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    Default POV Issues

    Our department runs strictly rescue. We are staffed during the day and during the night our volnteers pick up the slack. Monday night we had a cardiac arrest call and one of the members had just left work. He was about 25 min. driveing time from the residence. He was in another county but the call was on the county line. He was clocked by a city cop running in exess of 75 in a 45. He had his emergency lights on per NC General Statue (but which also states you must obey ALL traffic laws). The police officer got his tag and call county dispatch and advised them to contact the member and have him meet him after the call which he did and was issued a citation for 75 in a 45 and careless and reckless. I understand the speeding ticket but due to light traffic and the nature of the call I don't understand why the police officer couldn't at least help him out a little bit on the speed. And with the CNR. Anyone got any advice on administative punishment or opinions on what should have happened or what should happen now with this member

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    What do you think this is a game. Slow down, your not going to a fire. Suck it up and pay the ticket. If you can't follow the rules. Well you can figure that one out. Notice I used the word out.

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    I think that the speed is of great concern. 30 mph over the speed limit is very dangerous. Responding to and returning from a call is one of the leading killers of firefighters and EMS personnel. What the member of your department needs to understand is that this emergency is not his emergency. If he is injured while responding to a call then he is of no use to the people he is responding to. The laws state that us, as emergency responders must respond with due regard for the safety of others. 30 mph over the posted speed limit is not with in the thought of due-regard for the safety of others.

    Several things need to be looked at here. First-the libility that this member has brought agenst himself and his department is enormous. There has been very successful lidigation against individuals of departments and the department ifself for injuries and wrongful death. I would not want to be that person. Second-The law in the state needs to be followed so that no one gets hurt. This is why we have laws as you well know. The law in this case was broken. The more the law is broken the sooner your members will loose the right to have emergency equipment, and everyone will be responding a lot slower. Third-What is the department policy on the use of POV emergency equipment and was it followed. I don't think so in this case! Our department here in this case after investigation, would issue a suspension of 30 days, followed by the member loosing the privilege of the POV emergency equipment for a period of 180 days and a return to probation status for 90 days. The member would then have to compleat training in emergency vehicle driving, write a short research paper as to the dangers of high speed driving and emergency vehicle use, and write a letter of apology to the fire department and the officer who stopped him. This is a very serious concern. I hope this helps some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brannon14
    I think that the speed is of great concern. 30 mph over the speed limit is very dangerous. 30 mph over the posted speed limit is not with in the thought of due-regard for the safety of others.

    member loosing the privilege of the POV emergency equipment for a period of 60 days and a probation status for 90 days. I do not see the need to respond from 25 minutes away to a cardiac call. I am an EMT and FF and I work 30 minutes from my fire house. My employer will pay me if I leave for a call but I will only leave for a working structure fire or fatal MVA since by the time I make it to the scene the units will be back in service. Also the county I live in will not allow people to respond from one end of the county to the other let alone cross county lines.

    I hope this helps. I do feel that this is a serious issue however I don't think suspending the member will acomplish any thing except take a member out of service and possably create a staffing shortage.

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    posted by HeavyRescue 205
    Monday night we had a cardiac arrest call and one of the members had just left work. He was about 25 min. driveing time from the residence. He was in another county but the call was on the county line. He was clocked by a city cop running in exess of 75 in a 45.
    Seeing that the time of clinical and biological death are a mere 6 minutes, and the member was 25 minutes driving time away...

    It was a pointless effort. There was no way he could have affected he outcome.

    He endangered everyone on the road that day.

    He deserves the ticket.

    This is another case where people who think lights on their POV makes them immune to the traffic laws. You asked if the cop could have helped him with the speed. If he was 10 miles over the limit and on a limited access highway he may have cut him some slack. 30 miles over on a 45 MPH road tells me there's two way traffic.. and he was driving recklessly, which could have led to a wreck.

