Well anouther good one. On our Dept. we are not allowed to have lights and sirens. For just the reasons allready mentioned, to much of a liability and temptation to break the rules of the road. We only run our fourways, allthough there are other Depts in the area that do allow lights. I dont know the laws on sirens, but think they are not allowed. I do have a couple of sets of strobes on my motorcycle, red in back and amber in front, to make up for not haveing fourways on motorcycles. I was told by our Chief that I could have a light, allthough they do not approve. The way they look at it if you get pulled over or couse an accident while responding what good are ya doin. For now there is one person short and if an accident now other personell have to go to help you or anyone else involved, so to lights and sirens I agree with my Dept. I dont run them, I obay the law and yes just as guilty as the next, have cought myself going a little to fast and have to slow down. So in closeing stay safe and take care
I think you should be able to have lights and sirens , because when you are responding the other trafic will know your going to a call. I've gone on calls and didn't have my lights yet and almost got hit casue they pulled out in front of me , its nice to have thoses lights also when you are working wrecks on the interstate and need them for trafic control
Here in South Carolina as long as the POV meets the applicable state motor vehicle code (short version - 360 degree lighting, two lights or flashers mounted at the highest point of the vehicle and a siren/bell/whistle audible to 500 feet) it is considered an emergency vehicle just like apparatus. Per state law if the vehicle is in motion you must have the siren on when the lights are on.
I've got lights on my Jeep, and I've used them maybe 5 or 6 times this year. One reason is I'm less than 1/2 mile from the station, so it really doesn't save me time and two, it's got to be something major. The majority of the time that I do use them is when I respond to calls with the other station in our battalion. My Captain and I supervise the volunteers at both stations, so I'm typically responding in that role.
IMO if you use lights you should also use a siren. That said, not everybody deserves this privilege because of experience, training, and responsibility. That is an issue that should be addressed at the departmental level rather than with a blanket "Yes" or "No"
Im from Illinois only blues no siren. My personel opinion it comes down to department rules being enforced, proper training and personel responsibility. Were all her to save lifes. If your a all vol or poc department and have to respond to the station you should have lights and a siren. Just like gear scba saws. You should be properly trained to use the tools correctly and safely. My department only staffs the ambulance thats it so the fire response is all poc. Do i use my lights for every type of call heck no. Confirmed structure fire, mabas response, or request for extrication. I have lights 360 all hidden and not visible to the eye. I don't want them seen by the public to attract attention. If i pull on a call which happens all the time I want to be safe and people to see me stopped. People are going to get in accidents just driving with due regard everyday because we have stupid people that panic and dont pay attention to emergency vehicles. Yes alot of stuff can be prevented like i said policy,training and personel responsibilty. I think you should be considered a emergency vehicle and covered under department insurance. Some people shouldnt have the privilage just some people shouldnt be fireman, or fire cheifs. Its all about personal responsibilty and responsibility to the public. Responding codes makes a difference on time its a proven fact obviously if you just walk across the street to the station it makes no sence but like were i live heavily urban with lost of stops signs and stop lights it would make all the difference. it comes down to doing it safely. Be safe out their.
I am mixed on this subject. I am an Asst. Chief at a some what "rural" volunteer company. I have been a member of the same company for over eighteen years, even before that I was there as a child with my father who was active until I turned twelve.In the state of PA as said before in this discusion the Chief and Asst.Chiefs can run red lights and siren as well as the Captain of fire police. All other reponders are allowed to run blue lights only. Our policy is that all members running blue lights are to respond to the engine house not to the scene with the exception of fire police unless you are passing the scene and you have your gear with you. This was done to limit the amount of pov's at the scene. State law does not permit anyone under the age of eighteen to respond using a light and it also requires Jr members to report to the enginehouse, they are not permitted to drive pov to the scene.
I live in town and often would not need any type of warning devices or curtisy lights to respond to the enginehouse that is only half a mile away. Before I became Asst. Chief I ran blue lights on my vehicle and really found no effect on the time of response due to the shortness of my trip. I purchased them for the calls that I was not at home, maybe at the store or on my way home from work etc. The lights did help some but you always have the few that would not see them or not be willing to let you by. I now have red lights and siren but nine times out of ten I do not use the siren in town out of respect for the residents. There is no use for the siren on Main St of a small town with no traffic at eleven o-clock at night so why piss off the neighbors. eventhough the the law states when running red lights you must also use an audible warning device. It is all about using them when needed and not abusing the privledge. The local police in the area would rather let me go with out using the siren then deal with all the complaints if I did use my siren as the law states.
As far as lights and sirens for all firefighters I am just a little uncertain about the confusion it would cause if ten to twenty vehicles were wailing their siren on their way to the engine house at the same time. I believe it would give the public another thing to complain about and at the same time they would more than likley begin to ignore sirens even the ones on our rigs. I just feel the negatives outweigh the posetives greatly on this. From a saftey stand point (the confusion) to the publics perception of how we do the things we do.
I think that volunteers should at least be aloud to run lights but if you really want to know what I think I think all FF should be aloud to run lights and sirens. Can some one please explain to me what a chief is going to do when he pulls up in his POV or Chiefs vehicle on any type of a call what is he going to do put out a fully involved house fire with an extinguisher or cut the guys door off from his totaled car with scissors. Us FF are just as important to get to the scene, with out man power ur not going to be able to improve anything. On top of that being said a FF can respond from his house in his POV go to the fire house and that same guy jump on a engine and run that with lights and siren. If some one is going to abuse the privilege or use the privilege in a dangerous way what is going to stop him from doing so in a engine or any other fire truck. So i think all FF should be able to use lights and sirens but I do think that they need to complete driver training on how to respond safely and if they do abuse there privilege it can be revoked.
FF Bruce Ross
Indian Falls Fire Dept.
Pembroke Fire Dist.
Well here in Texas volunteers can run blue and red as a combination or solid red and they have to have a siren...most dept. prefer you run a blue red combo and a volunteer running lights is considered an emergency vehicle and they have the same rights as any other emergency vehicle. Now I am not a volunteer here any more but I do see the need for them to have them. I mean their response time is already delayed since they are not at the station so why delay it any more than you have to. I don't know why only the chief and assistant chief would be able to run them anyway...what about battalion chiefs? i mean there is only 1 assistant and 1 chief for a dept. in the next county over 19 stations that would be pointless plus their dept. provides them and the batt. chiefs FD vehicles.