Elementary"
(cut to video of the car with the dash laser still going)
04-09-2001, 07:49 AM #16AXMAN620Firehouse.com Guest
I live less than 15 sec. from my station so i don't need my light (firebeam). but, i am one of only 4 full-time paramedics in my county so a lot of times on my off hours i have too meet up with a volly squad in my pov and that can be a chore in its self so i utilize this light then. BUT, you have to use a little grey matter when you do. dont hit +99mph, don't try to be bo or luke duke, dont try to fly and don't get caught up in the rush of the call
SEE YA' @ THE BIG ONE!
04-09-2001, 10:19 AM #17Eng522ineFirehouse.com Guest
Here in NJ, Home of the Inconsiderate Driver, my lights are used mainly when I'm at the scene, as they do between little and nothing to get people to move to the right. Although, I do use them on the way to the station if I'm responding from anywhere besides home (on the off chance that one or two Jersey drivers might have a weak moment a actually yeild). For the record I have a little 2 rotator "mini-bar" and 2 halogen alternators in the grille of my pick-up, that's it... no double-go-to-hell strobe packs with a full size whelen bar and 4 dash lights and what not like AFF.
AFF... Once again I'm forced to suggest that you get custom tags reading "Whacker".
04-09-2001, 11:04 AM #18SFD-129-3Firehouse.com Guest
hey ENG522INE, after paying for all those lights and a new alternater, I don't know if he could affort a custom plate!
Besides, anybody looking at the car would probably be blinded b4 they could read the plate!
04-09-2001, 02:34 PM #19FSRIZZIOFirehouse.com Guest
AFF... you make me nervous son.
04-09-2001, 03:35 PM #20ArmyTruckCompanyFirehouse.com Guest
AFF- to quote Robin Williams' character "Adrian Cronauer" in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam":
"You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in America."
Instead of spending all the money on bells and whistles, why not buy yourself a hooker?? I think you need it!!!!!
04-09-2001, 07:14 PM #21Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
One Light in Wifes Car --- A Duel Blue/White Strobe strapped to the Sun Visor.
My Car -- Federal Mini-Bar
Yes I have Noticed that lights don't move people any faster. I have been considering not using anything at all --- I have a 4 Mile Run to the Fire Hall and most of the time I fiqure why bother....But I try anyway
04-09-2001, 09:48 PM #22nomad1085Firehouse.com Guest
I use lights for a few reasons:
1. When approaching the intersections were people tend to pull out and cut me off, they wait for me to pass. When entering our traffic, I am generally granted the right of way, and it can be a long wait otherwise. At stop lights, people will either stop and let me go through or they don't. If they do, great, if the don't, Oh well, it is there loss if their house is on fire
2. If I happen to stop at the scene instead of going to the firehouse, it provides some warning to other moteristed and I am less likely to get rear ended (I hope). If I am at a scene, my vehicle is recognized as a firefighter's vehicle, not some onlooker sitting there.
No matter where you are and what your laws are, you always have to be careful. Never ASSUME the right of way. Wait to be granted the right of way. When I am going down the road, people usually pull over and they usually let me through intersections, but I always check before I proceed.
I have 2 extended lens Par 36 strobes on my front bumper, and a double dashmiser strobe above my rear view mirror. I have yet to put my hide-a-aways in the reverse lights, but they are in the works. As per Connecticut state law section 14-96p (I think), they are all blue and no siren.
If you choose to use lights, make it at least look good, whatever you use. If it looks good, and it is effective and legal, then great. But if it is shoddy and held together with duct tape, then it makes you whole car look dumb.
04-09-2001, 10:35 PM #23d308Firehouse.com Guest
I have found that for my POV all that I need is a set of alternating headlights. This moves traific better than most light bars and when there is not a call my vehicle still looks like a POV and not a Cheifs Car.
04-09-2001, 10:43 PM #24st34ffFirehouse.com Guest
On my truck I have a Responder II and a DashKing (both blue per PA state law). I have one of the hardest responses to the station. I have to go through 2 traffic lights. The one at the end of my road is a 3 minunte cycle. Without my lights, I have to wait 3 minuntes. That is a long time to wait in an emergancy. I just wait for someone to give me the right away...I don't demand it. Most of the time, use the grey matter!
04-10-2001, 10:34 AM #25ignition_pointFirehouse.com Guest
Thats one of those situations I don't like, with lights. IF someone gets stuck at a bust intersection, people get all confused, either no one stops.. or some do and some don't and it's a big traffic mess. Becareful going through those lights, I'm not sure what state you're in, but here in Indiana, no matter what th situation, if you have the red light, you can't go through it even if people are giving you the right of way.
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