    Punishment: he should pay the fine out of his own pocket.
    Administrative: driving privileges for the Department rig suspended for a time period to be determined by whether this is a first offense. Red light permit pulled for the same time period.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 11-11-2005 at 09:23 AM.
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    I understand where you're coming from, but you are not going to get the support you hope for on here. "Professional Courtesy" I believe is the term you're looking for. In this case, it would have been an *** chewing rather than the citations. 25 minutes away for a code when there are other people around and closer is not reasonable and not neccessary. He shouldn't have done it. Getting said professional courtesy is a perk and not one you should require, expect, or plan on. If you get it, thank your lucky stars and learn from it. If you don't, well learn from that as well and cough up the cash.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Responding from 25 minutes away to a cardiac arrest is an exercise in futility. The member doing so while driving 30 mph over the limit is way out of line. I would suspend him from all department operations for a minimum of 30 days, followed by a longer suspension of driving privileges. He should also pay the ticket and quit griping.
    This is a classic example of the red dash light coming on and the brain going off.
    Thankfully, no one was injured and your department is not being sued for everything it owns.

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    Well... Here we go again... Blame the lights. If this idiot didn't have lights, he would have been going just as fast (he probably has a window sticker). An analogy would be blaming gun manufacturers for shootings. They didn't tell the man to shoot someone, but should they be to blame? The light didn't force the gas pedal to the floor, should it be blamed? The responder is the only person or thing to blame here.

    The idiot shouldn't be speeding that fast, and he deserves the ticket. He should get another ticket for wreckless endangerment along with any others I could find. Expecting an officer to cut you THAT MUCH SLACK? Come on. That's an insult to the officer. There's a line to draw when "professional courtesy" is talked about, and this guy was clearly beyond that line.

    Problems like this are up to the fire department officers to enforce rules. If the department doesn't have a rule about responding from another county, state, or country, then they should. If it is a large working fire, and additional manpower is needed, then a response may be necessary. BUT... The response should be within the speed limit and safely done.

    If we got a ticket for this behavior in our department... I pitty the fool. I would suggest not only suspend his driving privelages, but we would have spotless equipment, apparatus, and the cleanest station around. This person would definitely know not to do that crap again. In the military, they would throw in latrine duty to top it all off (can we do that?) I wouldn't want him suspended from the department, but I would make him wish he was.

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    I wouldn't go so far as to call him an idiot, but I am on the same side as the rest of the posters here. That speed was clearly excessive given the circumstances.

    To use an anology that floats around here from time to time, communities pay for the level of coverage they want. If they want the FD or EMS to be able to respond in less than 5 minutes, they need to add more halls, combo staff, etc.

    If the area is very rural and the tax base simply won't support that, it may be time to look at other options. Obviously the LEO was closer than this member, and those of us in rural areas know they tend to arrive first much of the time on the fringes of our coverage areas, so perhaps giving LEO's AED's for these types of calls could be a stop gap until FR's or EMS arrive. The other option for medicals is EMS/Fire jump cars, or light rescues (minivans/cars) with no transport capability that go home at night to evenly spaced locations in the district.

    There are a lot of other options rather than the unecessary risk of double-the-limit POV responses. We have to accept that one of the risks of living in a rural setting is reduced service levels.
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    I'll be differen't.

    The man is volunteering his time to help his community and fellow man. Would his effort been futile in this situation? Maybe. This would only be true if he were the first one to arrive, but he could also have been 1 of only 3 or 4 people that were going to show up at all. Still probably futile, but a process that goes on everyday, everywhere in America.

    75 mph is too fast. Every single one of you will drive that fast today in your personal vehicle on the way home. I do not know about the raod conditions, but neither do any of you.

    What would I do? I would ask the police officer to drop the charges and explain to him that I would handle the situation, then I would thank the man for volunteering his time, but explain to him that he was no good to anyone if he were in an accident. In fact he would be a hinderance, because now resources would have to be sent to his accident.

    I understand there has to be soem rules, but I never have been able to figure out what volunteer departments benefit form suspending members for months on end.

