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Thread: Emergency Lights for Vol FF/EMTs

  1. #41
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Greetings from New Hampsha'. Here it is red, or red/white. Roof mount or dash, wig wags and sirens are all acceptable, however, it is up to the local law enforcement and fire chief. As I posted in one of the other forum rooms concerning the same issue, all of the whirlygigs and other attention getters that we vollies put on our vehicles are just "courtesy" lights. I cannot stress this enough. No matter who you are, where you are, or what the situation is, the actions that you take reflect on the ENTIRE firefighting community, ESPECIALLY the volunteer community. Whether the call is for a structure fire, or a cat in a tree, we are all required to respond with due regard. Joe Public is not required by law to pull over and stop for volunteers responding to the station for a call. If the call you are responding to is not a life threatening call, don't risk the lives of innocent people just so you can make the first rig out. Obey all stop signs, speed limits, and traffic lights. Don't let the red lightitis disease take over. We as volunteers are responsible for our actions at all times, both on and off the fireground. If you have a light and/or plate on your vehicle, it is going to attract attention at all times, so be professional at all times. It reflects back on your fire department and the fire service as a whole. This is a very sensitive issue with departments all over the country, mostly because of liability. There is a similar topic in the "meet and greet" forum room under "dash lights", check it out.
    Just one more thing, If while responding to the station for a call, the person in front of you is "courteous" enough to pull over, be sure to extend a wave of thanks, it'll go a long way.

    Take care, stay safe, and stay low.

    Lieutenant M. Spinney
    Rollinsford Fire & Rescue

  2. #42
    Eng 48
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In N.J. it is a blue light, 50 c.p. or less (yeah right) mounted in center of roof or in front of A post.
    You must have a permit to operate, and can operate in a "reasonable response area."
    You ARE considered an emergency vehicle but people ignore it any way.
    YOU MUST OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS! The only people allowed to speed, blow lights and stop signs, etc. is the POST OFFICE. No lie...check it out yourself.
    Some towns, the Police are very understanding and as long as your not driving without regard for safety they'll let you slide. Some places, I've been stopped just for having it in my window to see if it's legal (I have a permit but it is technically mounted illegally).
    Chiefs can have red lights and sirens and also need a permit.
    I'd be happy if we could use sirens just to get peoples attention. I've seen in Galls they have a "horn" that resembles the horn tone on electronic sirens. I guess this is as close as we can legally get to it though.
    When I respond from home I rarely use my light anyway because I only live a block from the firehouse. All it will take is for the right person to ask "Why did it take so long?"

    Be safe everyone!

  3. #43
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Missouri it is Blue lights with siren, when the light is on the siren must be on.

    When I was on a dept in KY it was red lights with siren and same law if light is on so must the siren.

  4. #44
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yup all thart about the blue lights in NJ was correct but the rules are gererally not followed. But in the "other" state I spend time in , Oklahoma no emergency lights of any sort are allowed on POVs

    FF Greg Grudzinski
    Oaklyn Fire Dept.
    Station 18-3

  5. #45
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
    I called the Highway traffic board and asked them for some clarification - NOTHING is approved.

    I use my 4 way flashers and head lights I have a fire plate on the front and a MC in the window (driver side front. There was supposed to be a meeting with the chiefs and the govenment this year but I have heard no updates.

    It would be nice to have an NFPA standard or some reg body provide some guidance to the local hwy traffic people. We respond in our own cars right to the fire (in town) and to the hall for rescue and out of town stuff Heck we have a northamerican free trade agreement and can't get a Vol vehicle light code standardized - what gives

    Stay safe - live long

  6. #46
    Firehouse.com Guest


    New York State-
    FF - Blue Lights/No Siren
    Chief Officers - Red Lights/With Sirens

    EMS - Green Lights/No Sirens
    EMS Officers - Red Lights/With Sirens

  7. #47
    ff emt-p bleve
    Firehouse.com Guest




    [This message has been edited by ff emt-p bleve (edited October 06, 2000).]

  8. #48
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey ff-emt-p bleve.
    Try mounting it vertically! If that fails, try mounting it lengthwise.

  9. #49
    Firehouse.com Guest


    here in West Virginia F.F./EMS are red lights and siren. Siren must be activated if red lights are on.Anyone over the age of 18 can have a red light and siren permit,which has to be signed by the Sheriff and EMS or F.F. chief, then sent to the State O.E.S. office then that member is sent a window sticker for Vehicle. We also have EMS license plates, in order to get them u must be a EMT, as far as the F.F. plates, not sure what qualifications are there to get license plate


    911,what is your emergency

  10. #50
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You all might want to take a look in the FIREFIGHTER FORUM, this debate is taking form there now. A forum member is advocating not letting any volunteers have lights. His solution is to staff all the fire stations... as I told him, when he can figure out how all the comunities with volunteers can pay the salaries to staff the trucks, I would be more than happy to take the lights from the volunteers.... At any rate, check it out, I might need some "mutual aid" in there!

    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
    HazardAce likes this.

  11. #51
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry MetalMedic, tried to get there to put my 2 cents in with your common sense and I got shortchanged. They said the thread was CLOSED!
    HazardAce likes this.

  12. #52
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All is not lost!!! There is a new thread posted with some more stable minded members discussing the age-old question of lights and sirens on POVs.

