Thread: By laws

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    Default By laws

    Ok first of all I am a 17 year old cadet in a fire department that runs about 200 calls a year. I have been on the department since July 2004. Recently the department changed its by laws so that after six months of being on the fire department a member could have an interview with the department heads to be able to get a red light permit(notice it does not specify if cadets can or cannot- I am a cadet). Before this it was stated that after you became a full member you could get a red light permit (full membership is granted to someone of 18 years of age and they have to be on the dept. for at least a year).

    Now since i have been on the department for well over the six months review i decided to tonight have my review. They told me since I was a cadet they would like to wait before i turn 18 to give me one. The reason was not that i wasnt a responsible driver or that i was bad cadet (neither by the way) it was that I am a cadet. I do not believe this is fair at all. There are members that havent been on as long as i have but can have redlights cause they are 18.

    I dont want to start a big thing here like red lights are bad you dont need them or that cadets dont need red lights- All i want to know is if you guys or gals think this situation is fair.

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    I'm going to assume that a red-light permit gives you permission to run emergency lights on your personal vehicle?

    As a cadet, do you get to function during emergency responses?

    If not, I don't see any reason that you need to have a red-light permit to get to the station (or scene, however you do it) faster.

    Actually, I have seen or heard of very few situations in which I think it's a good idea for any volunteers to have emergency lights on their personal vehicles, but that's just me.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Default well thanks

    i appreciate the answer but i told you that i dont want this to start into one of those light wars- all i want to know is if you think the situation is fair or not.

    And yes a red light permit allows me to use red lights and sirens

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    Real simple, a cadet is not a full member so you don't "qualify" for a light. Doesn't have to be fair. That's the rule, as I interpret it from your post. Don't like that, check with your state, maybe there are some state laws that may help your case.

    Of course, if this were in my company, the "cadet" would be laughed at and then would have the reasons explained to them why the light was not going to be issued to them. If the "cadet" then went so far as to push the issue further, we'd look at that "cadet's" behavior and decide they are not in the fire company for the right reasons with the right attitude and they would be shown the exit door. Again, that's what would happen in my company.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdbenji
    Ok first of all I am a 17 year old cadet in a fire department that runs about 200 calls a year. I have been on the department since July 2004. Recently the department changed its by laws so that after six months of being on the fire department a member could have an interview with the department heads to be able to get a red light permit(notice it does not specify if cadets can or cannot- I am a cadet). Before this it was stated that after you became a full member you could get a red light permit (full membership is granted to someone of 18 years of age and they have to be on the dept. for at least a year).

    Now since i have been on the department for well over the six months review i decided to tonight have my review. They told me since I was a cadet they would like to wait before i turn 18 to give me one. The reason was not that i wasnt a responsible driver or that i was bad cadet (neither by the way) it was that I am a cadet. I do not believe this is fair at all. There are members that havent been on as long as i have but can have redlights cause they are 18.

    I dont want to start a big thing here like red lights are bad you dont need them or that cadets dont need red lights- All i want to know is if you guys or gals think this situation is fair.
    You're a Cadet and those are the bylaws. End of story, fair or not.

    RR
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    I'm not trying to start a "light war", but your question has two things that need to be addressed:

    1) You obviously want a light permit. Why? So you can get to the scene or station faster. But if, as a cadet, you don't have privileges to operate on an emergency scene, then what difference does it make? That's why I asked that in my first post, but you didn't answer the question.

    2) Is it fair? Bottom line, and I agree with Bones, is it doesn't matter if it's "fair". That's the rule, and if you don't like it, you can: a) quit b) gripe and hope they change the rule for you or c) suck it up.

    As a cadet, I assure you that the best thing you can do is do what you're told, learn and ask questions. But don't get bent out of shape on an issue like this. Six more months and you can get your light permit and keep it for the next 20-plus years. Compared to the rest of your time in the fire service, six months won't be anything.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    ok everone thanks anyway
    Last edited by mfdbenji; 03-08-2006 at 09:19 PM.

