1. #1
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    Default Rules/Requirements: Apparatus Roof Markings

    Was curious what the rules and requirements are for various city/county/state agencies regarding roof markings for your apparatus. Where I live, some fire apparatus are marked, some not. Law enforcement seems to be no longer roof-marking new cars. Buses are marked (?).

    Since not all of our rigs are marked in our department, I am considering looking into getting them marked and uniform. I'll be looking up the laws for my area, but am curious about other requirements.... might go the extra mile to meet higher standards if there is a good reason to.

    In your area, are roof markings required? Is there is a size requirement? Is anything else required besides unit number (such as agency identification)? Does it need to be reflective? Does it need to be oriented to indicate the orientation of the apparatus? What else?

    Thanks.

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    Our ambulances have at least a Star of Life on them...sometimes accompanied by a unit # like "R-590." At least one the guy didn't have the one of the numbers pre-cut and forgot to finish it off later so it was like "R- 90"

    Not sure why we do that to the rigs, if it's a KKK spec item or just something the builder typically does.

    Other than that, no standards here (CT).

    MA State Police AFAIK still mark their cruiser roofs.
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    We mark our rigs that respond to wildland fires simply because of working with aircraft. The rigs are marked on the roof with the units radio call number in reflective numbers that are a minimun of 18 inches, the larger rigs have numbers 24 inches high.
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    We have roof markings on our newer units, and the only time we've ever used it was helping a medical helicopter determine some situational awareness of the LZ. Not absolutely necessary, but they're there.

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    Dal, you are correct, for EMS vehicles, it is a triple K spec to have a start of life on top of the vehicle. When we get our new rigs inspected, the state inspector actually gets on a ladder to make sure the SOL is there. I'm assuming it's there to let aircraft know that there's an ambulance on scene. I don't know too many instances that a flight crew needs to know exactly what vehicle is the ambulance prior to landing...just my experiences here in the rural Berkshires though. No other local public safety vehicles are roof marked. Just as Dal mentioned, the MSP units are.
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    Don't know of any specific laws regarding it but my dept. does the following on the top of our ambulances...unit radio ID, large Star of Life decal with our truck to truck frequency listed below that...this is to provide the PD Med-Evac helicopter with the info needed to contact us should there be a need. Normally this is not an issue but we went the extra step to alleviate any potential problems.

    Hope this helps...Stay Safe...

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    County had asked everyone to put their county assigned truck number on the roof, just for wildland interface reasons. Not sure that too many people actually did so though.
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    Talking Huh??.....................

    Originally posted by LeuitEFDems
    Dal, you are correct, for EMS vehicles, it is a triple K spec to have a start of life on top of the vehicle.

    A Start of Life?? You deliver babies on top of the Ambulance? Wow.... OK,OK, Sorry. That WAS too good to pass up though..... Here in Downtown Maryland, we have no rules on rooftop markings. Some have them, some don't.
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    Well, depending on your religous views, a "start of life" on top of an ambulance could also be a version of a particular scene from Backdraft moved to a different vehicle
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    and here I thought it was always an Asterisk. *
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    Here in Wisconsin, at least in my neck of the woods, we have all the unit numbers on top for the Department of Natural Resources airplane. Altoona is on the border of the what the DNR calls Intensive Fire Protection area which is most of eastern Eau Claire County. Any mutual aid departments for the DNR is supposed to have the unit number on the roof. I don't think anyone actually enforces that. I know just about everyone around us has them on the roof. Not sure if it is statewide or not.

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    All the PDs in this area have roof markings for the PD helicopter for the local "big city". That may change since they are going to shut down the service due to budget problems. Only markings on our vehicle is a Star of Life on the ambulance.
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    Originally posted by Firescueguy
    ... with our truck to truck frequency listed below that...this is to provide the PD Med-Evac helicopter with the info needed to contact us ...
    This sounds like a very good idea. We don't generally have any problems with radio communications with the helicopters, but I can see that this could potentially be very useful. Thanks for this tip.

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    This sounds like a very good idea. We don't generally have any problems with radio communications with the helicopters, but I can see that this could potentially be very useful. Thanks for this tip.

    It's interesting, but unless you use something like the California "Blue-6" system (they have some kind of color and number system to simplify frequencies...where's Bou?)...some of the frequencies could get pretty involved like 33.90 PL 143.7 before you start adding in new things like Digital PLs or *gag* trunked systems.

    The helicopters in my area cover a three or more state area -- that includes Police by the way since Mass State Police long provided mutual aid to Connecticut State Police and now CT returns the favor -- so coding in radio information could take a lot of real estate!

    (OTOH, my area uses a common set of frequencies over a large area. Twice I've been on scenes that a medical helicopter started hovering over and calling the LZ and we had to re-direct them to their actual call several miles away. One of them was just a house call, too!)
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    ok, ok I guess I deserved that ribbing guys, thanks...
    Dal, We use Life Star out of Hartford most of the time if we need air transport. I have picked them up on my mobile radio being dispatched, and they give a system and channel number assignment for the units they're interfacing with....such as "LZ coordinator will be Egremont engine 1 on system 3 channel 134..." I know they have our local freqs in their list already, I'm assuming that the system and channel # given are there way of accessing the freq with PL...Do you know if this is true or not?
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    Our engines are all marked with large letters and numbers because we commonly work with three air ambulance services, sometimes more than one at a time, and we've done it more than three times a day

    They request that we mark hazards with trucks and not flares, so it makes it easier to identify specific hazards by the truck they're near.
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    This reminds me of a few years back, during the Columbine shootings...the local PD had commandeered a Brinks armored truck in order to safely approach the building...Remember the footage? Anyway, they had very carefully and deliberately taped up cardboard over all the Brinks logos on the doors, sides of the truck, etc., I suppose probably at Brinks' request. At any rate, it didn't occur to them that there was a Brinks logo on the roof of the truck, big as day, and of course, all the footage was from helicopters overhead....
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    I'd assume so Luft.

    I know I used to hear LifeFlight (now here's irony...LieutEFDems is in Western MA and mainly used Hartford, CT's LifeStar...I'm in Northeast CT and we prefer UMass/Worcester's LifeFlight ) they'd be told the frequency & pl to punch in -- they had 3 very fancy radios, Ericsons I believe, that could do all the fire/rescue frequencies.

    A system where the dispatchers for the helicopter simplify it by using a code (sarcasm /on: oh my god, not a code, no never, ever, we have to use plain english because my god, there's got to be less chance of screwing up by saying the vernacular plain english 33.90 pl 143.7 than there is in system 2, channel 45 sarcasm /off) is probably a very good thing. Indeed, that's along the lines of the California system I mentioned before. (Bou, are you going to make me google for it?)

    Makes you wonder when they'll just link it so the Dispatcher sitting back at the hospital just sets the radios for them! Little coded bleep-buzz-bleep and the pilot doesn't have to worry.
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    Dal, I'm sure that's not in the too near distant future that the radios can be programmed like that. As for us using LifeStar Vs. in-state Life flight, we've found that either lifestar or Albany med flight to be quickest for us out here in the boonies of western Mass. It seems that all three services have a good working relationship with each other and conference in when they have a call out this way to figure out who can get here quicker.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only, not of the Fire and EMS services I am affiliated with.

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    This might help re: LA County.

    The "Blue" frequencies are UHF and are used for command and dispatch activities (i.e., Blue 6 is dispatch for the San Gabriel Valley, Blue 8 is county-wide).

    The "White" frequencies are VHF and are used as tactical frequencies. Tac-19 (154.400) is the county-wide air-ground frequency used most commonly although other tac frequencies may be used depending on the situation. If you need to talk to a county fire helo or Air Rescue 5 (the Sheriff's rescue helicopter) you can always get them on Tac-19.

    Oops - forgot to add the bit about the roof markings.... IDs on the roof helps the helo crews. Various combinations of agency/unit info. is typical.
    Last edited by MtnRsq; 12-31-2004 at 01:58 AM.

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    Default A picture...

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Indeed, that's along the lines of the California system I mentioned before. (Bou, are you going to make me google for it?)
    Hello- Are you taling about the "FireSCOPE" system? I didnt read
    all of the postings here so I got lost in the conversation.
    Here is he link- www.firescope.org

    Anyways, as mentioned earlier, roof lettering in California is
    common for ICs to ID their apparatus from the ground and air.

    Here is a sample...

    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-31-2004 at 04:07 AM.

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    Default no "Start of life" here

    we have clean roofs here with really no need to do so.....
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    Some areas may require the markings due to having an airport in the area incase there is an emergency at the airport the tower can ID and control movement of vehicles on airport grounds.

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    Default Roof

    We are in a Rural section of Kentucky and use several different air med agencies, such as UK Med, Lifenet, etc. But we do not mark the roof of our trucks. Some of the trucks don't even have writting on the side.
    Thanks
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    Exclamation

    I know of no requirement or rules that says you have to put numbers or any other markings on the roof of any apparatus. It may be nice to have, if you have you own air section, but since it isn't requires, we don't do it in our neck of the woods.
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