1. #1
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    Default Emerg. Vehicles Yielding to Emerg. Vehicles

    I seem to remember seeing something on this before, but can't seem to find the thread, so, with my apologies, here goes.....

    How do you handle situations where you have: 1) multiple agencies (LE, FDs, EMS, etc.) responding to an incident, 2) multiple vehicles/apparatus from these agencies (incl. some POV response), and 3) a narrow/winding/steep access route.

    How do you handle issues of yielding/passing? Protocols/SOPs/guidelines, etc.? Concerns?

    Thanks for your insights!

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    I recall replying to the earlier post but I can't find it either.

    I also recall that a sizable percentage of the replies were that they weren't yielding to anyone. We don't have an SOG and I don't think it's needed. It's another of those instances where common sense should be your guide.

    I'm not giving an inch to PD or EMS if I'm enroute to a structure fire regardless of the speed (or lack thereof) that I'm travelling. If they want to go around me that's their choice.

    If I'm enroute to an MVA without fire showing I will attempt to yield to EMS and probably even PD. When I say "yield" I mean assist them in getting around me safely because I know they can make better speed than I can in most of my district. We are either on the same frequency or monitor each other's traffic so I can let them know it is clear to pass. I won't pull over and stop unless it is absolutely safe and prudent to do so. You can create more of a hazard trying to pull onto the shoulder of a two lane road than if you just keep moving.
    _________DILLIGAF

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    We use the common sense approach.

    If it is at an intersection with a stoplight, obiously the one with the green goes first.

    If it is an intersection with a 4-way stop, then rules of the road prevail, and you should yeild to the one on the right if you reach the intersection at the same time.

    When we have a multi response from where I work, (more than one ambulance) one will usually radio the other(s) when they approach any major intersection.

    Ed Brando
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    We rarely meet up with other responding units on the road, EMS and PD are a few minutes after us. Where we do need to watch out is when we`re flying up a main road and mutual aid units are approaching from a side street, when we approach a dangerous intersection we just get on the radio and say "45 approaching whatever and whatever" Then you can be sure there won`t be a problem.

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    In Alberta, the vehicles that are allowed to have lights & sirens (and be "emergency vehicles") have a set order they should yield to each other in. The right of way is, in order:

    1. Fire apparatus
    2. EMS apparatus
    3. Police vehicles
    4. Member of gas disconnection utility

    (You know what, me too. I've never seen a gas company vehicle with lights & siren. Although I did see one with an Opticom once.)

    Now, that's what the law says, but does it really happen that way? Nah How many times has our big lumbering rigs gotten the doors blown off by a cruiser or an ambulance...

    On multi-apparatus responses from our own station, we are pretty much always coming from the same direction, so that make it easy. We all know the seriousness of each call our rigs are responding to, so if for example I was in the bush buggy going to a burning complaint and the ambulance was going to a cardiac arrest, I'd know to let them thru the intersection first.
    --jay.

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    Gas company? wow, i hope I never see a gas company flying down the road with red lights and sirens. some emergency personel drive scary enough when responding. I'd hate to see a gas employee responding.

    I think you need to think of the call you are responding to.

    for EMS calls, I would go:
    1. EMS/Ambulance
    2. Police
    3. Fire
    4. Gas Company

    for Fire/HazMat Calls
    1. Fire
    2. Police
    3. EMS

    Shooting/Stabbing/weapon injuries
    1. police
    2. Fire
    ...
    72. EMS (I'm not going to rush to get there before there are a lot of PD already on scene )

    car accidents
    I think this is one of the situations where you have the greatest possiblity for multi-agnecy response. Personally, if i'm in a rig, and I see an engine or rescue pull up behind me with it's lights, sirens, Q2B (or whatever you call the manual siren), and air horn blaring, i'm going to pull over and let it pass.

    1. fire (if they respond)
    2. EMS
    3. PD

    of course, we all know the PD will find a away to get past you, whether you want him to or not.

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    I agree, common sence should prevale, but you allways have those " got to get there first" types. We have an S.O.G. for responce to certian types of incidents. Which unit goes first and so on. Being in rural america, any M/A usually is not called untill an office determins the situation merits. With us being allready at the station and the M/A having to tone out and respond, the possibality if intersection mayham is not a factor. Within our own dept if one rig can out pull the other on a hill then the 2nd vehicle radios the lead and asks permission to pass. This applies to any of our own vehicles when passing, it's just a matter of common couritsy.
    Lt. Homer

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    Gas company? wow, i hope I never see a gas company flying down the road with red lights and sirens.
    I found a gas company truck with lights and sirens.
    TEXAS UTILITIES, EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT


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    At intersections the green light has the right of way, unless by RADIO they give you permission to go. We have all had cops cut in front of us going to a fire. Just hope they don't park in front of the hydrant.

    As for passing another emergency vehicle, not a good idea. It confuses the public and puts you and your crew at greater risk. If you have to take evasive action while being passed you can easily wreck. Now two emergency vehicles are not going to help anyone and you'll take resources away from the 1st incident because you wanted to beat someone in.