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    By allowing you to operate your personal vehicle with a light and siren, the department is in effect designating your vehicle to be "their" vehicle when it is in response. I have to assume that as a "cadet" you are not legally qualified to perform fire or EMS duties (i.e. you do not have a certificate or a license from the governing authority). Without such credentials, you are merely a citizen who has been given access to help out at the fire station. The department is not in a position to offer you the use of lights and sirens when they cannot justify their need.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

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    Come on guys Chicks dig it! Just kidding, I hope its just cause he wants to be a part of his department, and not "Look at me look at me I have a red light woooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!"
    I understand where Silver is coming from. Illinois now has a law stating you have to have a FD id to have a blue light, I think probies or younger memebers should be on probation witht their lights. I honestly dont think if you are in a state that allows reds and sirens that anyone under 25 should have them. Face it we were all young once and stupid ( someday youngins you will agree with this statement) so I think a policy needs to be in place stating you be good or else.
    We had a former member drive over 20 miles from another state cause he "heard" traffic on his pager ( it was skip from a department 100 miles away)so he ran, by his own admission, 100 plus to get to a dark station with no trucks out!
    Always remember how you drive goes back on the members,officers,etc etc of your deparment. Think about the Chief having an @$$ chewing session with you cause you took a corner on two wheels with your light going and ran two elderly people into the ditch going to a auto alarm.That will slow you down.

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    Default Red Light

    I imagine one of the main reasons they will not let you have red lights is to not start a cadet stampede for lights. If they let you have them than there will probably more "not fair" complaints. You need to be careful, some state laws are very limited on red light use. To be honest once you start using them you will relize they just don't help that much. I personally do not believe a cadet should have them even if they have been on for 6 months.

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    I don't know the laws in your state. In Texas, all cadets/junior firefighters must work under the child labor laws of the state. You running your vehicle as an emergency vehicle (using red lights) would place yourself in more danger than the law permits. That same law keeps the juniors from being in the danger zone on any scene. Whether it be a structure fire or working traffic control at a motor vehicle accident. Sometimes we don't like some of our laws, but we MUST abide by them. This is my take on this situation. Take care and stay safe!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Isn't the law in most states that you must be at least 18 and a certified "person" to function? Heck most insurance companies won't cover a member that is under the age of 21, certified or not.

    I hate to bring up the dreaded "W" word.....

    But it looks like our thread starter is leaning toward that edge of the fence.....
    Giggity - Giggity!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdbenji
    Ok first of all I am a 17 year old cadet in a fire department that runs about 200 calls a year. I have been on the department since July 2004. Recently the department changed its by laws so that after six months of being on the fire department a member could have an interview with the department heads to be able to get a red light permit(notice it does not specify if cadets can or cannot- I am a cadet). Before this it was stated that after you became a full member you could get a red light permit (full membership is granted to someone of 18 years of age and they have to be on the dept. for at least a year).

    Now since i have been on the department for well over the six months review i decided to tonight have my review. They told me since I was a cadet they would like to wait before i turn 18 to give me one. The reason was not that i wasnt a responsible driver or that i was bad cadet (neither by the way) it was that I am a cadet. I do not believe this is fair at all. There are members that havent been on as long as i have but can have redlights cause they are 18.

    I dont want to start a big thing here like red lights are bad you dont need them or that cadets dont need red lights- All i want to know is if you guys or gals think this situation is fair.
    I know you said you mainly wanted to talk about bylaws. Well to bad. I dont want to sound like a ***** but, If running emergency lights is your biggest concearn then you need to rethink your decision to be a firefighter. On my department you have to be on for atleast 1 year and you have to be atleast 18 to join at all. But, I will tell you this if I have a probationary firefighter ever ask about lights during there probationary period they will never receive my vote to take them off of there proby period. If they are released to firefighter they still have to get permission to have emergency lights and even then there are a lot of guys who never get permission. In my opinion if you have to ask for the lights you dont need them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Of course, if this were in my company, the "cadet" would be laughed at and then would have the reasons explained to them why the light was not going to be issued to them. If the "cadet" then went so far as to push the issue further, we'd look at that "cadet's" behavior and decide they are not in the fire company for the right reasons with the right attitude and they would be shown the exit door. Again, that's what would happen in my company.

    Thank you!!!!!

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    I dont think anyone should have lights and/or sirens in their POV's. They allow you no legal right to speed, or make people pull over. So i say dont worry about it, you dont need one anyway.