    And the police officer that wrote the ticket......he'll be driving that fast all the time. Who's gonna tell him he can't.
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    In Texas he was given slack. The cop didn't pull him over on the spot, allowed him to come back after the call. Also in Texas that much over the speed limit, the person can end up in jail.
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    25 minutes driving time away (figuring about 20 miles or so in distance)& he thought he could make it to the call???!!! What good could he possibly have done for this pt.??? If he was in a helicopter, he wouldn't have been there in time to do any good...the chain of survival (which BTW is taught to lay people & rescuers alike in CPR) dictates the need for early/rapid access, CPR, defibrillation & advanced care so how could this guy POSSIBLY think he could do any good responding from that far away???!!!

    I also have to take issue with the police officer who IMHO didn't perform his duty either...the guy was doing 75 in a 45 zone so I'm guessing this must have been in a business/downtown area (most residential areas are usually 30 MPH limits) not a highway (not that that would have made it ok) and this P.O. just jotted his license number down & had him meet after the call to pick up his ticket??? WTF!!! If an armed robber came out of 7-11, would he just copy the license number down & send the guy the warrant for his arrest in the mail??? He is as much as fault for endangering lives as your knucklehead member is...your member didn't have the common sense to realize he was endangering lives so the P.O. DEFINITELY should have prevailed with clearer thoughts and stopped this guy in his tracks RIGHT THEN & THERE. Cutting the guy a break & giving him a warning because he is a "vollie" is one thing when you roll through a stop sign without making a complete stop but responding to a call 20+ miles away driving erratically at a high rate of speed (I doubt he was signaling when changing lanes) is not the time to cut someone a break.

    I am curious about a few things regarding this call...

    1) How long has this guy been a member? I would hope this is a newer,
    inexperienced member who can be taught that saving one life is important
    but not when you endanger countless others recklessly to attempt to do
    so.

    2) What level certification was this guy? Is he even an EMT or is he that 3
    month old member who just barely passed CPR & thinks the world of EMS
    can't operate without him??? We've all this guy in our depts...

    3) Is he an officer (line)? No dig towards officers (I've been one myself) but
    there are those guys out there (just like those 3 month members) who
    think that the world cannot function without them unless they are there
    to run the show. Ever heard of CHAOS????

    As far as internal punishment, I believe he should spoken to by the officers
    in a formal setting (not just off to the side with "hey Jim, what were you thinkin'?) & a coupla things should happen. He should explain himself as to what his motivation/rationale was for his behavior (maybe you might just identify one of those "yahoo" EMT's who thinks the world can't function without him), then the officers should explain the squad SOP's (if you don't have one, now might be the time to start writing it) as well as local/state laws governing emergency response in POV's. He also needs to understand his role in the organization & where his skills fit in, this will hopefully make him understand that his behavior was unwarranted....no matter how qualified you are, responding from 20 miles away at light speed does not help anyone.

    Depending on his reaction to this, I would base the punishment accordingly...if he realizes that he made a mistake (a potentially deadly mistake) & acknowledges the error of his ways, then either a verbal warning or a short suspension from responding POV (let him ride in-house) would be in order. If he gets the "well, I did the right thing, you can't tell me I was wrong" attitude, then a more harsh punishment (30 day suspension from duty, revocation of his POV response privileges, etc.) should be applied.

    As is evident from my reply, I am rather annoyed at this...I have been a "vollie" for 19 years and this is why vollies get a bad name. No one notices the 25 guys who safely respond to the firehouse with their blue/red lights flashing to go save somebody but boy do they notice that one a@#hole who does oh say 75 in a 45, cutting thru gas stations, jumping curbs, etc. to get to the confirmed garbage pail fire. We've all done stupid things trying to get to a call (be it a "good" one or BS), we've all driven too fast at one time or another (present company included) but with age comes wisdom and we all realize (most of us anyway) that it's not worth killing ourselves to get there...hey, if they're that bad, they'll be there when we get there.

