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Thread: Emergency Lights for Vol FF/EMTs

  1. #51
    Dr. Law 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!

  2. #52
    MetalMedic 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.

  3. #53
    craiggEMT 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.

  4. #54
    comwhite 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.

  5. #55
    firefightersam 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.


  6. #56
    Dr. Law 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!

  7. #57
    KSSG70 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:

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

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

  8. #58
    CTFP180 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....

  9. #59
    dousaems 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).]

  10. #60
    RJE 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!)

  11. #61
    ff601 Guest


    here in georgia we use red/red or red/clear
    and you better use a siren when lights are on

    while i'm here, anyone have strobe lights and or power packs for sale-cheap? e-mail

    be safe, Rick

  12. #62
    nomad1085 Guest


    In Connecticut:

    Firefighters: Blue, no siresn

    Ambulance Personel POVs: Green, no siren

    Chief Fire Officers, Apparatus, Police Cruisers: Red, Blue, White, Siren.

    Ambulances: Red, White, Siren

    Tow Trucks, Plows, Etc.: Amber, no siren (duh)


  13. #63
    SCFire2402 Guest


    SC code allows

    Fire Apparatus/Pov's: Red white/yellow optional, siren must be on when in motion and lights are on.

  14. #64
    Firelover Guest


    In New Brunswick we don't have a policie "yet". We finally go plates, but I hear in Toronto, they have a green light w/no siren. I wish we could have something like that. But since we don't I moved closer to the fire hall so I could be on the second truck out. It's fun.


    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

  15. #65
    fffd1vfd Guest


    You have ohio as red or red/clear with siren. But also you must have a sticker that says you had your car inspected bye a certified person to do so.

  16. #66
    dimab Guest


    In the state of CT, FF/EMT get blue lights, no siren, no special traffic privilages. Chiefs, D/C get red,clear,blue with siren. Personally, without starting a debate on this, I believe volunteers in their personal cars need to be recognized as 'official' emergency vehicles. Obviously, we are running for a reason, not for our fun. I've seen too many times, a truck waiting for a crew because our members are stuck on a bridge in town, which is only 2 lanes! Grant it that some people see the light and move, others don't see it (use of siren needed) or just ingnore us! The public must understand that we are responding to an emergency, need the right of way, so we can do our job. I've also heard a story where a volly was responding to a structure fire, with his blue light, no siren, in her personal vehicle, and a woman would not pull over. There was too much traffic to just pass her. At the end of the ride, both people arrived at the same residence! The lady couldn't believe what was happening. Although this is an extreme case, this is exactly the reason taht volly's need emergency rights in CT, and everywhere else!
    HazardAce likes this.

  17. #67
    Eng522ine Guest


    PFPCHEIF..... I have heard from a cop friend of mine that blue lights are no longer courtesy lights in NJ. Drivers MUST yeild the right of way the same as they do for a red light. Although I cannot quote a statute number to you I am assured that it has recently been changed. I am told that if a vehicle fails to yeild to your blue light you can take down the vehicle's plate number and go to your local PD and get a "failure to yeild to an emergency vehicle" ticket mailed to the owner of the vehicle. I am still looking into this so don't start filling up your ticket book quite yet. I'll keep you posted. Be safe.

  18. #68
    Lewiston2Capt Guest


    My understanding of NYS V&T law regarding Emergency lights is:

    Chief officers: Red or Red/White with sirens.
    FF: A single Blue rotating or flashing light not to exceed 32 candlepower, mounted above the headlights. (I dont think that it states that the light has to be visible for 360 in the instances of dash lights)

    I dont think that I have observed any volunteer using a 32 candlepower light on their POV. Enforcement of the candlepower and how many lights is pretty lax unless the privledge of the light is being abused. My Dept. tends to say less is better.

  19. #69
    APG1 Guest


    32 CP? That's... 32% of a headlight, isn't it? Uhm... do they even MAKE lights that dim? Pancake lights are 100cp. *giggle*

  20. #70
    TCFire Guest


    Yes, NYS law on blue lights is a little silly. I don't think you can buy a 32 CP light anymore, aside from the fact that who would see it if you had one?

    From observation most people seem to run dash lights. If you have a bar, law says you can't have a break in it or have more than 2 rotators.

    Blue light in NYS is courtesy only, have to abide by regular V&T laws. Cops are usually ok with speed, within reason, although that is recently changing thanks to some idiot who was clocked on radar in excess of 90 mph going to an ambulance call. Fortunately was not one of ours.

    Bottom line, many people don't give you the right of way regardless of what you run. With siren and red light, the air is blue on my way to a call more often than not from people pulling out in front of you, going through the intersection to beat you, or calmly driving along as you sit behind them waiting for them to yield.

    Just gotta remember that you're useless if you don't get there safely or if you cause a second call to come clean up the accident you caused by being impatient or doing something stupid.

  21. #71
    firehat87 Guest


    In Texas you can run any combo of colored lights you want as long as you have both of the following:

    a. A red light visible 360 degrees for 500 feet on a clear day at the highest point of your vehicle

    b. a siren audible for 500 feet on a clear day

    I am currently in college in Oklahoma where vollies can only use amber without a siren. Basically, nothing at all.

    Be safe.

  22. #72
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Cochran, GA, USA


    If I'm not mistaken, in Georgia, you can use either clear or purple lights with impunity. They're unregulated and my chief forbids lights (claiming some sort of red light complex) on his volunteer's vehicles, however a couple of enterprising ones got around him by putting purple lights on their trucks. When he saw them, he went red in the face and starting grumbling under his breath, but he didn't say anything to them.

  23. #73
    Forum Member
    FiftyOnePride's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Upstate NY


    Wow, this one was really dug up from the FH Forum graves.
    51 Pride - R.I.P. Sandy
    Alarm 200644004, I won't ever forget.

    Remember you only have 1*.


  24. #74
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)


    Oh christ, here we go.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  25. #75

    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    In MS only police can have blue lights. FF`s can only have hideaway lights, no lightbars and must be red or white. Amber lights are used to tow trucks and etc... Here if you recieve a call and you are in your district, you allowed to speed, only 15 mph over the posted limit. And you are not in your district, say the next city, you must call that cities PD and request permission to run 10-18 (quickly, and with lights and sirens.)

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