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  1. #61
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mittlesmertz
    I think there are some responders on this thread that would be very upset if they couldn't use their lights and sirens.
    We howervere, have all seen enough, ran enough calls, to know that it's rarely worth the risk.
    Yup.

    It's been part of the culture so long, it's expected I think.

    Sure, it's a rush bombing around in the trucks with lights and sirens going. Is that why we do it though, for the adrenaline rush? Is that even part of it, just a little?
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  2. #62
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking And..............

    Lot of good discussion here, and I agree that there are no "One size fits all" solutions to the problems mentioned. I noted, and respect the opinion, of one poster who advocates running "Cold" to almost everything. I disagree, from the standpoint of Different areas of our great country have different degrees of risk from the same source. There are probably areas where you could run Cold to a Brush Fire. However, I don't think Southern California is one of those areas. Get my drift? In my not so humble (yes I'm old, grouchy, and arrogant) opinion, each area will continue to have their own problems and solutions for a long time to come.
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  3. #63
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    You can't hide behind "we're all different" when it comes to innocent people dying because of our adrenaline.

    AGAIN

    I think everyone can justify lights and sirens, and expedited responses when lives are potentially on the line.

    But when that station wagon pulls into an intersection you're blowing through, it doesn't matter if you're in California or Maine... you need to be able to avoid a collision.

    If your state considers personal vehicles to be "emergency vehicles" and allows use of lights and sirens, hey, go for it I guess.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-07-2004 at 04:18 AM.
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  4. #64
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    I read the thread before replying, in case anyone reads what I'm about to post and accuses me of not seeing similar stuff mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

    About eight or more years ago, the province of Alberta amended the Highway Traffic Act to allow volunteer emergency responders to display a flashing green light "where a municipal by-law permits it", but that it would not enable the user to contravene any traffic laws.

    The department, in preparation for proposing this to council, drew up guidelines which included requirements that the Chief would approve any members using the lights, and the details of their vehicles and license plates would be provided on a regular basis to the local police, as a form of registry of who is authorized to use them. Furthermore, any infractions would be dealt with by the police, and any that had justifiable cause for concern would result in revocation of privileges. In other words, we had a pretty well defined plan laid out.

    Council didn't even let us suggest any of that and killed the whole idea outright.

    A number of people on the department subsequently commented that the council clearly felt that a call for response wasn't an emergency until the crews - some of which live 12 kilometers or more from the station - got into a fire truck.

    Myself, I don't really care either way. I had a green DashLaser purchased, but I have no idea where it is now - buried in the junk in my garage somewhere. We respond as best we can, and in fact have the best rating a purely volunteer department can get. On weekends and holidays, it is still absolutely brutal to even try to make it to the station through the tourist traffic, but what's another 7 or 10 minutes tacked on to the response. Right?
    --jay.

  5. #65
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    Originally posted by Jay911
    About eight or more years ago, the province of Alberta amended the Highway Traffic Act to allow volunteer emergency responders to display a flashing green light "where a municipal by-law permits it", but that it would not enable the user to contravene any traffic laws.
    Then what exactly is the purpose of the green light?


    Council didn't even let us suggest any of that and killed the whole idea outright.
    So, you wanted to have a green blinky light, that would NOT allow the driver to do anything but obey the normal traffic laws, and the council said no. Perhaps they wondered, why do you need a light to obey the traffic laws?

    A number of people on the department subsequently commented that the council clearly felt that a call for response wasn't an emergency until the crews - some of which live 12 kilometers or more from the station - got into a fire truck.
    Perhaps if the responders are 12 km from the firehouse, there are other issues for the council to worry about. I can think of a few...

    Myself, I don't really care either way. I had a green DashLaser purchased, but I have no idea where it is now - buried in the junk in my garage somewhere.
    The safest place for it.

    We respond as best we can, and in fact have the best rating a purely volunteer department can get. On weekends and holidays, it is still absolutely brutal to even try to make it to the station through the tourist traffic, but what's another 7 or 10 minutes tacked on to the response. Right?
    If it takes 7-10 minutes to get to the firehouse, how would a green light that only lets you drive the speed limit and obey all laws make it any faster?
    What is the best rating a volunteer dept can get, anyways?
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  6. #66
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mittlesmertz
    Then what exactly is the purpose of the green light?
    In some jurisdictions it's called a 'courtesy light'. While it does not require other drivers to pull over and give right of way, it is there to ask them to let the emergency responder by. I know of a few jurisdictions that use them, but I haven't asked anybody from them what kind of results they've seen.