    Your squad needs to address this issue pronto...don't let it slide by with "well, he got a ticket so he'll learn"...this is how the problem starts...address it head-on before this member has a head-on!!!!

    Just my 2 cents...Stay Safe..and slow down!!!!

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    Why are so many people on here so melodramatic? Just curious.

    This guy was 25 minutes away from a medical call -- and a code, at that. I'm not sure how long he's been in the business, but he should have know that his efforts would be futile. At 30 over the speed limit, he probably deserved the ticket. Of course, some of you complain that the cop failed in his duty by allowing the guy to respond to the emergency. However, if the cop had stopped him, you all would be complaining that the cop prevented the patient from getting timely medical care.

    As far as internal action goes, this incident must be formally documented. Hopefully this guy knows that he made a mistake. I'd give him 30 days without POV privledges to think about it and then move on. As good as this guy's intentions were, we should all be able to agree that he goofed. You can't let a goof go without some repercussion.

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    I agree with other posts.If it's going to take 25 minutes to get to a cardiac call,you might as well stay at work and let other members respond.Even if was a family member,he wouldn't have gotten there in time to do anything worthwhile.
    Pay up and slow down.We are only allowed to exceed the speed limit by 10 mph in Kentucky.30 over is a ticket even with lights and sirens.(And you better have departmental authorization to have them if you don't want an additional ticket.)
    Last edited by doughesson; 11-11-2005 at 12:53 PM.

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    If you have to obey all traffic laws when you have lights on in your POV, what the hell is the point of the lights?

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    Lights are "courtesy" lights. If you are coming behind someone and they WANT to be courteous, they pull over as not to hold you up. Also, at a stop sign with multiple cars, they MAY wave you on ahead of them, as a courtesy. Lights are also used if you roll up on the scene, in your POV (which I don't agree with responding in your POV), for traffic safety reasons.

    Lights have their purpose and their place. This was clearly an abuse of a tool or asset.

    MCCCALDWELL - I know you said you agree with most of the posts here, and not slamming you for not calling him an idiot, but if this driver would have hit your child while driving in this fashion, would you go so far as to call him an idiot then? As a VERY protective and concerned parent, I would do more than CALL him an idiot if he were to hit my child. The possibility was there, he was just extremely lucky he didn't hurt someone. That's why I think he is an idiot. Just thinking of my little buddy at home, that's all.

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    idk what to think about it. The member isn't active much anymore but he has been trying to come around lately. Driveing the speed limt he was 25 min. it took him about 10 and he arrived at the same time the ALS did. He ended up driveing us in while I assisted in the back. He was a help to the operation but at a cost. I am not the decideing factor on what happens I am just a part time paid man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRob
    Lights are "courtesy" lights. If you are coming behind someone and they WANT to be courteous, they pull over as not to hold you up. Also, at a stop sign with multiple cars, they MAY wave you on ahead of them, as a courtesy. Lights are also used if you roll up on the scene, in your POV (which I don't agree with responding in your POV), for traffic safety reasons.

    Maybe where you live. The two states where I am active on fire departments designate a volunteer's POV as an "authorized" vehicle while responding and therefore are granted all of the priviledges of an emergency vehicle. However you are also bound by all of the requirements. For example, state law says that if you run a visual warning device (light) you must also use an audible one. (siren) Visual warning must also provide 360 degree coverage, etc.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 11-11-2005 at 05:18 PM.
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRob
    Lights are "courtesy" lights. If you are coming behind someone and they WANT to be courteous, they pull over as not to hold you up. Also, at a stop sign with multiple cars, they MAY wave you on ahead of them, as a courtesy. Lights are also used if you roll up on the scene, in your POV (which I don't agree with responding in your POV), for traffic safety reasons.
    not everywhere, in NJ its a state law that you must yield for blue (volunteer POV's) and red lights (cops, ambulances, fire engines)
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyRescue205
    The police officer got his tag and call county dispatch and advised them to contact the member and have him meet him after the call which he did and was issued a citation for 75 in a 45 and careless and reckless.