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    i dont agree with the lights on you own vehicle especialy for youg kids dont worry about the lights worry about like being the best firefighter you can be and not trying to look cool or impress somebody take this advice from a 15 year vet in the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by corynick
    I dont think anyone should have lights and/or sirens in their POV's. They allow you no legal right to speed, or make people pull over. So i say dont worry about it, you dont need one anyway.
    Whether you agree on the red lights on POV issue....some states DO give you the legal right as an emergency vehicle running lights and sirens. Texas is one of them!!! Take care and stay safe!!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    Default Lights

    Thats what its like here in Nova Scotia, I should have included that, sorry

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    I dont think anyone should have lights and/or sirens in their POV's.

    Well we all know about opinions.......

    Good thing your opinions aren't shared widely or we'd have no vehicles to use when we have to reroute traffic around a scene.

    In fact, during Ivan and Katrina (just to name two instances) my lights were the only warning that the roadway was blocked off.
    It's pretty elementary, 3 "agency" vehicles / 20 places where there needed to be roadblocks = more vehicles with lights were needed.
    But then we don't live in Perfect, Utopia 90210

    Anyway, the young man in question is not yet 18. This in itself is the problem since he (in most places) cannot even own a vehicle. And if you don't own it, how can you make the snap decision to let it become an emergency vehicle??

    Have patience grasshopper, your day will come.

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    Thumbs down

    I know that there is things,or jobs at the fire scene for juniors/cadets to do but why press the issue of getting a RED light is beyond me!! Are you even trained to pack up and make entry into a house?? Or better yet lets say you do get a red light and you get to the station (because there is no reason a junior ff should even be responding to the scene in a pov) and you're the first one at the station by yourself ,your not going to be driving the rig to the scene some places you can't drive until you're 21 so whats the rush on getting your redlight?? All I can say is redlights get young people in trouble so just hold off on the issue for a few more years and mature a little bit. And if you push it with your fd,and they do give in to you make sure you wear your superman outfit everytime you use it.BE SAFE !!!

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    I agree with bones42 completely, also look at some of these big city dept's that you have heard about that are going to green responses to most calls in there city's b/c they have done study's that show that they only get there maybe 30 secs. faster. Why risk the chance of injuring someone or causing a wreck just b/c you want to run red ( we all know that when those tones go off and the adrenaline starts pumping, where do our brains go? straight down the tubes right) I have a red light, I used to use it all the time, now i just purchased a new vehicle and haven't transferred it yet, and I could care less if I do, I don't know how it is in other states, but around here 99.9% of the people who drive around here don't even recognize a POV as a response vehicle, so what's the point in running red if you ain't gonna get to the station any quicker. I think you would want to have it just so you think you could drive fast and everyone would get out of your way so you could get to the station faster to do what maybe make the first truck out and feel important, I think you will have plenty of time for that once you turn 18 and won't have that cadet status anymore, oh one more question, have you had your basic firefighter class?

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    Im sure that this has nothing to do with you or with new members. Its probably alot about age and maturity. Dont let such a little issue bother you. Bylaws are inplace to ensure that everyone plays by the rules and comes home alive when its all over.

    Like it was said earlier right now your job is to sit back and listen and learn. Use those old guys for knowledge. Dont rock the boat. In a few years when your the veteran and some kid comes in asking about why things are the way they are you will be able to sit back and laugh at how little you really knew when you thought you knew it all.
    If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, Then baffle them with your bull****.

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    I think they are trying to be fair. Think of it this way...the vehicle insurance for your age group tells the story of how your age group views driving. It may not apply to you personally but it applies to your sex and age bracket as a whole. The Fire Department has to answer for every action you make under their umbrella. YOU may be responsible and reasonable but like the driver insurance; the ODDS themselves may be telling your superiors a different story.
    Life is not always going to be fair and this is a very MINOR detail in your job as a cadet. If you do not view it as a minor detail...hmmmmmmm....you might come up for a review later for totally different reasons. Two years is not the rest of your life, nor is it based on your ability as a Cadet/Firefighter.
    Be all that you can be.
    WITHOUT the little red light.

    PS: If you continue to point out the light issue; you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Is it really worth it? Which do you want more?

    Carry on........
    IACOJ
    If you are willing to teach;
    I am willing to learn.

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