    So, you wanted to have a green blinky light, that would NOT allow the driver to do anything but obey the normal traffic laws, and the council said no. Perhaps they wondered, why do you need a light to obey the traffic laws?
    Actually, I'll leave my thoughts about council out of this, as that's a whole other kettle of fish, and probably not appropriate for a public forum. However, you conveniently skipped over the part where I said "I don't care either way". No, I don't want a "green blinky light". I want to serve my community in the best way possible.

    Perhaps if the responders are 12 km from the firehouse, there are other issues for the council to worry about. I can think of a few...
    It's unfortunate that you weren't here for the elections in October, in that case! Surely someone of your expertise could tell all the communities around here how to operate. I mean, the fact that we cover 2400 square kilometers of rural Rocky Mountain foothills is immaterial, isn't it? If there are no funds for satellite stations and no interest in the community for building them, then the people who live 12 kilometers from the station should just move closer, right?

    Just what is the threshhold for how far I should live from my station, since you seem to have it all worked out?

    If it takes 7-10 minutes to get to the firehouse, how would a green light that only lets you drive the speed limit and obey all laws make it any faster?
    Geez, I guess I'm nowhere near as educated about the local geography of my area as you are, but I'd wager that the heavy traffic caused by 50,000 tourists flooding into town per weekend would at least take notice of such a light and, odds are, move over, to let the emergency responders go by. But then again, why bother? I mean, it's not like it's cutting 90 seconds off each stop sign encountered (total 4 signs), or eliminating the 5 minute wait driving through the shopping district with people jaywalking all over the road, or anything like that.

    I mean, what point is there in getting to an emergency 7 to 10 minutes quicker? Why bother with defibrillation and CPR - they're just gonna die anyway, right? Why risk lives with rapid interior attack when we can take our time and just protect the houses on either side from catching fire when yours collapses into the foundation?

    What the heck! Let's just go back to sounding the alarm with trumpets and hitching up horses. Or better yet, everyone should have a canvas bucket hung by their rain barrel, and rely on their neighbors to fight fires.

    What is the best rating a volunteer dept can get, anyways?
    Ah, spoken like a true 'vollie vs. career' instigator. Now I see where all this is coming from.

    The Canadian equivalent of the ISO was known as the Insurers Advisory Organization, but has been renamed. I don't know for certain, but I believe the highest class a VFD may obtain under IAO guidelines is class 3 or 4 (out of the usual 1-9 scale, 1 being best).

    Thanks for all your inflammatory and rude comments, though. I simply related my own observations on the topic and you jumped on me like a starving wolf attacking a raw steak.

    All told, I have to wonder what your rationale was for posting what you did. It couldn't have been to dissuade me from running a green light, since I already said we have neither the capability nor the official backing to do so. I hope it wasn't to inform me that my department is wrong for operating the way it does, with its membership spread out over the coverage area. There are some departments where Fire handles bomb squad duties, but I don't go around flaming them, even though I think it's absurd and I would never do it voluntarily.

    So I don't know what your point is. However, please feel free to not elaborate upon it, at least not for my sake!

    --j.
    Jason Low, FF/EMT-A, EMD
    Last edited by Jay911; 11-07-2004 at 06:34 AM.

  7. #67
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    My impression of "courtesy lights" --

    They ENCOURAGE bad driving, including speeding, passing through intersections in a less-than-safe manner, and cause confusion (sitting at a traffic light waiting for it to "green up").

    I'm not being a hypocrite. I'm saying I don't think POV's should be emergency vehicles. I know, I know, in some states they can be.

    Even in heavily congested areas, "courtesy lights" do NOT allow you to:
    - park just anywhere, highway or otherwise
    - proceed through stop signs, red lights, etc
    - exceed the posted speed limit
    - disregard regulations concerning movement or turning
    - proceed with caution past a stopped school bus when signaled

    So how does it save time? I guess if other cars are not going the speed limit AND they decide to yield to you, you can pass them and then go the speed limit... OR... if you're approaching an intersection that is backed up with some cars, you can pull ahead to *be first* through when the light turns green so you can then proceed to the station at the posted speed.
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  8. #68
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Resq14
    They ENCOURAGE bad driving, including speeding, passing through intersections in a less-than-safe manner, and cause confusion (sitting at a traffic light waiting for it to "green up").
    how can you say that? most people i know without courtesy lights will still speed, pass through intersetions, drive agressively when there is a call, regardless of whether they have a light or not when responding to a call. in fact, there was a thread several months ago about a junior FF who decided to use his hazards to signify he was going to a cal (he was promptly chastized by several people).

    here is some food for thought:

    if you see someone flashing their high beams behind you, maybe even honking their horn, driving aggressively, and when you yield he goes flying by at 90 mph, you are going to think this guy has no reason to be driving that way.

    but if you see someone with a courtesy light doing the exact same thing, you'll probably still think he's an *******, but because now you know he's a vol FF or EMT on the way to an emergency, where someone's life might be in danger, you'll understand why he was in such a rush.

    btw, I don't condone driving erradicly, nor do I do it, I just wanted to give everyone something to think about
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  9. #69
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Dan, you seem to be searching for the perfect answer to your question. However,you are biased leaning toward the lighted POV. There have been some really good points made both for and against, but since I don't have 1000 posts, I'm gonna drop out of this one since I don't have anything intellegent to add
    Good luck in your quest to find the answer you want to hear.

  10. #70
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    Originally posted by DrParasite

    here is some food for thought:

    if you see someone flashing their high beams behind you, maybe even honking their horn, driving aggressively, and when you yield he goes flying by at 90 mph, you are going to think this guy has no reason to be driving that way.
    but if you see someone with a courtesy light doing the exact same thing, you'll probably still think he's an *******, but because now you know he's a vol FF or EMT on the way to an emergency, where someone's life might be in danger, you'll understand why he was in such a rush.
    Wow, this summs it up quite well: someone honking their horn, driving aggressively, and going 90 miles an hour is SAFE because they have a green light in the dash?
    This post tells me exactly where your mind set is. I feel so safe now.
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  11. #71
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    [i]Originally posted by Jay911
    It's unfortunate that you weren't here for the elections in October, in that case! Surely someone of your expertise could tell all the communities around here how to operate. I mean, the fact that we cover 2400 square kilometers of rural Rocky Mountain foothills is immaterial, isn't it? If there are no funds for satellite stations and no interest in the community for building them, then the people who live 12 kilometers from the station should just move closer, right?
    If you're asking my opinion, yes. Move closer. If you're that worried about protecting your neighbors, move next door to the firehouse. Otherwise quit cryin about having to drive too far.

    Just what is the threshhold for how far I should live from my station, since you seem to have it all worked out?
    Look up NFPA standards, is it 1710/1711? They have response time standards, try to meet those; again, not my problem, it's yours.


    Geez, I guess I'm nowhere near as educated about the local geography of my area as you are, but I'd wager that the heavy traffic caused by 50,000 tourists flooding into town per weekend would at least take notice of such a light and, odds are, move over, to let the emergency responders go by.
    So the tourists would know what a green light in a dashboard means? I would have thought you were the ice cream man.

    But then again, why bother? I mean, it's not like it's cutting 90 seconds off each stop sign encountered (total 4 signs), or eliminating the 5 minute wait driving through the shopping district with people jaywalking all over the road, or anything like that.
    I mean, what point is there in getting to an emergency 7 to 10 minutes quicker? Why bother with defibrillation and CPR - they're just gonna die anyway, right? Why risk lives with rapid interior attack when we can take our time and just protect the houses on either side from catching fire when yours collapses into the foundation?
    Is this redundant? I'll type slower for you: If a green light doesn't let you go faster than the s p e e d limit, or go past s t o p signs, how will it cut time off the respone????

    What the heck! Let's just go back to sounding the alarm with trumpets and hitching up horses. Or better yet, everyone should have a canvas bucket hung by their rain barrel, and rely on their neighbors to fight fires.
    From what I read about your dept, the residents would probably get the same ISO rating either way.


    Ah, spoken like a true 'vollie vs. career' instigator. Now I see where all this is coming from.
    My interest is purely from a safety standpoint. You may infer whatever you wish.

    Thanks for all your inflammatory and rude comments, though. I simply related my own observations on the topic and you jumped on me like a starving wolf attacking a raw steak.
    Must be new to the boards, this is nothing compared to what I've read before.