    My thoughts -

    1) I suspect there may be more to this story - i.e. did he PO the cop, has he been doing this frequently, or is it a new cop (the sort that would write his own mother...).

    2) 30 over the limit is pushing too hard. 75 on the freeway is one thing. 75 on a back road is another.

    3) He had better go get himself a lawyer and see what his options are. I don't know what state you are in, but mine (NJ), a reckless citation is a BIG deal, and so is 30 over the limit. Careless is a two point ticket, reckless is a five point, and 30 or more over the limit is also a 5 pointer (15-29 would be a 4 poiner, and 14 and under would be a 2 pointer).

    12 points total, and with that, he has now entered the 'suspension zone'. NJ would suspend his license.




    Jon

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    He was speeding, driving recklessly and without due regard. He endangered the general public as well as other motorists.
    On most departments, he would have violated driving SOGs.
    He gets a ticket and no slack from this department.
    And I would seriously consider dropping him off of the insurance as high risk.
    It's not a question of if he has an accident, but when.
    If allowed to continue, he will be that fire service black eye on the home page of Firehouse.com.
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  22. #22
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    The two states where I am active on fire departments designate a volunteer's POV as an "authorized" vehicle while responding and therefore are granted all of the priviledges of an emergency vehicle. However you are also bound by all of the requirements. For example, state law says that if you run a visual warning device (light) you must also use an audible one. (siren) Visual warning must also provide 360 degree coverage, etc.
    In the state of Wisconsin, with all emergency warning devices in operation, you are defined as an emergency vehicle. However, the lights and siren do not grant you the right of way. They are merely a request that the right of way be given.
    Traffic laws, pedestrians, stop lights/signs must all be obeyed until the right of way request is given.
    That is the intent of the law.
    If an emergency vehicle has an accident while ‘breaking’ a traffic law, the potential is there for a citation to be issued, and they have been. Generally speaking though, most law enforcement agencies use the ‘discretion’ that all agencies possess.
    I can’t speak for other states, but I do imagine that most are somewhat similar. This definition for an emergency vehicle applies to volunteers in their own cars.
    Last edited by jasper45; 11-11-2005 at 08:58 PM.

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    From a recent press release from the USFA:

    "Vehicle crashes represent the second leading cause of on-duty firefighter
    deaths in the volunteer fire service," said Charlie Dickinson, USFA Deputy
    Administrator. "This emergency vehicle safety educational program will
    also support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Firefighter Life
    Safety Initiative to reduce on-duty firefighter fatalities, and further
    ensure that Everyone Goes Home."


    'nuff said!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45
    In the state of Wisconsin, with all emergency warning devices in operation, you are defined as an emergency vehicle. However, the lights and siren do not grant you the right of way. They are merely a request that the right of way be given.
    Traffic laws, pedestrians, stop lights/signs must all be obeyed until the right of way request is given.
    That is the intent of the law.
    If an emergency vehicle has an accident while ‘breaking’ a traffic law, the potential is there for a citation to be issued, and they have been. Generally speaking though, most law enforcement agencies use the ‘discretion’ that all agencies possess.
    I can’t speak for other states, but I do imagine that most are somewhat similar. This definition for an emergency vehicle applies to volunteers in their own cars.

    I understand that. My point was that civilians are required and can be citied for not yielding the right of way here, it is not a "courtesy."
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaytallica45
    not everywhere, in NJ its a state law that you must yield for blue (volunteer POV's) and red lights (cops, ambulances, fire engines)
    Please tell me what law states you have to yield for a blue light. I've been in the fire service for 20+ years and have never seen this law. Red lights, yes, but blue lights? Not.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    By medixExplorer364 in forum Fire Explorer & Jr. Firefighting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-17-2001, 05:40 PM

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