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  1. #1
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    Default Running a blue light

    As a volunteer, if you use a blue light on your personal vehicle when responding to a call, does this give you permission to speed a little to get there. What are the guidelines for responding to a call concerning the way you drive? Do you still have to obey all traffic rules? Obviously do it safely but what’s the deal? This is in reference to NY State.


  2. #2
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    We are not allowed to run blue lights in Maryland, but from everything I've seen on the million threads concerning the issue the answer is:

    A blue light does NOT give you permission to violate ANY traffic laws, including the speed limit.

    The blue light only requests that other drivers yield.

  3. #3
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    Hey! You're to obey all traffic laws while running your blue light. I certainly am not going to say we don't speed on the way to a call, use your best judgement. I know of several people that have gotten tickets because they were speeding on the way to the fire hall. Definitely do not go through red lights. Not that your blue light means a hell of a lot. People don't move out of your way, and if they do the next person behind you will pass the person that pulled over for you. I don't understand why people don't move. If it was their family member they'd want us there ASAP.

  4. #4
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    ok thanks

  5. #5
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    Default

    Originally posted by Eng34FF
    the million threads concerning the issue:

    Can you tell me how to find these threads?

  6. #6
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    No Lights Give You The Right To Break Traffic Laws...You Have To Obey Traffic Laws Even When Your In Apparatus So Blue Lights In POV Still Have The Same Rules..Obviously In Apparatus People Up The Speed A Bit..Its Kind Of Accpeted In Most Places..But I Know Here...Cops Look Down Horribley On Any Firefighter Speeding To The Station Or To A Call In POV..Even Chiefs Who Are The Only Ones Allowed With Lights..

    To Do A Search You Go To The Bottom Of The Screen And Where It Says Search,Search The Topic
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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  7. #7
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    Default

    I was a volunteer firefighter for seven years. I used a blue light for probably my first two years. I used to get so ****ed off and frustrated when people wouldn't pull over (even though they didn't HAVE to.) I'd fine myself speeding with the blue light and passing people illegally. So I finally took it out so I could respond to the firehouse in a cool and calm fashion. You really don't save that much time responding to the firehouse with a blue light. The only thing a blue light is really good for (what it was originally meant for) is to get you into a fire/emergency scene.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber pvfire424's Avatar
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    Default search function...

    along the lefthand side of your forums screen ( must be signed in) you will find a box for search. You will probably need to experiment some with it before you get real good at finding what you were really looking for.

    There are lots of threads on the forums that deal with the "lights"
    IE blue vs red, led vs halogen, to have or not to have. There will be lots of opinions shared , in many different ways. Some will form negative opinions right away, some will offer usefull advice.

    You might even have better luck just searching for light laws by state, or even county ( the Sheriff decides who can & cant 'round here)


    Bottom line is WATCH YOUR BEHIND (and your front and your side etc.) because it will be your butt in a sling if envolved in a crash on the way.
    However you get there , get there safe & in one piece !

  9. #9
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    If you are not an active, commissioned peace officer with arrest powers you may not have a blue light on your vehicle here. That said, at least 3 of my department's volunteer firefighters are also reserve deputies and as such may use blue strobes in combination with their red lights on their POVs.
    Wow. I was waiting for another 'lights' thread. So, syrnyfire, which do you prefer, rotators, strobes or LEDs?
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

  10. #10
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    Default

    Originally posted by cellblock
    Wow. I was waiting for another 'lights' thread.


    GENERAL QUARTERS, GENERAL QUARTERS ALL HANDS MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS!

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    Sir battle stations are manned and ready.


    lol

  11. #11
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by ndvfdff33
    No Lights Give You The Right To Break Traffic Laws...You Have To Obey Traffic Laws Even When Your In Apparatus So Blue Lights In POV Still Have The Same Rules..Obviously In Apparatus People Up The Speed A Bit..Its Kind Of Accpeted In Most Places..But I Know Here...Cops Look Down Horribley On Any Firefighter Speeding To The Station Or To A Call In POV..Even Chiefs Who Are The Only Ones Allowed With Lights..
    Not true here. The California vehicle code (Section 21055) specifically exempts emergency vehicles operating Code 3 (lights and sirens) from most of the vehicle code sections, including posted speed limits. This does not, however, remove liability from the emergency vehicle driver should an accident occur(Section 21056).

    Several departments (mine included) have policies in place limiting the amount you can exceed the posted speed limit to 15 mph. This means that at a controlled intersection where you're crossing against a red, you can go 15 mph max.