    Driving an emergency vehicle is a huge responsibility and if you have drivers that don't have the right attitude they shouldn't be driving.

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    In Reply to Jay911 and some others about the utility disconnect vehicles.

    Yes in the Province of Alberta Utility vehicles are now allow to run Red Emergency Lights. They are only allowed to use them in conjunction with responding to an emergency request for disconnect. No sirens yet.

    Also Jay911 you forgot the Mail Trucks. A mail truck has the right of way over any emergency vehicle. And then there is a Funeral Procession. And Emergency Vehicle cannot interrupt the flow in a Funeral Procession unless the Procession permitts the vehicle throught. The only vehicle that can cut through a funeral line is a Mail Truck.

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    Hmm! You must have a newer version of the HTA than I do (Highway Traffic Act, not High Temperature Accelerant, for those of you playing at home). Not breaking into a funeral procession, I can see that. I probably would have tried to find a way to deal with that, out of simple respect. But not blowing past a mail truck? First of all I guess since all the mail is delivered by semi to the post office and we have to haul our butts down there to pick our own mail up, that's a little different than most of the rest of the world. But aside from that, I'd love to see the Mountie who would write up a fire truck for passing a mail van... come to think of it I'd love to see the MLA who was responsible for introducing the section about the mail van in the first place!
    --jay.

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    Jay your right it is stupid. But it is a Federal offense to inhibit the delivery of the mail.

    Now would a postal worker try to block an emergency vehicle or try to beat us to an intersection not likely. Would they run and emergency road block I doubt it.

    It's just one of those things that are on the books that one hopes people would use their brains in it's application. I have yet to see Johnny the mailman try to cross the street to enforce his rights with Big Red comming down the road.

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    Down here in OZ, the beer delivery trucks have right of way over all other vehicles, regardless of whether emergency vehicles are responding lights and sirens. This is particularly important in the summer when the temperature can get over 40 degrees celcius, all Aussies like to drink their beer icy cold, god help the poor beer delivery driver who serves warm beer. This law was declared last century because of a near civil war in a large country town near Melbourne called Ballarat. You can read about the beer war named the Eureka Rebellion in Australian history books. Every kid in Australia knows about this particular bit of our history, apparently the Governor of the state wanted to increase the governments share of beer supplies and this in turn meant that there were less horse and carts to deliver the beer into outlying areas, hence a good portion of the beer would end up being spoiled through excessive heat during delivery. The police were sent in to breakup a massive protest and soon shots were fired by both sides, quite a few people died. Practical experience strongly suggests that other emergency vehicles give way to fire engines, for all the common sense reasons - they're big, heavy and slow to stop, basically if you are in an ambulance or police car you don't want to get hit by one, it can definately ruin your day. Remember if you ever visit Australia,particularly in summer, give way to the beer trucks, their drivers are real hard cases and they take full advantage of the law.

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    Default School Bus

    From what I remember the part about the mail truck is true because of an outdated law... I remember hearing that a mail truck always has the right of way because it could be carrying draft orders and it is these orders which are illigal to delay. A little outdated?

    A school bus is another vehicle we should be thinking about... in most states fire apparatus can't pass a school bus while it is unloading or loading children.

    Turk II

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    Things that make you go hhmmmmmm .....

    Hard to believe these laws still exist.

    I just stand and shake my head in disbelief when I see idiot drivers on 8th Street SW during rush hour not making any attempt to get out of the way of fire and emergency vehicles. And it happens ALL the time!!!! Sometimes I just wish you guys would drive right over them LOL! Big rig ... little car .....
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    Up here we actually have some intersection controllers that will turn all the lights red in response to a fire call. They don't work for police or ambulance. I think it really depends on the call you are going to though. Common sense should prevail, however it doesn't always. There is a considerable amount of animosity between fire and BCAS (ambulance), it's definately stronger on the BCAS side. They WONT yield even to a fire call. Most of the time fire responds faster, but the odd time that BCAS hits the intersection at the same time, unless the rig is already on its way through, let the bus go first. There is no problem with police, they yield to both fire and BCAS unless there are weapons involved. In which case the two other depts are told to wait for police before entering anyway.

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    We have an unwritten rule that we will yield for Ambulance and Police at all times.

    With regards to other services, it depends on the speeds of each other- we will never hinder a faster moving vehicle, regardless of the nature of the call. It's called common sense! (To those that think "We're more important, or they don't need to be there before us"- GROW UP!) So what if a Police Officer gets to the fire or whatever you're responding to, before you. He may save a life in those few minutes by performing CPR or similar. Don't be caught out either- that one time you don't yeild for police or similar, may be the time they are responding to a different emergency. It could be your family they're helping.


    Never had an issue arise as far as I can recall about services not yielding to each other in our area.....
    Last edited by lutan1; 06-02-2002 at 06:32 PM.
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    Fair call Lutan.