    I hope it wasn't to inform me that my department is wrong for operating the way it does, with its membership spread out over the coverage area. There are some departments where Fire handles bomb squad duties, but I don't go around flaming them, even though I think it's absurd and I would never do it voluntarily.
    In my opnion, yes, I do think that driving 12 km to get to the firehouse is a poor way to operate a fire dept. If that's the best you can do, oh well. But why should I say that it's a great way to work? It's not. And anyone that works bomb sqaud has issues I can't even comprehend. My opnion, of course.
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  12. #72
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DrParasite
    but if you see someone with a courtesy light doing the exact same thing, you'll probably still think he's an *******, but because now you know he's a vol FF or EMT on the way to an emergency, where someone's life might be in danger, you'll understand why he was in such a rush.
    I'll understand why someone was driving like a jackass in a non-emergency vehicle? No I won't, nor will other officers (fire and law enforcement).

    The law is the law. Don't like it? Get it changed.

    I think the law makes sense and works fine, if that wasn't already obvious from the crazy number of times I've bothered to post in response to this here.

    btw, Parasite, are you an explorer or recent explorer?
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-07-2004 at 05:09 PM.
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  13. #73
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    I apologize to the other posters in this thread in advance. I didn't mean to hijack the thread, and I don't intend to go on any further than this post. I should have known that this kind of argument would sprout from my responses..

    Originally posted by mittlesmertz

    If you're asking my opinion, yes. Move closer. If you're that worried about protecting your neighbors, move next door to the firehouse. Otherwise quit cryin about having to drive too far.
    I'm not the one doing the crying about it - you are. I have no problem driving that distance.

    again, not my problem, it's yours.
    If it's not your problem, why are you commenting on it? Perhaps thinking before you type would be a good plan.

    So the tourists would know what a green light in a dashboard means?
    Yup!

    I would have thought you were the ice cream man.
    Then I hope you don't live anywhere near me - or any other community that employs volunteers.

    Is this redundant? I'll type slower for you: If a green light doesn't let you go faster than the s p e e d limit, or go past s t o p signs, how will it cut time off the respone????
    Well, if you have a stop signed-intersection with 10 or 15 cars lined up at it, and each one takes 7 or 8 seconds to navigate through it, then if all of the vehicles graciously give you the right of way, then you save between 63 and 112 seconds of lost time. (In case you wonder where the odd number comes from, don't forget that the responder has to stop at the stop sign himself.) Multiply that by the four intersections to be traversed and you're cutting between 4 and 8 minutes off your response time. I challenge you to find a department that would say getting enroute 4 to 8 minutes faster, safely, is a bad thing.

    From what I read about your dept, the residents would probably get the same ISO rating either way.
    Point one: You don't know a single thing about my department. Point two: The residents don't get any ISO rating. If you read my previous post, you'll figure out why.

    My interest is purely from a safety standpoint. You may infer whatever you wish.
    I infer that you're a mouthpiece who thinks he has all the answers regardless of the situations, the variables involved, etc., and who decides that anyone who disagrees with him deserves to be flamed.

    Must be new to the boards
    Um. No.

    In my opnion, yes, I do think that driving 12 km to get to the firehouse is a poor way to operate a fire dept.
    How far from your station do you live?

    But why should I say that it's a great way to work?
    No one asked you to..

    Perhaps you should take a break from message forums until you learn how they work, and that everyone is entitled to an opinion - which does not mean you are entitled to belittle them for voicing their opinion, as you initially did to me..

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    Originally posted by Jay911
    If it's not your problem, why are you commenting on it? Perhaps thinking before you type would be a good plan.
    So you post on a fire forum, but I can't comment on what you post?
    Sorry, I'll put more thought into it next time. How could I make such a misunderstanding?

    Then I hope you don't live anywhere near me - or any other community that employs volunteers.
    We agree on this entirely.


    Well, if you have a stop signed-intersection with 10 or 15 cars lined up at it, and each one takes 7 or 8 seconds to navigate through it, then if all of the vehicles graciously give you the right of way, then you save between 63 and 112 seconds of lost time. (In case you wonder where the odd number comes from, don't forget that the responder has to stop at the stop sign himself.) Multiply that by the four intersections to be traversed and you're cutting between 4 and 8 minutes off your response time. I challenge you to find a department that would say getting enroute 4 to 8 minutes faster, safely, is a bad thing.
    Man, I love math problems. This example is great, except for where you say, " all of the vehicles graciously give you the right of way".
    Seeing as this doesn't happen for engines that are bright red, with two sirens and an air horn going, and lights all over it, it miracuolously happens due to the inherent kindness of tourists in Canada? Who have never seen a green light in a dashboard, with no knowledge of what it means?
    Yeah, they all graciously pull over. Sure they do.

