1. #1
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    Post Exterior Red Station lights

    Does any one in the Buff world know of the history behind the exterior lights on the front of stations? The red ones,usually the one between the app doors.

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    no clue but does anyone know why Chicago is Red and Green?and no it isnt for Christmas <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> <br />first one that is right gets a THWL shirt <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

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    Does Chicago's red and green have anything to do with "port and starboard" ???
    A quote from Firefighter Timothy Stackpole, FDNY (borrowed from Bits & Pieces magazine)<br />"The greatest high you can get in life is by helping somebody."

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    Sure does, but not sure why!

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    This subject was posted in the firefighters forum. The red and green lights found on Chicago area rigs and firehouses stem from an old-time chief who had ties to the maritime industry.He ordered all the rigs be equipped with this color combination. Port and starboard. Along with black roofs on the cabs of apparatus,it truly is a "CHICAGO THING" and thats what keeps our fire service interesting.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Very good Mike! BTW he was a Naval officer <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> and was the commish in 29 I believe.Some of the suburban depts. have the same combo.

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    There correct on chicago red& green lights. also the black top is something thats goes back to the horse and buggy days with tarp straped to the top this gives the colors black over red this also goes for why they call there staff cars buggys. the red in front of the stations come from red lights meaning no parking or blocking these doors

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    If were talking about the same lights, the Red lights between the Bay Doors are required by Handicap Accessibility (ADA & state)Laws.<br />They flash so the deaf or other physically impared person can know the doors are coming down.<br />All new construction and remodels require designs like this. EX.You may have noticed water fountains are being placed one high and one low.<br />The High is for those who can't stoop and the low is for those in wheelchairs. Even Taco Bueno was hit with their slanted exterior walls. A blind person might hit their head, so..they added a pipe at the bottom of the wall so they would feel it with their cane. Issues like these go on and on. <br />Even the Fire Departments have to change their thought on station designs. After all it still is a public building. Hope this helps!

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    Here in NY, fire stations get red lights and police stations have green. Don't know exactly why. As far as them blinking, I've seen several new stations built in neighboring municipalities and none of those blink. Is that a Texas thing Gsingle? And if its for the ADA, why is it only a blinking light, and not an audible warning for blind persons? Just some afterthought.

    ----------------------------------------------<br />The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of. <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

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    Talking

    I was an Explorer with the L.A. County Fire Dept. and was told the red lights (at least in Ca.) were on Fire Stations so that lost or injured/sick people could spot and find a Fire Station easily in a neighborhood. It acted as a kind of "beacon" to stand out on a street so you knew it was a place you could go for help.

    I always thought the green on the Chi-Town rigs were to celebrate the Irish heritage of the Fire Service, but now I am informed! Thanks to all for the great info...

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    Lightbulb One Green Light on CFD Apparatus..

    I saw a documentary on Chicago FD once and they said the one green light was for Irish tradition.
    BKE
    Proud to be an American.

    "No animals were used in the posting of this thread. Two sticks of bubble gum and a hulahoop yes, animals no..."

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    Default Lighting on firestations

    Howdy,

    I don't know if this is a written standard or simply one that I'm familiar with.

    I have worked with three, east coast fire departments in two states and visited many other stations. One red light usually hangs above the call box, which is located on the front of a station (or, Fire Hall the further north you go). Agreeing with "sushiboy's" concept, this marks a beacon to the community that help is available at this spot.

    The lights between the apparatus bays, denote to the operator the location of door pillars. With the mirror glare emerging from the bay lighting, the exterior lighting glare, sunlight glare or in the darkness, this allows for proper alignment of the rig and helps assist the operator in the backing of the apparatus inside the bay. Also, there are combinations of red and white, red and amber or whatever on alternating pillars of multiple bay houses. This assists the operator with placing his apparatus into the correct bay. This system would be such as, red in each mirror is "bay 1." Red in the right mirror with amber in the left is bay two... amber in the right and red in the left is bay 3 and so on... This is an added safety measure, especially when looking through weary, tired eyes.

    I really enjoyed the information concerning the Chicago apparatus, thank you. I had heard both the Irish and maritime explanations. One has to wonder if the maritime concept was born in this day and age of PC that we're living under, so as to not "offend" anyone who finds themselves not to be of an Irish decent. If that story has been told since the '20s, then I would think that PC has nothing to do with it. The black cabs {?}, hadn't heard this explained, thank you once again.

    Keep safe my brothers and sisters...
    Last edited by truckiedog; 03-08-2002 at 09:06 AM.

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    Default

    We don't have red lights on the station. However we have 2 red lights, 1 on each side of the station driveway out by the street that we activate when we have a call to warn approaching traffic of the apparatus coming out.
    Jay Kormann
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    Taunton Fire Company
    Medford Township, NJ

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    Default Red light district???

    I was told by my old chief that the reason for the red light on a station is an NFPA regulation that comes from the tradition posted by sushiboy about the "beacon of help" to the public.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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    Default Tillers

    on the nautical thread, why do we call articulated ladder trucks "tillers"? Any yachties out there know the answer?

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    Red lights over stations are as staed above. I can remember having them knocked out frequently. It was a pain.

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    An interesting topic, but I believe your right when you state that the red lights are a way to draw attention to the firehouse as green lights are used to announce a police station. Some of you older firefighters may remember when the pull boxes had red lights above them to make them more noticable in the dark ( tough to explain to a new guy ).

    As to sisyphus's question about tillered ladders, the answer goes back to the days of the hand drawn ladder trucks. Since the ladders were drawn by manpower it wasn't in their best interest to have anymore weight on the rig than necessary, but they also needed the tight turning radius of an independent set of rear wheels. The " tiller" was a control arm that was attached to the rear wheel set that stuck out from underneath the back of the rig and was controlled by the "tillerman" while the rest of the members hauled on the drag rope to get the rig to the alarm. The arm was called a tiller because of it's identical looks and actions as a ship's tiller.

    Hope this was of some help.

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    Talking Nautical Thread

    The definition of tiller, in nautical terms, explains it quite clearly.

    Tiller

    An arm attached to the top of the rudder to steer a small boat. If the helmsman wants to steer to starboard, he pushes the tiller to port.

    Similarly, when driving the tiller on a ladder truck, one must sometimes steer in the opposite direction during cornering maneuvers.

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