1. #1
    fireslayer75
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post emerg. lights and/or sirens on POV's

    I want to know why most states tell volunteer firefighters that they can not run emerg. equipment on pov's when the insurance is not paid by the state to begin with? Liability is one thing, saving someone's life is totally different. I'm sure politicians would change their tune if their house was burning down and fd showed up late cause they couldn't get through traffic like they need too.

  2. #2
    J.E.Beall
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    I've volunteered in a few states, in Virginia it's two red lights steady burning or flashing. In Colorado however Vol's could run full light bars (red, wht, blu lites) and sirens. This I thought was a bit much, after sitting at a busy four lane intersection watching a engine responding east bound w/ full lights & sirens, and a volunteer responding north bound approaching the same intersection in his Oldsmoblie w/ light's & siren going it was obvious the drivers approaching or stopped at the intersection were focused on the east bound engine. Once the engine passed drivers then attempted to proceed through the intersection only to be suprised by Johnny on the spot in his Oldsmobile blasting for the road. Take Illinois, would you pull over for someone behind you with "green" flashing lights? How about NJ, PA, NY of CT where blue lights are for vol's. Yes I do agree vol's should have the right to run warning lights, but their should be a standard nation wide.

  3. #3
    WFD56
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I am on a small volunteer dept and we are PROHIBITED from running any emergency lights, we are allowed to use our 4-way hazards. We are one of 2 depts in the county (out of 9) not allowed red rotating beacon lights. Personally in my short 2 years I have had only a few motorists yield for me, most seem to slow down and look at me through the rearview mirror. And my point is MINUTES EVEN SECONDS COUNT... I believe that warning lights are adventageous and should be implemented.

    I would also agree to a standard, there shouldn't be anything wrong with red/white?

  4. #4
    RJE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Oklahoma does not allow any lights at all.

  5. #5
    APG1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Actually, Illinois doesn't use green for POV lights. (Indiana does).

    In Illinois, if you have green rotating/flashing lights, you better be a school bus.

    HB0161, US Senate, passed the house. LIGHTS AND SIRENS BAAAAAABY!!!!

  6. #6
    J.E.Beall
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    APG1
    I stand corrected. Green lights on a school bus??????

  7. #7
    MVFD5441
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm new to the game and when I asked about lights and sirens on POV I was told that any one,except Cadets, could use lights and sirens, but civilians do not have to yield since we are not "emergency vehicles" and that the D.P.S.(TX Highway Patrol) frown at the use of blue foward facing lights. So it's red for me.

    Stay safe,

  8. #8
    Smoke_N_Flames
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Seems to me Texas is the most "lax", when it somes to lights on POV's. Hey, we still have red/blue bubblegums on two of our trucks. Personally, I support having lights on POV's, when I am parked at a scene, I want to be SEEN. MVFD, you arent anywhere in Palo Pinto or parker county are you? (email me if you are)

    Thx yall, be safe

    BTW, I dont really care what color anyone uses as long as they are safe and dont pull people over for the fun of it.

  9. #9
    NEWT1670
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Does any one know if Wig Wags (alternating headlights) are legal in New York State for volunteers on POV's when used WITH a blue light? Let me know...thanks.

  10. #10
    scottieschmidt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    firehouse.com ever think about doing a survery with state and stations as to what is allowed and isnt?

  11. #11
    Westlake23
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I do know that in Texas, most people will only look at you, if your enroute to a scene, with anything but Red. I know of a couple of departments close by, who use all sorts of colors in their POV lights. Green & purple being the only addition to the red/clear/yellow/blue combination in a full sized lightbar. With that many colors, who really knows what they are.

    Besides from what I've heard Purple is supposed to be reserved for Funeral Processions.

    I do have a set of Red/blue alternating flashers mounted in my grille, but they aren't really readily seen, and if anyone says anything about them, I'll just change out one of the lenses if needed.


    [This message has been edited by Westlake23 (edited 05-14-2001).]

  12. #12
    ffemt81
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Originally posted by fireslayer75:
    I want to know why most states tell volunteer firefighters that they can not run emerg. equipment on pov's when the insurance is not paid by the state to begin with? Liability is one thing, saving someone's life is totally different. I'm sure politicians would change their tune if their house was burning down and fd showed up late cause they couldn't get through traffic like they need too.

