I wanted to ask this question to all the vol FF/EMTs out there. I am curious what your state allows you to utilize in your private vehicle in response to emergencies. I have volunteered in a couple of different states and have responded with and without lights due to dept policies. I would enjoy hearing from as many as possible. I know some information on a couple of states if I make a mistake please reply.
Indiana FF=Blue/No Siren EMS=Green/No Siren
Montana FF/EMS= Red/No Siren
Alaska FF/EMS= Blue/No Siren
Texas FF= Red or Red and Blue/ with Siren
Nebraska FF= Red and Blue/ with Siren
Vermont FF/EMS Red/ with Siren
Ohio FF= Red/ with Siren
Michigan FF= Red/ with Siren
Washington FF= Green? Old info, do you guys still use green and how is it utilized?
North Star VFD
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07-22-2000, 04:50 AM #1fyrgeekFirehouse.com Guest
Emergency Lights for Vol FF/EMTs
07-22-2000, 09:55 AM #2JMP17Firehouse.com Guest
Hello my Brother from the great white north!
Here in Connecticut it's blue lights for fire/ems, red with sirens for Chief Officers only.
Stay safe & stay warm!!!!
07-22-2000, 02:16 PM #3WhipFirehouse.com Guest
Just a little tidbit, for EMS only services they use a green light.
Hey nice pants.
Lt. Whip FSI/EMT
Ledyard CT FD
07-22-2000, 04:22 PM #4mark440Firehouse.com Guest
No such thing as Lights & Sirens for POV's in the Great state of Utah.
If in doubt - Call us out
07-22-2000, 04:49 PM #5jj1967Firehouse.com Guest
In North Carolina it's red/white lights for FF and Chiefs, sirens for Chiefs only.
07-22-2000, 06:35 PM #6FirefighterReedFirehouse.com Guest
In TN it is like this
FF/EMS= red & white or just red/siren
Find em hot......Leave em wet...
Fire Fighters job is never done
07-23-2000, 02:12 AM #7fyrgeekFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks guys for your replies. F-61 thanks for the reply on e-mail. I don't want this topic to turn into a should we run them or not post. I feel we should however there are others that don't. There are other issues that we could argue about. I appreciate the replies. Keep the answers coming. BTW what are "courtesy lights", I take it that you are not allowed to violate any traffic laws and are just "asking" for the right of way, not required to move out of the way? Have a great weekend and a safe week!
North Star VFD
07-23-2000, 05:35 PM #8Truck#109Firehouse.com Guest
Ontario allows green lights only for POV's
There are also personalized license plates with the maltese cross available for firefighters.
07-24-2000, 01:13 AM #9MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
[This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited July 24, 2000).]
07-24-2000, 01:14 AM #10MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
You almost have Ohio right... we can use Red lights or Red & White lights. Either way, if you have emergency lights, you MUST have a siren and it MUST be in operations when you use your lights in order to be in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
07-24-2000, 11:20 AM #11bob1350Firehouse.com Guest
In Colorado only red or red/clear. Must be mounted on top of vehicle and visible 360 degrees. You can also use grill strobes and wig wags. Nothing on the rear and you can't use your flashers when responding.
07-24-2000, 01:52 PM #12vollieffFirehouse.com Guest
Here in Pa, they are blue for FF, Red with sirens for line officers. Yes the FF lights are courtesy lights that do not allow any laws to be broken, the person may yield the right of way to you, but not at a traffic light. FF's one light with 360 degree visibility, no wig wags or grill or dash lights are legal, but dash lights are tolorated around my area. Reds W/siren are allowed to go through red lights, with due caution. Hope this helped
07-24-2000, 02:20 PM #13fireaterFirehouse.com Guest
In the great state of IOWA we get Firefighter plates that are different from our reg. plates if we want and then ff gets blue lights and EMS get clear/white lights, and (head light flashers i belive) and if you are both you can have a clear and blue lights
Stay Safe and remember to put the wet stuff on the red stuff
07-24-2000, 08:05 PM #14MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
This is an interesting thread to follow. I have to wonder what the logic is of law makers sometimes. Some states demand lights above the roof line, others prohibit it. Some only allow dash lights, other states don't allow it. Some permit sirens only for officers, other require them for anyone wishing to install lights. IMHO, using a personal vehicle for an emergency response makes it even more necessary to be creative in your warning systems since the lights and sirens are all that will identify you as a public safety vehicle in response. Most volunteers do not have reflective striping and recognized color schemes to aid in this. I wonder if the NVFC or NFPA have considered addressing this as a national standard issue?
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
07-24-2000, 09:29 PM #15mark440Firehouse.com Guest
I did not even think to mention the Firefighter plate here in Utah. It has a 4" X 4" Maltese Cross on the left side of the plate and "Firefighter" along the bottom of the plate. This is the Hottest selling custom plate in the state. You have to be in good standing with the FD for 1 year or a member of the State Firemen's Assc. for 6 months to be eligble to get the plate.
Since last post there have been no changes in Utah state law about emergency lights on POV's.
If in doubt - Call us out
07-25-2000, 01:56 PM #16DFDRevFirehouse.com Guest
Michigan colors as I understand them:
FF/EMS = Red (or red/white)
Only PD can use blue
Green light is for HAZ-MAT I/C
Siren must be used when moving.
A new color being used is PURPLE for hearses. It's funny to see people pulling over thinking a PD unit is coming at them (many hearses use wig-wags as well).
07-25-2000, 10:49 PM #17killian418Firehouse.com Guest
Here in NY. it is red lights for Chiefs, blue for vol. firefighters, and green for ems personal. Most ems personal us Blue becaus they are responding to the fd for the mes call.
07-26-2000, 12:22 AM #18BillEMTffFirehouse.com Guest
Here in NY Fire Chiefs run red lightes and sirens, firefighters run blue lights (supose to be 1 rotating blue visable 360degrees) though this is not inforced so some run full size bar lights (rotating or strobe) some just run dash lights(not visible 360) some, like myself, run mini-bar lights, myself strobe, others rotating. EMS run green lights same rules as blue. It's been brought to may attention that EMTs, or higher, can run reds and siren if they respond primarily to the scene. I'm not to sure if this is correct? If anyone else knows the facts please feel free to correct me.
"Fire Department From HELL"
07-26-2000, 02:29 AM #19
- Join Date
- Feb 1999
- Roswell, GA, USA
What's most interesting to me is that there are so many different laws in these "United" States. There are stories of fire fighters crossing state lines with what's legal in their state and getting tickets for simply having the lights on their POV (with the correct license plate from the home state).
I look forward for the day when all 50 states might have a unified color scheme. Perhaps NFPA or IFSTA or NVFC or ANYONE could do a definitive survey of what's being used, what's allowed, and how, and come up with the majority results, and we ALL switch to that. Give a reasonable time frame to make the switch (should be primarily swapping lens colors in most cases).
In Texas, your POV is considered an emergency vehicle when the FF/EMT is responding to an emergency. In Pennsylvania, (excepting chief officers) the blue courtesy light denotes that your house on fire is not an emergency until the FFs get to the fire station and board the engine with the red lights and siren.
I've lived in a few states (job moves) and have seen many of these changes and differences that many have spoken of. I remember late one foggy night on an interstate in West Virginia coming up on a car in the median crashed into a bridge. As I exited my car which was parked along the road in the median, it occured to me that a half-asleep driver, upon seeing just my flashing vehicle lights, might swerve to the left, thinking I was on the berm. So, aware that blue was PD in WV, but more concerned with not getting hit by a truck, I place my blue light on my roof. There was a fair amount of blood in the car, but no driver or passenger. Gathering others who stopped, we started a search for the possible victims.
Not too long after, a sheriff pulled onto the scene. I went over to him to pass on what I had done and seen, and to let him know we hadn't found the victim yet. All he wanted to know was whose car had the blue light. Bear in mind that we were less than 50 miles from the PA border. I said it was mine, and had to produce my FD ID and EMT license. He actually didn't care (his words) about the crash victim; he was more concerned about the blue light, even after I told him my reasoning and concerns for safety.
If a sheriff 50 miles from a different set of light laws had no clue, what about others?
I would love to see our states get united about emergency light laws. Treat all emergency responders as EMERGENCY responders. Have requirements that keep things under control, like EVOC and actual testing to show understanding of the responsibilities of "running hot". But let's see if we could get united on this.
Do it right, do it safely, do it once.
07-26-2000, 02:40 AM #20fyrgeekFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks again for the info everyone. MetalMedic you have a good point, it is interesting to see what the different states have to offer in the way volunteers can respond. 26DC thanks for your replies also. I really hope to hear some more answers to my questions. MetalMedic/26DC how strict is your state licensing (registration) for your POV to become an emergency vehicle? Also, does your dept or the state require additional insurance for your vehicle?
North Star VFD
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