1. #1
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    Default personal vehicle also an emergency vehicle?

    if this has been discussed before then i apologize. also keep this civil. i know how these type of things can get out of hand and if it does i will ask the webteam to shut the thread down.

    the area i am in allows volunteer firefighter to have lights in their vehicles o respond to calls. however we are not allowed to use sirens. i agree with this. i use a red/white strobe in my front window. however i fell that sirens should not be allowed. however a question was raised by some of the volunteers...

    1) once we are dispatched to a call, can our personal vehicles be considered as an emergency vehicle because we are en-route to a call?
    2) if so, it was said that we should be allowed to have a siren because we are responding to a incident.

    by law is this true? we are in the mississippi area by the way.

    thanks for your input. stay safe

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    I don't know about Mississippi, but in North Carolina, in order to be considered an emergency vehicle, you must have both visual and audible warning devices activated. Even then, you are only requesting the right-of-way. Drivers are not required to yield.

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    First of you had better inform your auto insurance agent that you are running your POV as an emergency response vehicle equipped with a warning light. Some don;t like that idea one bit.

    Secondly, in Wisconsin state statutes clearly spell out if the vehicle is in motion and visible warning devices are used an audible warning device must also be used. Hence warning lights used, you better have a siren...well at least in Wisconsin.

    I personally hate red lights or blue lights or whatever in POV's.

    FyredUp

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    The part of Virginia I am from not many companies still allow personal POV flashing lights even though the state law allows it. In Virginia a POV displaying a warning light must abide by all traffic laws and in no way is considered an emergency vehicle.

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    In Colorado you must have lights and a siren. The lights must be some combination of red and white and must be visible 360 degrees. The siren must be a certain decibel level at a certain distance. If you meet these requirements and get the Chiefs blessing, you can get a sticker from the state authorizing your vehicle as an emergency vehicle. You then have all the rights of any emergency vehicle and all the responsibilities. Our department insurance covers us while using emergency equipment if responding to a call.

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    In Texas, if you are responding with lights (sirens optional to move traffic) then you are considered an emergency vehicle (that is if you are a member of an emergency service organization). This means that traffic is required (by law) to give right-of-way. The debate on whether POV's should be responding will go on forever. In some places it probably is not needed, but in others it may very well cut down on reponse time. I personally think that going 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit would be safer in your personal vehicle than in a big red fire truck.

    We must all remember that we are here to help the people in our communities. We can not do this if we are causing accidents while responding. Whether it be in the fire truck or our own personal vehicle. Let's all stay safe and live to respond another day!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    In Texas, if you are responding with lights (sirens optional to move traffic) then you are considered an emergency vehicle (that is if you are a member of an emergency service organization). This means that traffic is required (by law) to give right-of-way. The debate on whether POV's should be responding will go on forever. In some places it probably is not needed, but in others it may very well cut down on reponse time. I personally think that going 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit would be safer in your personal vehicle than in a big red fire truck.

    We must all remember that we are here to help the people in our communities. We can not do this if we are causing accidents while responding. Whether it be in the fire truck or our own personal vehicle. Let's all stay safe and live to respond another day!!
    In NY you are allowed to have 1 blue light. It is a courtesy light and has no authority at all. You must still obey all of the traffic laws (although some don't). Myself, I find the blue light of little use. So I don't use one.

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    I am paraphrasing here. But, vermont law states any vehilce displaying a red/white flashing light and or a siren, is considered an emergency vehicle.
    And you must yield and pull to the right.

    I have seen from personal experience drivers get stopped for failure to yield.
    As, a car failed to pull over for my responding vehicle. A sheriff yielded to me, but the vehicle in front of him did not.

    Anyway, with all the responders in personal vehicles in Vermont I have yet to hear of any serious incidents involving responses. Most recent was a side swipe (with minor damage) on a narrow back road.
    Last edited by WaterbryVTfire; 04-27-2007 at 08:31 AM.
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    Default Vermonts law

    1050. Operation on approach of law enforcement and emergency vehicles

    (a) Upon the approach of a law enforcement vehicle which is sounding a siren or displaying a blue or blue and white signal lamp, or both, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire apparatus, a vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter, EMS personnel, or a motor vehicle used in rescue operations as set forth in section 1252 of this title which is sounding a siren or displaying a red signal lamp, or both, all other vehicles shall pull to the right of the lane of traffic and come to a complete stop, until the law enforcement or emergency vehicle has passed. However, an enforcement officer who is present shall have full power to regulate traffic irrespective of the foregoing provisions.

    (b) The operator of a vehicle which is approaching a stationary law enforcement vehicle which is displaying a blue or blue and white signal lamp, or of a vehicle which is approaching a stationary ambulance, fire apparatus, a vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter, or a motor vehicle used in rescue operations as set forth in section 1252 of this title which is displaying a red signal lamp or a stationary towing and repair vehicle displaying an amber signal lamp shall proceed with caution, and, if traveling on a four-lane highway, and safety conditions permit, make a lane change.

    (c) This section does not relieve the operator of an authorized law enforcement or emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2001, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), 1; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), 54.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGH128 View Post
    I don't know about Mississippi, but in North Carolina, in order to be considered an emergency vehicle, you must have both visual and audible warning devices activated. Even then, you are only requesting the right-of-way. Drivers are not required to yield.
    Also in North Carolina and probably many other states there are general statutes that list what types or kinds of vehicles can have lights and particularly sirens. North Carolina basically states that firefighters and other emergency responders can have lights but sirens are reserved for chiefs; assistant chiefs; organ procurment vehicles; and fire investigators. Check with your local law enforcement or search your state general assembly statues... N.C. law basically states that to be designated an emergency vehicle under the law you have to have both audible and visual warning devices, so the person who just has the dash lights is NOT considered an emergency vehicle.
    Last edited by medic27205; 04-27-2007 at 09:24 AM.

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    I've lived in three different states and my insurance policy (USAA) has always stated that they cover use of my vehicle during emergency response when a member of a fire/ems company. They even exempt any accidents from being counted as my fault for subsequent premiums increases.

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    I forgot which regulation it was, but I can check later. NFPA something states that in order to be considered an emergency vehicle, both lights and an audible siren are required.

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    Miss requires audible warning as well. Your Chief, or someone, lied to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    First of you had better inform your auto insurance agent that you are running your POV as an emergency response vehicle equipped with a warning light. Some don;t like that idea one bit.

    Secondly, in Wisconsin state statutes clearly spell out if the vehicle is in motion and visible warning devices are used an audible warning device must also be used. Hence warning lights used, you better have a siren...well at least in Wisconsin.

    I personally hate red lights or blue lights or whatever in POV's.

    FyredUp
    Insurance shouldnt matter at all. Do they charge white people less cause there safer drivers?.(joke) All I am saying is my mother inlaw works for state farm and they cant raise rates because one chooses to be a fireman. Maybe its different in other states dont know.

    As for responding to calls, if your in motion both lighting and audible warnings must be used.

    I know our Fire officers inspect our vehicles often and send in our vehicle information and are considered emergency vehicles.
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    In Kentucky, the fire chief signs a paper stating that you are allowed to have red lights and siren on your POV and when dispatched it is an emergency vehicle. You still have to drive with "due regard"

    But if your butt hits me, we will meet in court. From my experience, the vollies around here are terrible emergency drivers. I know, training, buts thats another thread.

    They don't raise your rates because you are a firefighter, they raise your rates because you are more likely to be involved in an accident.

    My insurance won't pay if I HAD lights and siren on my vehicle and then was involved in an accident. Just like most insurances won't pay if you are delivering pizzas and have an accident. The best thing is to ask your personal insurance carrier.

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    In Arkansas the law is a emergency vehicle has to have lights and siren. I just have a mini-bar on mine, which is almost standard for volly fd personel here. A lot of times we use our vehicles instead of going all the way to station to get the rescue or pumper. At accident scenes, we do traffic control. So many will respond in there own vehicles and use the lights on the trucks in liew of using offical trucks. Thats why a lot of us have the mini-bars and some use full lights on their vehicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allison20 View Post
    In Arkansas the law is a emergency vehicle has to have lights and siren. I just have a mini-bar on mine, which is almost standard for volly fd personel here. A lot of times we use our vehicles instead of going all the way to station to get the rescue or pumper. At accident scenes, we do traffic control. So many will respond in there own vehicles and use the lights on the trucks in liew of using offical trucks. Thats why a lot of us have the mini-bars and some use full lights on their vehicles.

    This is not meant to cause any hate and discontent, nor is it meant to downgrade the procedures of one dept to another. But In my experience in the dept's I have been on, I feel the only time going to scene in POV should be allowed is when you have to pass by it to get to the fire station AND no one else is on scene, or the crew on scene need assistance.

    I have found the scene is much more chaotic, bigger chance of accidents secondary to the call, and problems arise if a fire call or such were to come in while on scene somewhere else (have to go back to the station to get a truck)...if POV's are responding to the scene instead of to the station.

