Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default Passing a funeral procession

    This past week, while responding to a structure fire, our crew ran into a situation that none of us had ever encountered before.
    We were about one quarter of the way through our 15+ mile response for automatic aid for one of our firehouses to a structure fire. We were on a two lane road, when we ran upon a funeral procession travelling in the same direction as we were. The whole procession, hurse included, pulled to the right and slowed. We shut our siren off as we passed in respect for the dead.
    I know that there are some here who have seen everything and done everything... but can anyone tell me what the "correct" procedure is for doing this? We know that a burning building take priority, but is there a good way of blowing past these things?

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH


  2. #2
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    Despite rumors to the contrary, even a Federal Q can not wake the dead.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    Your going to care for the living. They need to yield, like they did.
    Depending on traffic I wouldn't shut off the siren. Most traffic laws state that the siren must sound while enroute. I turned it off because of a dead guy and that's why we hit that family of four will not cut it in court.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Sugar Land FD, Texas
    Posts
    21

    Default

    This could also fall under what do you do if you came across a school bus with lights on. Do you stop or ignore it? I myself would stop and proceed with extreme caution. Never know what a child might do.
    "Dont forget to wear your Reed"
    "When you buy junk, you now own junk"

    J.Brown

  5. #5
    Forum Member SCOOBY14B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    360

    Default

    If ANYONE "ignored" a school bus with its lights and/or sign deployed they would deserve to have their a**es kicked, and should NEVER drive another emergency apparatus!!!

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Both departments I fight fire with, career & VFD, have policies about passing school buses with flashing lights.
    We are to stop until we have a physical signal from the driver of the bus to proceed. We DO NOT run through a school bus stop with the bus stopped and lights flashing.
    We are to respond at the speed limit through school zones, in Utah they are 20MPH.
    We turned the siren off because they had pulled over, and there was no approaching traffic or intersections.

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    If ANYONE "ignored" a school bus with its lights and/or sign deployed they would deserve to have their a**es kicked, and should NEVER drive another emergency apparatus!!!

    If anyone THINKS they can pass a school bus with it's lights on they they need their permission to drive apparatus immediately revoked.

    Nothing trumps school buses in your carriageway with their lights on. Nothing.

    Red Lights & Sirens generally give you four permissions:
    -- Procede with due regard through stop signals & signs
    -- Excede with due regard posted speed limits
    -- Go with due regard the wrong-way on a road
    -- Park anywhere with due regard you please

    There's still a ton of motor vehicle stuff -- from school buses to train crossings to bridge weight limits to drunk driving laws that don't get waived just because you flip a few switches.

    We turned the siren off because they had pulled over, and there was no approaching traffic or intersections.

    Straight stretch of road with no intersections or private drives, that's probably not unreasonable. Still you'd be more liable if someone pulled out of the line of traffic though than if you were running the siren.
    Last edited by Dalmatian90; 12-26-2003 at 08:47 PM.

  8. #8
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    In a van down by the CT River!
    Posts
    2,771

    Default

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    If ANYONE "ignored" a school bus with its lights and/or sign deployed they would deserve to have their a**es kicked, and should NEVER drive another emergency apparatus!!!

    If anyone THINKS they can pass a school bus with it's lights on they they need their permission to drive apparatus immediately revoked.
    Not only that, but it is against the law in CT. In CT, you can proceed past red lights and stop signs with due regard but you cannot go through a school bus with flashing lights.
    IACOJ Agitator
    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    I think I might have shut down the lights for a moment as I passed the hearse as a show of respect. Everyone behind would have seen the gesture (and if they pulled over in the first place, they obviously understood the priority of the emergency). I don't think your actions were out of line.

    As for the big crayola-yellow machine, I'm going to stop and wait. The exception in my state is on a divided highway whilst traveling in the opposite direction, but you can be sure I'm going to be slowing down considerably and looking.

    My real-world experiences with school busses has been that the drivers will hold the children on the bus and signal for a fire engine to pass.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    I think what you did was perfectly legal and respectful.

    I myself would not have shut off the siren or shut off any lights. I think that would just cause more confusion. Personal choice I guess. The living would respect what the fire department is trying to do and it is too late for the dead guy anyway.

    Legally in Wisconsin, a funeral procession has the right away EXCEPT to an emergency vehicle with the lights and siren activated.

    Also, ALL vehicles, emergency vehicles included, CANNOT pass a school bus with their lights and stop sign activated regardless of the emergency. We must follow the speed limits of 15mph in school zones as well. This is very strictly enforced where I come from.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    _____________________________
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Engine 74
    Posts
    107

    Default

    I'd have done the same thing, given that it was safe to do so. It's true that when your red lights are on and your sirens are not it'll be tough to explain in court why you thought the call you were responding to was only good enough to use some of your warning devices, but not all of them, if something bad happened. Still, as I said above, if I could be reasonably sure I could show my respect for the friends and family of the deceased and not cause anything bad to happen, I'd do it. I have to add that Dickey makes a good point about possibly adding to the confusion by shutting down while right beside the procession. Someone may think you're going to stop right there. So I think I'd leave the lights on, set the siren on Manual mode, and keep my feet poised over the air horn and Federal Q pedals. As soon as we were past the procession the electronic siren would go back on. Of course, it's a judgement call. If you choose to keep all the signaling devices operating you would be in the right. My opinion is that if I can reasonably show a little respect for others, and not cause any problems doing so, then I ought to do so. But that's my opinion.