  13. #13
    ffemt81
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    ON my dept. there is no rule on how many light you can have. us young guys are always competing to see who can be the brigntest, but the fun and games end when the tones drop. in my opinion the more lights, the more visible you are which = saftey. ??? Maybe thats why the apparatus have so many lights????????

  14. #14
    firemedic1979
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I've whatched this type of thread before and always bit my tongue.

    Minutes ever Seconds COunt was one quote. Do the math on speed. Figure how many miles you travel to a station, then figure out what the difference in time will be at 30, 40, 50 and 60mph. Not much of a difference in time unless you have to travel 20 miles.

    Don't know what it's like where you all are from, I log easily >100 miles of emergency driving a week. That's with lights, siren and the works and I tell ya, drivers don't yeild.

    Responsible driving in the safest and easiest way to get to the station or scene, and with or without lights on the POV, you wont be changing the time significantly enough.


  15. #15
    Colin S
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Vermont allows red lights and sirens on POV. Most departments require that you finish your probationary period before being allowed to use them. There is no limit on how much you can get any thing from lightbars to a tear-drop on the dash.

  16. #16
    BonCreChief@Yahoo.com
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    I really don't know about New Mexico but I can tell you that in LA if a volunteer has an accident running emergency lights the Chief and the department's insurance company can be held liable. A POV running code is considered an extension of the department and must be covered by department insurance. It is not worth the endangering of the general public for one firefighter to reach the scene 30 seconds faster.

    [This message has been edited by BonCreChief@Yahoo.com (edited 05-23-2001).]

  17. #17
    391HD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Warning lights and sirens should be reserved for the bonafide emergency vehicles, ie, fire trucks, ambulances, police cruisers. It's just plain confusing to the motoring public to have dozens of POV's, all different shapes and sizes, displaying each a different warning signal, responding through town when an alarm comes in. Add to that the few throttle jockies in that group, and the liability far outweighs the benefit.

    Think about, how many true life threatening emergencies did you respond to in the last year? Light and siren use has never been proven to have made a positive influence in the outcome of these tragedies, which make up only a small portion of the total response volume.

    This subject is and always has been, an emotional one.
    Statements like, "if it were your house," or "IF your family was in danger," are typically used to defend its use, rather than factual evidence. Because, the facts will show that the use of lights and sirens on POV's has no benefit to the final outcome of a life threatening situation.

  18. #18
    M1NFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I am from Massachusetts. We are allowed whatever lights we choose but no siren. I disagree with the last post about it confusing people with different makes and types of vehicles with lights. Lights are lights, our law says pull to the right and stop, not evaluate what make and model vehicle it is, determine what agency it represents and act accordingly. I am a proponent for everyone with an emergency vehicle having the same colored light for that reason. If it is an emergency vehicle then who/what it is shouldnt matter. I know in Mass fire is red and pd is blue, and in NY this is opposite, and the NY state police have harrassed Mass fire vehicles responding in NY. To me this is really petty(dont know if it is still happening). We are all accountable for our actions regardless of lights or not. If someone drives like a whacker responding, they will do so with or without lights and quite frankly where our system allows for some scene response in POVs I feel a lot more comfortable being visible

  19. #19
    PVVFD2495
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by NEWT1670:
    Does any one know if Wig Wags (alternating headlights) are legal in New York State for volunteers on POV's when used WITH a blue light? Let me know...thanks.
    The Flashing of headlights are illegal in NYS. You are allowed one blue flashing light no greater than 32 candle power.

  20. #20
    Junior Member

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    Post

    New York States law makes every light sold on the market illegal, good thing the cops don't pay any attention.
    LEATHER FOREVER

  21. #21
    This space for rent
    NYSmokey's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Our department only allows chiefs to run red lights and sirens. Firefighters can have blue lights. Some guys waste their money on full light bars for the short drive to the station. Others buy a single light and get the same results.

    I have to agree with previous posts. In our area if you had 15-20 emergency vehicles going towards the area it would get confusing to motorists.

    CONFUSION + UNEDUCATED PUBLIC = ACCIDENTS

    We still continue to have numerous line of duty deaths related to responding to the fire station. Giving every one a red light and siren would be a step in the wrong direction.

    Just my two cents.

    Stay safe out there!
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

  22. #22
    Forum Member

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    In South Carolina, the law is..

    SECTION 56-5-170. Authorized emergency vehicles.


    Fire department vehicles, police vehicles, ambulances and rescue squad vehicles which are publicly owned, other emergency vehicles designated by the Department or the chief of police of a municipality, and public and private vehicles while transporting individuals actually engaged in emergency activities because of the membership of one or more occupants of a fire department, police department or rescue squad are "authorized emergency vehicles".

    SECTION 56-5-760. Operation of authorized emergency vehicles.

    (A) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions of this section.

    (B) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

    (1) park or stand, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter;

    (2) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

    (3) exceed the maximum speed limit if he does not endanger life or property;

    (4) disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

    (C) The exemptions in this section granted to an authorized emergency vehicle apply only when the vehicle is making use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4970 and visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4700 of this chapter

    SECTION 56-5-4970. Sirens, whistle or bell on authorized emergency vehicles.

    Any authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, whistle or bell capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than five hundred feet and of a type approved by the Department, but such siren shall not be used except when such vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which latter event the driver of such vehicle shall sound such siren when necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach thereof.

    SECTION 56-5-4700. Audible signal devices and signal lamps for authorized emergency vehicles, school buses and police vehicles; restrictions on use; effect of use.

    (a) Every authorized emergency vehicle shall, in addition to any other equipment and distinctive markings required by this chapter, be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle or bell capable of giving an audible signal.

    (b) Every school bus and every authorized emergency vehicle shall, in addition to any other equipment and distinctive markings required by this chapter, be equipped with signal lamps mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, which shall be capable of displaying to the front two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level and to the rear two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level, and these lights shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at five hundred feet in normal sunlight. Provided, that vehicles of any fire department or funeral home when equipped with a mounted, oscillating, rotating or flashing red light, visible in all directions for a distance of five hundred feet in normal sunlight, shall not be required to have additional signal lamps.

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Default

    Colorado state law reads to the effect that any volunteer ff may install any combination of red or red/clear to be visible 360 degrees of vehicle, preferable mounted to the higest point on vehicle, may use any combination of bells, horns, whistles. colorado state patrol rarely enforces pov lights unless you are running w/ blue. Most departments/cities/towns state what they will allow, some still allow dash lights.
    There is a fairly new registration process, where a pov can be registered as an official emergency vehicle by the state, this is voluntary, and requires you to list ALL emergency equipment installed including lense colors and siren wattage. Registration must be approved and signed by the police chief and fire chief of jurisdiction, and lists reccomendations on daytime and nightime visibilty at certain distances. again, all of this is dependant on location within the state, otherwise, we can use wig-wags, grille lights, rear flashers, full size lightbars, whatever we decide to inconvenience our alternators with. If you ever drive through our state, it's pretty easy to notice the area trends. Colorado police, ambulance, and fire trucks can use ANY combination of red, clear, blue, & amber it again depends on where in the state you are.

    Many departments are now requiring vollies register pov with the state, i have seen quite a few cases where a civilian was ticketed for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, because the pov was registered.

    some of the above info may have changed, if so, please let me know.
    COFire
    PROTECTING THOSE WHO DEFEND AMERICA ============================== =====

  24. #24
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    Cohoes, NY
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    In regards to NY. No clear lights may flash. well only if you are a Chief. The law states, 1 single non -breaking beam, 35 candle watts, rotating 360 degrees.

    Hope this helps,

    Jason Geary
    Maplewood Vol. FD
    Town of Colonie, NY
    NYRRT-1
    Jason Geary
    City of Cohoes FD
    www.cohoesfirefighters.com
    local #2562
    NYRRT-1

  25. #25
    Junior Member

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    Not to be a devils advocate but In NY blue lights are little help in getting thru traffic then it can only be 32 candle power (?). Not very darn bright. Blue is only ASKING for peolple to move over. I ran one your a few years and found it was less stressful for me NOT to run it thru the city.You would have to follow the same V&T laws as everone else. So I stopped running it. WHen I became a chief offcer than changed. Yes I would run red / siren for a big call ( mva-structure fire ...) but not generaly EMS. The embulance and FR unit would already be on scene.

    As to lights / siren on POV. Except for CHIEF officer NO. to big of a liabily issue.

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