    Again, this is off topic, and I am sorry, and I am not trying to change this thread nor am I attacking procedures of any dept, just a little bit of my $.02

    I also want to add that this opinion applies only to firefighter/EMS, not company officers.
    Last edited by FireDawgEMT22; 04-28-2007 at 01:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Miss requires audible warning as well. Your Chief, or someone, lied to you.
    well this is what i am looking for. its not our chief, its the county. the county supervisors and county coordinator decided it would be better for us not to have a siren, but it was ok for us to have lights.

    i spoke to my cousin who is also my insurance agent and he says he sees not problem as long as i am responding to a call and not being negligent. but is going to check into it for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue2947 View Post
    Insurance shouldnt matter at all.
    Well look please do come to Wisconsin then and tell a couple of insurance companies that then okay? Frankly all I said was to inform your insurance agent because some companies don't like it. If you don;t agree that's fine.
    Do they charge white people less cause there safer drivers?.(joke)
    This is simply not funny and really what was the point of posting it? It has absolutely nothing at all to do with this topic.
    All I am saying is my mother inlaw works for state farm and they cant raise rates because one chooses to be a fireman.
    I didn't say they could raise rates because you were a firefighter. I said IF you say you personal vehicle is now an emergency vehicle SOME insurance companies will charge you a premium difference for that. If you don't put red lights and a siren on your pov it isn't an issue.
    Maybe its different in other states dont know.

    As for responding to calls, if your in motion both lighting and audible warnings must be used.

    I know our Fire officers inspect our vehicles often and send in our vehicle information and are considered emergency vehicles.
    You need to read what people write and comprehend it. And frankly not post stupid jokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireDawgEMT22 View Post
    This is not meant to cause any hate and discontent, nor is it meant to downgrade the procedures of one dept to another. But In my experience in the dept's I have been on, I feel the only time going to scene in POV should be allowed is when you have to pass by it to get to the fire station AND no one else is on scene, or the crew on scene need assistance.

    I have found the scene is much more chaotic, bigger chance of accidents secondary to the call, and problems arise if a fire call or such were to come in while on scene somewhere else (have to go back to the station to get a truck)...if POV's are responding to the scene instead of to the station.

    Again, this is off topic, and I am sorry, and I am not trying to change this thread nor am I attacking procedures of any dept, just a little bit of my $.02

    I also want to add that this opinion applies only to firefighter/EMS, not company officers.
    My department has a medical team which is comprised of EMTs and FRs. We each carry a jump kit and respond direct to medical calls and MVAs. This greatly reduces the on-scene time for those calls where we can be of assistance without the BRT there. On other calls only officers respond direct as we're really of no use without our tool box other than to give a size-up, coordinate response, and kill the utilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clark918 View Post
    I forgot which regulation it was, but I can check later. NFPA something states that in order to be considered an emergency vehicle, both lights and an audible siren are required.
    NFPA in this case means nothing. It is individual state laws that governe the use of lights and sirens. Funny thing is in NY blue lights are only supposed to be used in the POV of a volunteer fireperson (gender neutral). It seems the police agencies don't like that, nor do they care about the law. They are putting blue lights on Police cars now, including the New York State Troopers. I can seem crazy volunteer using his blue light to pull people over, they will now start thinking that the blue measn something other than a courtesy.

    Personally, I believe it is crazy to allow any POV have emergency vehicle status. The department has no control over the mechanical worthiness of that vehicle. Last thing I want is some guy in 1972 pickup truck with bald tires racing to the scene with lights and sirens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Personally, I believe it is crazy to allow any POV have emergency vehicle status. The department has no control over the mechanical worthiness of that vehicle. Last thing I want is some guy in 1972 pickup truck with bald tires racing to the scene with lights and sirens.

    Which is why Ohio requires a vehicle inspection and a numbered permit for each vehicle to be allowe3d to use emergency lights

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    NFPA in this case means nothing. It is individual state laws that governe the use of lights and sirens. Funny thing is in NY blue lights are only supposed to be used in the POV of a volunteer fireperson (gender neutral). It seems the police agencies don't like that, nor do they care about the law. They are putting blue lights on Police cars now, including the New York State Troopers. I can seem crazy volunteer using his blue light to pull people over, they will now start thinking that the blue measn something other than a courtesy.

    Personally, I believe it is crazy to allow any POV have emergency vehicle status. The department has no control over the mechanical worthiness of that vehicle. Last thing I want is some guy in 1972 pickup truck with bald tires racing to the scene with lights and sirens.
    we are only allowed to use red, white, or amber colors. like i said i have a red/white dash strobe. if we get caught with blue we can get arrested for impersonating a police officer. that also includes placing a white light behind tent so it looks blue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
    well this is what i am looking for. its not our chief, its the county. the county supervisors and county coordinator decided it would be better for us not to have a siren, but it was ok for us to have lights.

    i spoke to my cousin who is also my insurance agent and he says he sees not problem as long as i am responding to a call and not being negligent. but is going to check into it for me
    Im a volunteer in ms as well, and from what i've gathered, from our chief and local law enforcement, is this, red/white lights only, no blue, with these lights flashing we are allowed 10 mph over speed limit, however we are only asking for right of way, and ppl are not required to yield, and we are NOT allowed to have sirens. since our pov is not owned by the city nor insured it is not considered an emergency vehicle, so sirens are not allowed, at least here

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