1. #51
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    Since I recently moved into my First Due Area, if I feel the need to respond from home, I will just drop my POV off at the Station and take a Command Vehicle home with me and either respond to the station or to the scene(depending upon the location of the call). My car is how I make my living, If I wreck my car racing to the Firehouse, I can't go to work and my family doesn't eat. Some things are more important than the Fire Department.
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    Default lights in my vehicle

    I stayed away from this one for a while now, but I'll chip in my two cents.

    On my vehicle, which is an SUV, I have put a dual Green LED dashlight, dual Green LED grill-light, and Red-Amber LED slimlighter in the back of my vehicle.

    Now granted that this may be a little to much for any POV, I put my safety above everything else, so I believe this is a necessary set-up. In our district we have on-duty crews at the ambulance base, but when a second call comes in we are on scramble, and I choose to respond to a great number of those calls. These lights get me to the base in around 5 minutes or less.

    People on both sides of the road will get out of my way (even though they don't have to) It makes it a lot easier to respond to emergency calls. Also the red-amber in the rear helps at MVA scenes and to alert vehicles behind me that I may be responding to their house.

    In the end I believe if placed in the correct vehicle with a driver who understands the purpose, courtesy lights are a great asset to responders. Those who abuse it put drivers around us in danger.

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    blangjr21, I just felt like I needed to let you know that I agree with you completely. Despite my railing about the topic, I am actually not for wholesale prevention of lights on POV's, but I think everyone needs to very carefully consider their importance and truly and honestly evaluate their driving abilities under pressure. I happen to have a mini amber light bar on my Toyota RAV4 but I only use it when stationary for scene safety or marking driveways. If our department allowed red lights/sirens I would probably get them, but I doubt I would use them much.

    Stay safe, everyone.

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    Default Smith County Texas

    In smith county texas (east texas) it is up to the deparments chief. Im on a volunteer department and we are allowed to use only red, clear, yellow or any combo of those. We are not allowed or supposed to use blue in our POV's. We are allowed to use sirens but they have to be at least 100w to be legal. We CANNOT run through traffic lights if they are red unless we have 360 degree visibilty and a siren. A lot of us dont use anything. In order to be eligable to use them you must be on the department 6 months and off probation and we can only go 10 to 15 over the speed limit.

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    It is fun to watch you folks banter about this... and no matter how many times this topic comes up, NO ONE seems to have changed their minds.

    In Ohio a volunteer firefighter or volunteer rescue person is authorized to display a red or combination red/white flashing or oscillating light on their personal vehicle. This vehicle must also be equipped with a siren or other appropriate audible warning device. The siren must be in operation along with the lights in order for the vehicle to be considered a "public safety vehicle". You are also required to display a Fire Marshal approved maltese cross and a current inspection sticker in the lower passenger side of the windshield. The vehicle must be inspected annually by your Fire Chief or designee.

    Ohio is interesting in that police, fire and EMS vehicles are classified as "public safety vehicles" and not "emergency vehicles". Ohio restricts blue lights to law enforcement ONLY. Amber lights can be used by anyone without restriction and green lights have no definition in the Ohio Revised Code, so they technically mean nothing.

    My comments will not change anyone's opinions here. However, I will again express my opinion that I feel that emergency lighting should be made uniform nationwide. It is rediculous that a blue light is strictly for law enforcement in some states, while it is considered a "courtest light" in others. It is often a problem for traveling volunteers as well as restrictions on where lights may be mounted. In some states, you can have 360 degree visibility of the lights, while in others they must only be visible from the front of the vehicle. I also feel that if you can drive apparatus with a siren on it, what is the difference in driving a personal vehicle with one on it.

    When you get right down to it.. it is all about training and supervision. If anyone feels having lights and sirens on a personal vehicle should be prohibited, then it stands to reason that they should be taken off of all vehicles, including your apparatus. If you need protection at a scene, carry a trailer load of traffic barrells.
    Richard Nester
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  6. #56
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    Here are some thoughts for you to chew on:

    My distance from firehouse- 1.1 miles- driving the speed limit (or roughly there abouts) for a non-emergency, it takes 8+ minutes with the traffic lights. When passing my home while driving the apparatus to a call, it takes 2-3 minutes. From girlfriend's house- 2.1 miles. Regular time to the hall- 10+ minutes. it is a 35 mph street to the hall, meaning it should take just over 4 minutes.

    Now I understand the resentment of lights and other gadgets, as I tend to hate them myself. My state uses courtesy lights, and I am not going to blow through a light with nothing but a courtesy light. But consider, as with many vollie organizations, what happens when 3 ff's are waiting in quarters for a driver (me), and have to wait more than 5 minutes more- not because I am obeying the speed limit, but because our traffic lights have me waiting so that people turning left can go, then people turning right, then the pedestrians, and finally, a young man screaming about the genious who designed such a hideously ridiculous intersection (me).

    So here is where I get turned around. I step into the driver's seat of that engine, or truck, and suddenly cars are required to yield to me. I am officially qualified and permitted, in the eyes of the law, to break certain laws, such as waiting at a traffic light, to respond to a call. I always hear that the most important thing in this job are the firefighters, yet the truck has more liberties than I do. Why is it that I am allowed to drive a 20 ton truck with a command over traffic, but not a 2 ton (at most) car?

    In the end, the truck is relatively useless without the firefighters to staff it. Without you, and without me. The idea of standardization is great. And maybe, (just playing the devil's advocate with this one), forcing vollies to use an EMERGENCY light and siren will allow them to drive safer, rather than confusing drivers with that simple old blue light, or complex green, yellow, white and blue LED.


    Edited to add (sorry, I'm not thinking tonight)

    And it is all about training. But what isn't in these lines of work? Do we hand a cop the keys to the cruiser and tell him good luck with the pursuits? Do we tell the ambulance driver, have fun, and wait til you see how people move and dont move? Do any of you hand the nob to a rookie and tell him to go knock down that propane fed fire? NO! We train for everything! You aren't trained? Then tough luck, you drive with traffic to the firehouse. Respect and benefits are earned with hard work, not forked over with the membership card.
    Last edited by orangehopeful; 12-30-2004 at 10:01 PM.

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    I would have to agree with orangehopefull too. He was very well spoken...
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    But consider, as with many vollie organizations, what happens when 3 ff's are waiting in quarters for a driver (me),
    Now this gets me everytime I hear it. What are they waiting for? Why aren't they trained to drive the truck?
    Driving trucks is the first (sometimes only) thing we train someone on. We have guys get voted in and can drive the trucks in as little as 3 months. We've got people in our department who haven't been with us a year and are driving trucks. We have guys who can't figure out how to operate the pumps but as long as they aren't driving the first out truck they can take a truck and someone else (the paid guy maybe) will operate the pump for them when they get there.
    If you have 3 people at the station there should be 3 trucks rolling.
    As I typed this there was a pageout for a tree on fire. Three FFs (a fulltime paid, a parttime paid and a vollie) were at the station and 3 trucks (a service/rescue, a pumper and a pumper/tanker) rolled to the scene. Additional vollies in POVs are running lights and sirens directly to the scene for additional manpower.
    In your scenerio it's possible that the tree fire would spread to the home while FFs stood waiting at the station for someone to give them a ride.
    Get them enroute.

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    Ughh.. I swore I was never going to get involved in one of these "POV" discussions... oh,well.. into the fray......


    Driving trucks is the first (sometimes only) thing we train someone on.
    Huh?????? You don't train them to fight fires first?

    We have guys who can't figure out how to operate the pumps but as long as they aren't driving the first out truck they can take a truck and someone else (the paid guy maybe) will operate the pump for them when they get there.
    You hope... otherwise the truck has now transported one whole ff to the scene

    If you have 3 people at the station there should be 3 trucks rolling.
    That way of thinking, maybe everybody should just take a rig home with them...don't waste money on those annoying crew cabs...wow...now you have three firefighters at the scene!!

    Additional vollies in POVs are running lights and sirens directly to the scene for additional manpower.
    What do your fire scenes look like? How many vehicles are on scene at once? I can see it now.. cars on lawns...on top of sidewalks...and this is before all the local buffs fill up the street..no room to get any more apparatus in....

    Sorry, in my FD we gave up a long time ago having guys respond to the scene in their cars. An extra few seconds on the ramp and we fill up a truck.

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    In NC we use red lights now my self i drive a dodge ram 4x4 and i like alot of lights but my truck really looks good so i didnt want to gawk it up with light so i used hide away strobes and led's and a small dash light my fire district consist of alot of calls on I-85 and with it being a busy high way the lights is a safety isue and i like to be seen for my safety and the safety of my brothers and myself anyways that is my input

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    Originally posted by cellblock
    Now this gets me everytime I hear it. What are they waiting for? Why aren't they trained to drive the truck?
    Driving trucks is the first (sometimes only) thing we train someone on. We have guys get voted in and can drive the trucks in as little as 3 months. We've got people in our department who haven't been with us a year and are driving trucks. We have guys who can't figure out how to operate the pumps but as long as they aren't driving the first out truck they can take a truck and someone else (the paid guy maybe) will operate the pump for them when they get there.
    If you have 3 people at the station there should be 3 trucks rolling.
    As I typed this there was a pageout for a tree on fire. Three FFs (a fulltime paid, a parttime paid and a vollie) were at the station and 3 trucks (a service/rescue, a pumper and a pumper/tanker) rolled to the scene. Additional vollies in POVs are running lights and sirens directly to the scene for additional manpower.
    In your scenerio it's possible that the tree fire would spread to the home while FFs stood waiting at the station for someone to give them a ride.
    Get them enroute.
    ok now that is ridiculous you dont train a green hand right off the street to drive a truck we are firefighter and we need to know the basics before we are advanced you learn to wear an airpack then learn search techniques and then firefighting techniques then you learn to drive and OPERATE the trucks you can teach a monkey to drive the engine to the scene but it aint worth nothing if he cant operate it just a thought but lets try to use commen sense on this matter

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    What I wanna know is...3 Trucks for a tree fire????????
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    I have to reply to a few things on this thread, First I have to agree three trucks for a tree fire? are you kidding me. Second to the person who put a video camera in his car to record his response, that is a bit over the top don't you think.
    The reality of courtisy light is this, they are a waste of money and only put people in danger. Why have them if it does not allow you to speed, proceed through a red light, stop sign, or other traffic control device ( after using due regard). It does not allow you to do anything that any other motorist can do so why have it? The argument that people pull over for you is wasted because unless you live in another world everyone drives the speed limit of just above so they don't need to pull over unless you are going too fast.

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    First I have to agree three trucks for a tree fire? are you kidding me.
    No. We had a pumper and a Pumper/tanker go in case it turned out to be more than was initially dispatched. If it had spread to a structure before our arrival we would have called even more trucks. As it was we had 2 pumper trucks with a total of 2,500 gallons of water to handle whatever we found upon arrival. The Third truck was the rescue/service truck which rolls to all fire calls for rehab and support. As it worked out, just after arriving at the fire call we were paged for a First Responder medical call for an assault at the Police Station a couple blocks away. The Rescue Truck broke away from the fire scene and handled that while the pumpers took care of the tree fire which had been started by someone burning trash in their back yard.
    Second to the person who put a video camera in his car to record his response, that is a bit over the top don't you think.
    That was me and it is not over the top at all. It has proved on several occasions that I operate my vehicle in a safe manner when complaints have been made against several of us after a run. The camera was so successful that our Fire Chief had cameras installed in the Rescue/service truck and the first out pumper. They document our driving, how we handle our vehicles when responding, how others react (such as failing to yield), and also document the fire scenes we arrive on. We can review the tapes later as part of training to show how the trucks could have been better positioned on the fire ground. If possible we try to aim one of the cams toward the incident to record our work. Later we can find ways to change things we may have been able to do better.
    The reality of courtisy light is this, they are a waste of money and only put people in danger. Why have them if it does not allow you to speed, proceed through a red light, stop sign, or other traffic control device ( after using due regard). It does not allow you to do anything that any other motorist can do so why have it?
    The reality is that you don't know what the heck you are talking about. Just because you only have 'courtisy' lights doesn't mean we do. When a member of our fire department uses lights and sirens on his personal vehicle they are an official emergency vehicle with the same privileges as the fire truck they are running to meet. In that case they work well for the way my district is laid out and how we respond to calls.

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    The reality of courtisy light is this, they are a waste of money and only put people in danger. Why have them if it does not allow you to speed, proceed through a red light, stop sign, or other traffic control device ( after using due regard).
    Hello......you shouldnt be speeding, going through red lights, stop signs etc .......another one for the goof file
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    Stick with me on this, and thank you for helping make my point. I think that you will agree that when an emergency vehicle is operating with lights and sirens they can exceed the speed limit and go through red lights and stop signs ( with due regard and excluding dept sop's ) That is why they are on there other wise they serve no purpose. With that said if none of these privleges extend to courtisy lights why have them?

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    First of all, this thread is about lights and sirens, not courtesy lights.

    Why have courtesy lights?
    Because people are going to speed and disobey traffic laws no matter what. At least with a courtesy light, you can warn other traffic.

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    Originally posted by RescueMe7
    First of all, this thread is about lights and sirens, not courtesy lights.

    Why have courtesy lights?
    Because people are going to speed and disobey traffic laws no matter what. At least with a courtesy light, you can warn other traffic.
    Correct me if i'm wrong...But you just said its not about courtesy lights..And then you go comment on them...lol..Good work.


    And why warn traffic....Whennnn you can go with the flow..Get to the station probably just as quick....And have less chance of causing an accident because your all gung ho because you got your little light and think your king of the road..Get up on someones ***** and possibley startle them,making them go off the road..

    Get rid of the light and get there when you get there...We got no lights in Personal vehicles and I'm sure our time out of the station is as good or better than yours...(unless you work for a career dept)...

    Save the lights for the apparatus
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 01-02-2005 at 01:30 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Rescue me, what a great concept, as if the fire service does not have a bad enough reputation lets now say to the public when you see a courtesey light get out of the way because the person driving is not being safe. Good point.

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    At my dept we are allowed to use courtesy lights. I don't use any lights in my POV nor do most people on my department. Some EMT's on my dept use a courtesy light once in a while if there is a very bad MVA to try to get to the scene quicker if both ambulances have rolled.

    If you have not realized that some people will drive like an ******* no matter what, then you must either be blind or have not been in the fire service very long. At least they will know you are responding to an emergency and will see you coming.

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    Rescueme I don't think you understood what he was saying..I'm sure he knows plenty of firefighters speed and disobey traffic laws..Anyone who says they don't..Well...I'm not even gonna go there..We've all done it a couple times...The way you worded that post though, made it seem like..Well at least if we have a light we can drive like a comeplete dummy and it will be ok because we have a light..Well sorry but that doesn't work...And those sorts of comments ARE what gives us bad rep's..Thats what I think he was trying to say..Hope that clarify's things
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 01-02-2005 at 07:10 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Default Where can I get a siren

    for my POV that goes "whoop-whoop" and "ding-ding"?

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    In response to Cellblock, in an ideal world everyone is trained for everything. They can be IC, they can drive, heck they can even fix the hydrant the rookie snapped the stem on . In reality, in the case I gave you with three waiting, one may be an officer, one a newly cleared FF and one a rookie. Now you have to make the decision of whether to stick what may be the first officer on scene at the pump panel and have the two less experienced guys inside, or have someone drive to the scene and now sit and wait with the engine for a pump operator. Imagine the OOS pumps overheating and disasterous outcomes of an inexperienced FF positioning a ladder. Either way, that will look real good to the homeowner. Also, in the city I live, the streets are tight and congested, not too easy for the inexperienced driver. So now the engine rolls, hoping to meet me on scene to operate the stick or the pump, but it drives in the opposite direction. Now it will take me twice as long to get there, twice as long to flow water or to free up that officer.

    My basic point was this- If it is not a big enough emergency for vols to get TO the firetruck as to warrant their ability to run lights and sirens in POV, then it would stand to reason that it is not an emergency for the truck to get their at all. If it is not a LEGAL emergency for me to get to the truck, then pull the lights and sirens off the apparatus and SAVE SOME TRAFFIC FATALITIES. Firefighting is a profession where seconds count, hence the lights and sirens. And as a law abiding driver, I can't help but watch the second hand on my watch as I wait for the school bus to shut its red lights, or for the person at the light in front of me to make the left so I can continue driving on or whatever.

    The courtesy light is moronic, and I never understood why so many people sink money into lighting up half of the town to forcefully say, "Excuse me, could you please move to the side so I can continue driving the speed limit {slower than most people are going anyways]."

    People DO drive like idiots with a blue, red, green or yellow light on. In fact, it seems to me as if the less legal standing a light color has, the more reckless the driver [ a huge generalization, I know.] Look at some tow truck drivers as an example, or even security guards. Here's the trick- TRAINING. No more here's your pager, here's your class sign up for FFI, now go buy some bright blue lights. Make people demonstrate their ability to handle the situation, understand the responsibility in driving code, and I suspect that quickly you will see better driving. Make it a priviledge, not a right. Police officers are trained very well with their driving, and its no accident [no pun intended]. However, tell a vol, tow truck driver, whoever that they have this blink blink thing and have fun, and people will be enraptured to it's hypnotism.

    Now let's stop picking each others' posts apart. No, it's not about courtesy lights, it's about the belief that FF's need to be able to respond quickly to an emergency, in a fire truck or their POV, however that means for your department
    Last edited by orangehopeful; 01-04-2005 at 02:12 AM.

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    Originally posted by orangehopeful
    Police officers are trained very well with their driving, and its no accident [no pun intended].
    are you saying police cars never get into accidents? or never get into accidents when responding red lights and sirens for call?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    In my dept. we can have lights and sirens on our POV's after 6 months of being on the dept. and permision from the chief. Our lights are red....i dont have any on my truck.

    scott
    freeport area volunteer fire dept.

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