At my dept Only the Fire Chief and the 2 Assisstant chiefs are allowed to have sirens but that is only per our SOPs i dont believe that is a state law. But i honestly think that you should at lease have lights as a curtiousy. I have a light in my truck and am looking to get more just because i am tired of having to run my hazards as well. But i have been stuck in traffic just like everyone else at a light with my lights running and have missed calls due to but sometimes i get lucky and get behind an ambulance or our counties Emergency Management Agency and because they have sirens i have been able to tail them and pass traffic. But in all honesty i do believe that all firefighters should have sirens but on the other hand i also believe that many people would abuse there rights.
For our dept (Hudson Wisconsin) we can use red or red-clear lights and siren. It is a good way to get to the station quicker, but we all have to go through EVOC or CEVO before being able to use them. It is not a right to be able to use them it is a priviledge. You must prove yourself to the chief that you are mature and responsible enough to use them.
In Ohio we are allowed to run Red/Clear light's and siren.. We are allowed to run 15 mph over the speed limit, but with do reguard to the public. We allow our members to run light's/siren, but they 1 warning if we have a complant and the 2nd time the light's and siren must be removed. We are only allowed to run Hot in our coverage area..
The Commonwealth of Kentucky spells it out in the (Ky Revised Statute) KRS 189.910 thru 189.950. The Chief has to issue the permit if one is issued. Lights AND siren are required; if lights are operating, siren shall be operating. The only exception to the lights and siren is EMS where the siren would be harmful to pt. condition.
These laws grant variances to speed limits and proceding through red lights AFTER THE INTERSECTION IS CLEARED, etc. but.....
DUE REGARD for other drivers is spelled out and was the member responding to a TRUE EMERGENCY?
In the state of Ohio a fire fighter must be a certified fire fighter and have his/her vehicle inspected & obtain a sticker from the Fire Marshal's office. You must run both lights & siren & both must be operational @ the same time to be considered an emergency vehicle. Lights & siren only request the right of way. However there is also a law now in place that says a person operating a vehicle must move to the right for all emergency vehicles. Lights & siren do not give you a license to speed. Anyone using red lights, (blue is law enforcement) must obey all rules of the highway.
Before you consider running lights & siren you might want to check with your insurance company. Although I am covered in my vehicle under the FD insurance from the time of the call until I return to my home, my personal auto insurance, which will be asked to pay first, is far to expensive. I personally do not use lights & siren on my POV for this reason.
Jrs or associate members do not have the right to use their POV as an emergency vehicle.
In Connecticut, Firefighters are allowed to use blue lights on POVs with the Chief issuing the permits which are free. Blue lights are a courtesy light affording no special privileges or rights regarding traffic laws (Title 14 Statutes). Chief Officers are allowed to run red or red/white and siren (For a fee). The use of red or red /white AND siren is required to grant the user rights of an emergeny vehicle as defined in the CT General Statutes. We allow then on vehicles of active members who have successfully completed probation. Citizen complaints will warrant, at the VERY least a counseling session or revocation of the permit.
An emergeny vehicle here may exceed the posted speed limits, operate the wrong direction on one way streets, drive through stop signs, disregard parking regulations, etc. AS LONG AS you do not violate the caveat contained 1n 14-283a which states that the aforementioned emergency vehicle may take advantage of the privileges afforded an emergency vehicle AS LONG AS you operate with due regard to ALL OTHER TRAFFIC, as well as operating so as not to endanger any other vehicle or pedestrian. The long and short of that is if the other guy doesn't yield right of way and you hit them or operate recklessly and they complain, YOU get the ticket and the lawsuit.
I have often found no striking difference in my response times between running hot or cold, especially during peak traffic times. Most motorists have a problem here with getting out of the way. The current trend is to downgrade responses to "Proceed with Traffic" unless the call is serious. We will run hot until either an officer or the first apparatus is on scene and evaluates. That first unit will then determine the response mode from that point forward. We run more calls without warning equipment than with it lately.
Of the two depts I'm on only one allows lights and siren to RED CARD FF's. That one is farther from my home than the other, and it is tons faster to run my lights and siren in a true emergency. I WILL NOT run them if there is no human life in direct danger. It is state law, that a siren must be ran when a light is running, and laws must still be respected, but the troopers around here are very good at letting the fire departments have the control and respect they deserve as long as they are not abusing their privileges.
in north carolina you can run red lights, you must stop at all traffic signals and wait for the right of way... as much as i would love to have a siren i would have to say no because too many boneheads would abuse it! i think alot of guys don't relize that lights are a privledge, but not only lights, the ability to serve your community in such a capacity is a privledge. drive safe, stay safe, god bless!
i dont know how everyone else feels but our hole dept. is vol. we dont have any full time firefighters so i would say that i think anyone could have them. now we have to wait a year before we can run lights but i think thats a good idea also. gives you time to understand the fire dept. and be able to use lights and sirens safely