    I infer that you're a mouthpiece who thinks he has all the answers regardless of the situations, the variables involved, etc., and who decides that anyone who disagrees with him deserves to be flamed.
    So anyone that thinks you're wrong is a mouthpiece that flamed you? I raised points of difference, gave examples of why I disagreed, and you whine like a little girl.
    Debate about topics is the foundation of these forums. If you can't stand someone saying they disagree with you, it will be a pretty short debate. And if you think I'm too mean, I can only imagine what type of sensitivity training you get at your firehouse.
    "Chief, he made a joke about me...

    How far from your station do you live?
    Oh, about 20 miles.

    Perhaps you should take a break from message forums until you learn how they work, and that everyone is entitled to an opinion - which does not mean you are entitled to belittle them for voicing their opinion, as you initially did to me..
    Nah, I think I got it figured out just fine, thanks. And if my opinion
    "belittles" you, well, that's my opinion. Maybe toughen up bit?
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  15. #75
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    Originally posted by mittlesmertz
    Man, I love math problems. This example is great, except for where you say, " all of the vehicles graciously give you the right of way".
    Seeing as this doesn't happen for engines that are bright red, with two sirens and an air horn going, and lights all over it, it miracuolously happens due to the inherent kindness of tourists in Canada? Who have never seen a green light in a dashboard, with no knowledge of what it means?
    Yeah, they all graciously pull over. Sure they do.
    Incase you have not realized by now, every community is different. There are places where people will yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle and a volunteer FF with a green or blue light. And, just like in the US, Canada has set lighting standards. If a Canadian came to the US and seen someone driving behind them with a blue light, I'm sure they would not know what it meant.

    I still have yet to see a good argument to why it is okay to have lights on BRT but not on POV.

    As others have stated, if someone is going to disobey traffic laws with lights, they are most likely to do it without lights too. So why have even a little courtesy light? At least people can see them coming and know they are responding to an emergency.

    If it was your house burning down or your family member in a MVA, you would be bitching if the FF's took 10 minutes to get to the station and then took another 5 mins to get on scene.

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    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Like George says, you get what you pay for.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-07-2004 at 10:13 PM.
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    Originally posted by RescueMe7
    [If it was your house burning down or your family member in a MVA, you would be bitching if the FF's took 10 minutes to get to the station and then took another 5 mins to get on scene.
    Nah, I'd be blaming myself for:
    1. Not paying enough taxes to support a qaulified, timely response.
    2. Not moving to an area that had those resources.
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  18. #78
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    Originally posted by mittlesmertz

    Wow, this summs it up quite well: someone honking their horn, driving aggressively, and going 90 miles an hour is SAFE because they have a green light in the dash?
    This post tells me exactly where your mind set is. I feel so safe now.
    that's called an exageration. that's an extreme case, used to elicit a worst case scenario. and I never said it was safe, only that a person might understand it a little clearer if the driver had the light. and to be quite honest, with your attitude, I wouldn't feel safe being in the same county as you worked. I'd hate for you to screw up, and then bite the head off of the person who told you so.

    and resq14, no, I'm not an explorer, and havn't been one for several years. but that's for asking, it make me feel so much younger
    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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    My dept covers 3 towns and aids towns around us. Some of us have lights so don't. All our guys with lights and sirens use them responsibly they don't try and set world speed records while responding nor do they blow through stop lights. When they are used the people around us don't panic nor do they get confused when they see a POV going one way and another going in the other direction. My community has the sence to realize someone has to drive the trucks and not all of us are gonna fit on them. So the closest go to the station and everyone else goes to the scene. Not to mention lights on POVs help a lot when ur shutting down the road, it tends to give people fair warning as to why their is a truck parked in the road and that they should slow down.
    Everyone says lights cause accidents and that we shouldn't have them but its not the lights, its who's using them. Just because some idiots find them an excuse to do a hundred doesn't mean the rest of us should be ragged on for using them when we use them safely, for multiple reasons, and when our community is smart enough to realize how to safley react to them. A lot of cops using lights and sirens go to fast or do something and cause accidents.... does that mean that every police car should be stripped of there lights and sirens.. no.
    As for the unprofessional aspect of it...I don't see how a truck with a light bar and in some cases, their depts emblem on the window of teir truck is unprofessional at all.

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    Almost 5 years later... Come on man. This one had actually buried itself.

    Round 2!

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