    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  13. #53
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here in WI, POV lights and sirens are allowed. Each county and fire chief has the option to use or not to use. Each POV equipped with a red light must have a siren. You can have combo red/white, but red must be seen. A majority of the volunteers here use dashlights and wig wags. I personally feel a POV equipped with lights/sirens should have 360* visual warning because WI FF/EMS POV have same privileges as any other emergency vehicles i.e. 15mph over posted speed limit, proceeding thru stop lights after yielding right of way,etc.

  14. #54
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We had a new volunteer answering a call one evening, in his hurry to get to the station, he was stopped by a red light. What does he do? Pulls out his fire badge, flashes it out the window and begins pulling around all the other vehicles. Just so happens one of the vehicles contained an off duty police officer.

    I told you that story to show that anything can be abused, even your badge. And very much abuse, especially in a small department, can lead to removing the problem. Our volunteers are allowed blue lights in POV's, however they are restricted to the same laws all other vehicles are subject to.

  15. #55
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The State of Al. allows the Sheriff of each Co. to set the standards. In our Co. you are allowed to have a red light on your car only if you have a Firefighter Tag and get approval of the Sheriff.
    Only Chiefs are allowed sirens and you must obey all traffic laws.


  16. #56
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Badges for stop lights? Well, that is a new one. Say, was it a red badge or a blue badge?

    I suppose that was better than just plain running a red light at about 50 MPH in front of a deputy in a vehicle that had little or no brakes and a driver's side door that would not latch. Also, it was painted in a stripe pattern of red, yellow, green and some other color I forget now. Oh yeah, he had no blue or red light when he was doing this neat trick!
    Yes, even without lights, we have nutzos making us look bad.
    It all depends on us to police our own!

  17. #57
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Massachusetts it's blue for police and red or red/clear for firefighters. Here's a little of the Mass law.:

    Chapter 90: Section 7E. Display of red or blue lights on vehicles; permits; revocation; violations.
    A vehicle owned or operated by a forest warden, deputy forest warden, a chief or deputy chief of a municipal fire department, a chaplain of a municipal fire department, a member of a fire department of a town or a call member of a fire department or a member or a call member of an emergency medical service may have mounted thereon flashing, rotating or oscillating red lights. Such lights shall only be displayed when such owner or operator is proceeding to a fire or in response to an alarm and when the official duty of such owner or operator requires him to proceed to said fire or to respond to said alarm, and at no other time.
    The law was written way before the use of wig-wags, but, with the growing advantages of using them our chief contacted the state. They said that the use of wig-wags is covered by our Red Light Permits. But only for daytime use.

    To read the rest of the law go here: http://www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/90%2D7e.htm

    ...Remember the Worcester Six on Dec. 3rd!

    The opinions I express are my own and not of my department.

  18. #58
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Boy oh boy, this sounds so familiar. In Pennsylvania according to Title 75 of the PA Vehicle Code, Police, Fire Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, Fire Police Capt., 1 Fire Police Lt., Ambulance Commander, Ambulance Commander Assistant, Fire Marshal shall be allowed to use a red light and siren combo.
    For all other Vol. Firefighters, EMS, Fire Police to be eligible for a blue light, their names must be submitted to the nearest PA State Police Station on a list signed by the chief of the Fire or EMS dept.

    The wording for red light users all boils down to the old addage of, DO YOU FEEL LUCKY, in regards to max. speed limit, running stop signs, running thru red lights, going up one-way streets (the wrong way). So do you feel lucky? Blue lights have to obey all traffic regulations.
    Also everyone (red, blue, yellow, no light)shall obey the next statement.

    Vehicle Law Title 75 ss3102
    No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any uniformed police officer, sheriff, constable, or any appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control, or regulate traffic.

    Stay Safe, and Hey Merry Christmas all....

  19. #59
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Clarification on MD:

    Chiefs may use red lights on their personal vehicles, but no sirens. Kinda defeats the purpose. Most people in the state don't pull right for cops, medic units, engines, etc., so they are really confused when a chief comes blowing up the road in his 4x4 with a red light on.
    Now our chiefs and certain other members may be assigned a department car, even though we are volunteer. As long as the vehicle is registered with the FD, we can run code all day long if we want. But obviously not everyone can have that.
    This is a difficult issue. Standardization is obviously necessary, but until that occurs, the FF/EMS community has to show that its personnel can operate safely. I can't accurately remember how many folks have wrecked in a neighboring jurisdiction because of blue lights. But most of the time (at least recently), every one has been safe. We need to continue that trend. AND educate the public.
    Someone else posted the right idea: John Q. Public doesn't want to grant us right of way, regardless of what we are in, yet is the first to scream "what took you so long?" when he really needs us.

    Todd Dousa

    [This message has been edited by dousaems (edited 12-04-2000).]

  20. #60
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Years ago, in Missouri, it was blue lights (siren optional), permit signed by Chief. From another post, looks like sirens are mandatory now. It is a courtesy light.

    Our dept. policy was "at Chief's discretion", so if you weren't responsible (or abused it), then the Chief pulled your "permit". Also dept. policy was no "permanent external mounts", so it was magnetic teardrops on the roof or dash lights.

    In a suburban FPD, most people didn't even know we were volunteers, so they were ignored anyway.

    BTW, we all responded to the station only. Chief, deputy could respond direct, or Paramedics could stop if they passed the call, but FF had to go to station only.

    Mostly, we just moved into neighborhoods close to the station. (If you didn't, then you missed the truck a lot!)

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