    California does not allow any emergency lights on POVs. Blue lights are limited to police vehicles, and red lights are limited to police, fire and EMS vehicles. Amber lights are allowed on service/utility/construction vehicles, but are only to be used when parked or travelling at slow speed as a warning device.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  12. #12
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    You can't break the law.

    If you are taking advatage of privileges provided for emergency vehicles, you are following the law, not breaking it.

    Operating without due regard... in most states that IS breaking the law. What is due regard?

    When you screw up you'll find out.
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  13. #13
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    Default

    here in IL volunteers have blue lights in our personal vehicles. our cheif made sure to make it clear to me upon joining the department that it was a "courtesy light" and did not give me permission to break any laws, however you could get away with a little more than normal on the way to a call.Not that we really have anything to worry about since our town cop makes you leave your car and takes you home if yer too drunk to drive here so you see how it works in my town. its kind of a moot point for me since I live 3 blocks from the house

  14. #14
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    In NY You Are To Obey ALL Traffic Laws Even With Blue Lights In Your POV. Only Chief, Safety, Rescue, and Apparatus Have Red/White/Yellow Lights And Can Proceed With Breaking Some Laws For A Timely Response. Not To Say Some People Run Lights Anyway If Theres Noone Around....
    Mike
    Levittown, NY
    Cadet Corps Member
    1st Lieutenant

  15. #15
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    Our department policy is no blue lights except for our lieutenants. Captains and above have emergency vehicles w/ red lights and the like. It's funny if you listen to a big fire where nearly everyone is availible, four people going in service at once.


    Blue lights caused too many problems w/ wackers in this area. It encourages responses directly to the scene(which is also a no-no for us). And, I'm sorry to say, blue lights don't really help response times. Our response time, as of late, has actually improved since we did away with blue lights.

    But if you have em, obey all speed limits and traffic laws. No running stop lights.

    Not to say that I've never seen my father do that when he was a lieutenant with one....Nope, never did it once
    "What a WACKER!"

    "When in doubt, pull the 2 1/2."

    "Here junior, reach out the window and put that redlight on the roof...That's right, hawaii Five-O style! Get it on!"

  16. #16
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    In VA, you follow all state laws when running red lights.
    Formerly known as WFDjr1

    These opinions are mine, not the opinions of my departments, my affiliates, or my local.

  17. #17
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    In VA, you follow all state laws when running red lights
    Thank GOD that Fairfax is all career. With all the traffic in the area, all we would need is a few WHACKERS with lights making the traffic even worse. I don't think lights are used on POV's for Prince William Volunteers either.

    Lights are for Whackers, staff your stations. And while your at it, Read Dave's (hfd66truck)thread!
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

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  18. #18
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    To get the straight poop on what NY's laws are having to do with emergency lighting you need to stop in at your nearest state police barracks/station and inquire. I am sure you will get more accurate info there than on a public forum with members from all over responding. I know in PA blue lighters MUST OBEY ALL traffic laws, the light only requests the right of way it does not demand it. In PA we are required to register all members who use lights on their vehicles every year with the state police. At my house we strongly urge our folks to not use the lights as it has been our experience that they don't make a difference in responce time. I think we only have 3 out of 40 members that use blue lights, which has kept us from logging any citizens complaints (a good thing), some of our other area co.'s can't say the same. Use your head and if at all possible staff the station! (hint for the new guys: the crew at the station will be the first ones in on the job and that is where you want to be!) Stay safe.

  19. #19
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    While you're driving to the station.....with or without your blue light , remember this:

    Sobering Statistics-Calendar Year 2003
    Vehicle crashes cause more firefighter deaths than fires, NFPA study finds; Last year more died in on-duty crashes than any year since 1977

    June 9, 2004 - Firefighters are more likely to die traveling to or from a fire than fighting one, and motor vehicles pose a greater hazard than flames, according to new data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). All told, 105 firefighters died while on duty in 2003, up from 97 in 2002, primarily because of last year's bad wildland-fire season.

    Last year, 37 firefighters died while responding to or returning from alarms, while 29 died on the “fire ground” - the land or building where a fire occurs.

    Drive carefully!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  20. #20
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    Default Can this horse get beat any more ????

    Lights...Blue, Red, Green, Purple, Strobes or Flashers....They might look neat and all but they really are not a nessasary item. I found that I actually saved a whole 47 seconds making a 4 mile response to my volunteer station....So now I virtually don't use the thing. Where I'm a Career Firefighter at the Volunteers responding to the stations are not allowed to use any warning device...PERIOD {New Castle County Delaware} and out in the area I work some of the members have a 6 mile run or more.

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