    Now as for school buses, I'm curious. Is there anyone who is not expressly forbidden from passing a school bus whose lights are flashing? We must wait for a signal from the school bus driver, and I see many here do the same. Is that universal?
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    The school bus law is a FEDERAL law. You can NOT pass a bus with its sign out and lights flashing.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    lookin for da heat
    Posts
    128

    Default funeral procession & stopped school busses

    Remember we are only asking permission to proceed ahead of traffic in certain situations: intersections, passing vehicles etc. A funeral procession is just another traffic situation. While it may seem disrespectful we are responding to protect LIFE and property. Remember if we create an accident or injury do to our response, the people we are responding to will not receive our help. I would never pass a stopped school bus which is taking on passengers and has its'lights flashing. I believe it would be acting without regard for the public and also illegal.

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile Apples And Oranges..........

    First, the funeral procession. I'd have done it the same way, and here in a more (!) urban area, we do encounter funerals when responding. I pass a funeral procession in a manner that is as dignified as possible, while still getting where I need to go. More difficult is crossing thru a funeral procession at right angles. I stop, if it is not absolutely clear that the procession has stopped, and proceed when everyone else has stopped, regardless of any signal.
    School buses. Seem to have that problem a lot. (except in the summer) We stop until the bus driver indicates that it is safe to proceed With the Yellow and Red lights on the newer busses, drivers will shut off the red, and keep the yellow on, and wave us by. My Daughter, the school bus owner/driver, says that there is a federal DOT model for traffic regulations regarding school transportation, but all legislation implementing those models comes from the individual states. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  15. #15
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    319

    Default

    I agree with most everyone else. Stop for the school bus until you have a clear signal from the driver that it is safe and then you still proceed with caution.
    The show of respect to the funeral procesion by running silent but still with due regard was an act that the mourners will remember in a positive way. Good call.
    I don't know about the rest of the country but around here I was raised with a tradition that when you are on a 2 lane undevided road and are approached by a funeral procession you pull to the right and stop on the shoulder. Most of the time the drivers and passengers will even get out of the vehicles and remove hats or caps as the procession passes. The tradition still exists mostly in smaller communities around here but the larger the town is the less you will see it happening. Still, no mater where I'm going and how late I am, I still pull over with everyone else and stand with my hat in my hand until the last car in the line passes. It's a simple way of showing respect to your neighbor and reminds you that one day the traffic will stop for you as you make your final trip.

  16. #16
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    There has been a lot of talk in our state about doing away with the funeral procession, due to the traffic problems it can cause. Just a few years ago, a funeral procession came through town. A "straggler" attempted to catch up, ran a red light, and was killed by cross-traffic. I have no problem with people who pull to the side of a road or highway, as the hearse passes. However, more times than not, they just stop in the middle of the road, causing dangerous conditions on the highway. Many times, funeral processions here can be as much as a mile long. They drive quite slowly, sometimes for many miles. I once followed a funeral procession through the main part of the city, at a slow pace. I was trying to get to work, but I stayed behind because I was sure they were headed to a local cemetery just ahead. However, they then proceeded to pass the entrance to that cemetery, and continued on, with no cemetery known to me to be within miles and miles of our current location. I then proceeded to slowly pass the procession, as I did not want to be late for work. As I passed the area of the procession that the hearse was located in, a woman leaned bodily through the window of a car, screaming and cursing me for having no respect for the dead. I found that to be extreme behavior, and it angered me. The funeral procession is an old tradition, to be sure; but, I feel it does not belong on busy highways, where it can endanger other people.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    The school bus regulations are federal regulations that govern the color, size, equipment etc. of school buses. The laws about school zones and passing a school bus are state laws based on federal madates. They are put into effect just like the legal drinking age laws. If you don't adopt it as state law they take away funding. They are basically the same with a little variance around the country. Regulated speed in school zones, drug/weapon free zone around schools, passing school buses, fine enhancers for crimes within an area around a school, etc.

    The government tried to make it uniform across the county and most states complied with it as it was. Some states personalized it to their own state. To answer your question, generally it is the same all over the country.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    _______________________
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  18. #18
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    our school bus policy is the same as everyone else's.................gotta stop and wait for the bus driver to signal ......the funeral thing ........I am not sure if have an SOG for that .........I think not....however.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    is there a good way of blowing past these things?
    YES, quickly and safely

  20. #20
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    I come from The Land Down Under!
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    Funeral procession, mardi gras, street march, whatever! The lights and sirens stay on. They are warning devices.

    What would the outcome have been if as you passed the procession with your lights on, but siren off and someone decided to U-turn in front of you?
    Luke

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts