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  1. #41
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    Cool

    This is a very hot topic here! It is really A matter of department policy, population, government, and responsibility of the member. Warning lights do not need to be utilized for every incident some common sense needs to be used. If your department allows you to used warning equipment on your POV, there needs to be some emergency vehicle driving training. Always put yourself before the emergency so your not involved in an accident. Ruel # 1 always practice personal safety first. If you choose to responde code, take extra precautions and stop at all stop signs. That other driver may not be paying attention. I'm not going to lie, I use warning lights on my POV regularly. I have a 10 mile drive to get to the Station. Thats a long haul on a 2 lane highway. Some times I am still the first person at the station because of the lack of personell during day hours. In my rural area most of our members have to travel at least 30 miles for work. In Texas we are allowed to used lights and sirens. In our District we have a rule that all of the local Law Enforcement is made aware of it and approve of it. We are allowed to drive 10 MPH over the posted speed limit but must obey all traffic laws to an extent. Max speed is 75 MPH. There is always a chance that 30 seconds counts if someone is in that burning house, or if someone is trapped in a burning vehicle. You could have made a difference in that person's chances of living or dying. Just my thoughts and comments!

    B. Busse
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    WE MAY NOT ALL AGREE BUT WE LOVE DOING OUR JOBS AS FIREFIGHTERS!


  2. #42
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    Finally some decent replys to actually take time to read. I completly agree with the last few guys, you made this post worth reading now. I also would like to say that your right with having a system down... (clothes ready,gear,wallet,keys.....) It def. allows me to beat other ones to the station w/o even driving eradicly...

  3. #43
    Forum Member Maverick9110E's Avatar
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    do any of you who dont thikn lights should be allowed, honsetly think it will make a didffernece if the person drives like and A@% hole with or without a light, at least the light will give a warning to other motorists. and like someone said before, its mostly so people dont pull out in front of you, or if ppl do see it they will pull over, what if you get stuck behind somone 3 minutes from the station behind an older handicapped person who now just turned your 3 minute ride into a 5-6 minute ride?

  4. #44
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maverick9110E
    do any of you who dont thikn lights should be allowed, honsetly think it will make a didffernece if the person drives like and A@% hole with or without a light, at least the light will give a warning to other motorists. and like someone said before, its mostly so people dont pull out in front of you, or if ppl do see it they will pull over, what if you get stuck behind somone 3 minutes from the station behind an older handicapped person who now just turned your 3 minute ride into a 5-6 minute ride?
    How much drive time have you actually had with lights and siren? I am convinced that lights and siren usually cause more problems and delays than they help. For every person who stays out of your way, there is a person who does something monumentally stupid in front of you either due to poor driver education or plain panic. I'm not taking a position on whether they should be allowed or not, but I do think that driver training is a non-negotiable requirement before they are permitted. And do not forget the astonishing level of bad press we ALL get when anyone wrecks their POV with lights and sirens on it. The risks and benefits must be carefully considered, and I am afraid most people minimize the risks.

  5. #45
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    We don't respond to calls with my department, we stand by at the station so it is really a moot point for us. Bust since I drive slightly faster then the average left lane slow pook, why would lights make me go any faster when the road is clear? What they would do is get people out of the way at congestion points so that I would be able to have a safer quicker responce time.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  6. #46
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maverick9110E
    do any of you who dont thikn lights should be allowed, honsetly think it will make a didffernece if the person drives like and A@% hole with or without a light, at least the light will give a warning to other motorists. and like someone said before, its mostly so people dont pull out in front of you, or if ppl do see it they will pull over, what if you get stuck behind somone 3 minutes from the station behind an older handicapped person who now just turned your 3 minute ride into a 5-6 minute ride?
    hmmm, gee, I've been saying this for years. lights or no lights, drivers will still be horrible and drive like maniacs.
    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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  7. #47
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    In Iowa, we are allowed to use a blue light for fire, and a white light if EMS. It doesn't matter the type (I personally have a deckblaster strobe) but regardless, they are courtesy lights only and do not allow you to break traffic laws. Under no circumstance may you have a siren.

  8. #48
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    Here in my part of tennesse we are aloud Lights and Sirens. Most on my department have strobes. On my 92 Dodge Ram 3500 Cumins turbo diesel i have under front bumper a yellow revolving light, grille strobes of red and clear, bumper wig wags of red, 2 sets of dash strobes (both red and clear, and soen strobes on my rearview mirror that face outward (red and clear). Had thoght abuot strobes for my clearence lgihts on top but decided not too. and for the back i have one strobe light that is a 360 degree strobe red on the place where the cab and bed meet and also another rotation red halogen under the back bumber of the back of the truck. I had 4 corner strobes at one time but didnot like them. Also have an old siren but am soon getting oen with airhorn option on it. It is pretty much mandatory on our department that you have some sorta warning thing if its the popular wigwag to the state of the art LED system. And i agree we have some people on our fire department that do not use them corectly but also we have some guys liek me that drive safe and are aware of our surroundings. Ill be the first to tell you i got alot of lights for a voluntiier but i want to be seen. I rememeber my first fire i had no lights or siren and no one would move for me jsut because i had hazzards going. you are an emergancy vehicle liek anything else so you need soemthing. but i also think that if you abuse the privlage then you shodlnot have them. just my .02 cents

  9. #49
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    Exclamation

    Originally posted by BC79er
    In Texas, any member can have red lights and sirens on their POV, which is then considered an emergency vehicle like any other on the road, by law people have to get out of the way. I've heard some other states where that's not the case, so there's no penalty/ticket for not moving. For POVs, ambulances, fire trucks, or cops.

    I always ask the people that say they won't move: Since you're in front of me, how do you know I'm not trying to get to your house?
    BC79er,

    In your department this may be the case. Other Departments have different by-laws and SOPs than your department. And for the state law part; yes it is against the law for someone not to move for you. But the traffic laws still stick. You can be sited for speeding and indangering the lives of civilians. I recommend you read the law and just fyi your insurance company may not cover your vehicle as an emergency vehicle. Just something you might want to consider when posting a reply on her. If you want to speak don't speak for the whole state of Texas you may make someone else mad. Not every department in Texas is like yours.

    Sincerly,

    Blake C. Busse
    Lt. Co. 2
    Anderson Fire Dept

  10. #50
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SVFD840
    you are an emergancy vehicle liek anything else so you need soemthing.
    I think you'll find that - legally - in most states this is usually not true. A POV with lights/siren is generally just that: a POV with lights/siren, and not legally an "emergency vehicle".

    Changing topic a bit... something for all of us to consider when driving POV to the station or scene....

    We all know that we have to carefully consider risk/benefits of everything we do. One thing I did not make clear in one of my earlier posts here is that lights and sirens for *most* of us are going to save you no more than 30 seconds or so on your response time. Unless you're going a really long distance to the scene with stretches of open highway, if you ultimately save much more than 30 seconds or so you are probably driving too fast or recklessly in the first place. Yes, seconds count in some of our calls, but does the repeating risk of [insert description of calamity here] on every response really outweighed by saving 30 seconds on the once-in-a-while call where it really matters? How often does your three minute response actually go up to five or six minutes because of a over-slow driver when you're only going a handful of miles to the call as most of us do? Do the math, to make up X minutes difference, from point A to point B, how much faster must you go? Ah, you now see that what feels like a long delay isn't actually all that long - kind of like when the caller asks what took you so long when you get there and you know you were fairly quick. In addition, if they're THAT slow, you can probably execute a legal passing action without breaking traffic laws. And of those rare times the 30 seconds makes a REAL difference, are you always among the first persons on scene where you matter that much or will others get there before you? Just some more food for thought.

    Those of you with extenuating circumstances can apply or dismiss these opinions as you see fit, as you all know your own circumstances better that I do.

  11. #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.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

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  12. #52
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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.

  13. #53
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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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.

  14. #54
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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.

  15. #55
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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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
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  16. #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.

  17. #57
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    I would have to agree with orangehopefull too. He was very well spoken...
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  18. #58
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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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.

  19. #59
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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.

  20. #60
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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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