    Although I have seen an instance of the Police patrol car giving way, you could see the thought process going through the guys head, "Nope they have got the biggest bumpers, they got the right of way."

    The other thing is don't assume pedestrians can see or hear you. We had an Ambulance driver who failed to slow down below the speed limit when the little old lady was 300 feet in front of his vehicle.

    How was he supposed to know she was deaf. result was a messy court case and revised procedures for emergency drivers over here.

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    Common Sense ... What's that????

    Wouldn't it be a perfect world if pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers yielded the right of way to fire and emergency vehicles???

    Wouldn't it be a perfect world if the drivers of all fire and emergency vehicles were cautious and aware of what is going on around them? Better to err on the side of caution than run someone over who or crash into a car they thought could hear / see them coming and find out later they couldn't hear you cause they're listening to a walkman, or deaf like that poor lady, or perhaps seeing impaired.

    But we don't live in a perfect world?? Its interesting to see all the opinions and policies previously put forth here though.

    This debate could also apply to the thread about the sirens/lights or not arguement. As a pedestrian myself, who listens to a walkman LOL, my opinion is keep the sirens and lights otherwise how would I know you're a barrelling down the road towards me!!!!

    Just my opinion of course.
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    Hey RspctFrmCalgary- I agree with you, but I have HUGE issues when I read these forums and operators of Emergency Service vehicle say that they're not going to give way to another service!

    To quote Ten8_Ten19:
    I'm not giving an inch to PD or EMS if I'm enroute to a structure fire regardless of the speed (or lack thereof) that I'm travelling. If they want to go around me that's their choice.
    Now that is hypocritical! We criticize the public for not yeilding and yet here we have someone who SHOULD and probably DOES know better, doing the exact opposite!

    So my question to Ten8_Ten19: What if the fire you're responding to is deliberately lit by a disgruntled father? What if his 3 young kids are in the house, dead? What if he manages to get away because you refuse to yield?


    I think a few peolpe need to take a good long hard look at themselves and their departments policies. I bet any amount of money that we would be p#@$%d off, if another emergency service refuses to yield to us going to a fire call or rescue....
    Last edited by lutan1; 06-03-2002 at 04:15 AM.
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    Lutan.. Good post.

    I agree totally. If you want to play "bumper cars" then go to the amusement park, there is no place for it on the road, especially while driving an emergency vehicle.

    We are supposed to be protecting the public, that includes the drivers and occupants of other emergency vehicles.

    Ten8_Ten19

    What if the structure you are going to just happens to be in the same direction as the hospital, and EMS is actually carrying a patient headed there, or they are going to a completely seperate call? I don't know how many crews you have in your city, but it is possible for more then one call to come in at once. Wouldn't you feel horrible if someone died because you wouldn't move over and allow a more easily manoverable vehicle past?

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    Great points Lutan!

    I'm getting an education that's for sure ..... had no idea there was so much bull**** and rivalry between the different branches of Fire, police and EMS, no matter where in the world you may be. A little off subject, but case in point is the friction from EMS being in Fire stations for example, and who do they report to etc.

    And the debate rolls on .......

    Get there fast because its your job to save lives and who knows if that extra 30 seconds or so will or will not make a difference. (no matter what some on here say, in the opinion of someone not in fire/emergency service - I think it makes sense to get to call as quick as possible - within reason of course depending on the nature of the call and the info you're getting from dispatcher)

    Get there safe, because we do want you to get home safe to your families after your shift.

    Is it really that big of a status thing to be there "first"???? Bragging rights back at the station???? Maybe that's what this whole thread is about - big egos! Yield if it is warranted. Leave your fricking egos at home.

    hehehe that was fun! don't anybody get mad at me
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by CAP22

    Also Jay911 you forgot the Mail Trucks. A mail truck has the right of way over any emergency vehicle. And then there is a Funeral Procession. And Emergency Vehicle cannot interrupt the flow in a Funeral Procession unless the Procession permitts the vehicle throught. The only vehicle that can cut through a funeral line is a Mail Truck.
    The thing about the mail truck is not true.

    http://www.snopes2.com/autos/law/fourway.htm

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    Lutan... I don't appreciate being called either stupid or pig-headed. Your earlier posts led me to believe you were much more mature.

    You expect me to yield to PD and EMS enroute to a confirmed structure? How much water do cruisers carry in your area? I have no problem with them passing me when it's safe to do so (as long as they don't park in front of the building) but I will not slow and pull to the side of the road for them to get by me. My response area is primarily crowned two-lane roads with gravel shoulders. That's an accident waiting to happen with a loaded truck.

    Temptaker go back and read my post again. Fire and EMS share a frequency, I know where they are going.

    It's all about common sense.
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    Ten8_Ten19

    You are correct I did miss the part about being on the same frequency. Up here only some of the depts are on the same frequency as BCAS, often they have to actually call dispatch for an ETA of the bus, and because of that fire has no idea if the ambulance following them, is carrying or not.

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