There is no maximum limit in New York, it is left to the operator's discretion based on "conditions". These include time of day, weather, terrain, type of road, traffic, and so on. A lot of SOPS recommend no more than 10 mph over the limit.
In reality, if you are going 10 over the limit, you are saving seconds at the expense of additional risk because of braking distance. The increased speed also hypes up the crew that much more. Is it worth it?
In both Texas and New Mexico where I work, you have the "due regard law" and are able to drive 10mph over the speed limit. Again taking into consideration due regard and stopping at all stop lights and slowing down in the school zones.
Here it is for Arkansas........"The prima facie speed limitations set forth in this subchapter shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles when responding to emergency calls when the driver thereof is operating the vehicle's emergency lights and is also operating an audible signal by bell, siren, or exhaust whistle if other vehicles are present.
This section shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street, nor shall it protect the driver of any emergency vehicle from the consequence of a reckless disregard of the safety of others
For purposes of this section, “emergency calls” means legitimate emergency situations which call for the operation of an emergency vehicle, including a police vehicle.
You know, to be honest I don't really know anymore... If you look at the laws, they may state that you need to be going the speed limit but that people have to get out of your way, pull over to the right, etc. This going Code 3 thing is scary. The difference between Code 2 and Code 3 in some cases, dependent upon socio-economics, population density, urban vs. rural, etc. may not make any actual response time difference or if it does, one has to ask themselves was it worth the additional risk to get on scene one or two minutes faster? Excessive speed by a fire truck cannot be tolerated because it is so much weight to try and stop. Out here in California we have an expression, "don't rush to the brush". It's not going to make that much difference if you get on scene a couple of minutes quicker because when you do race to the call, you may not get there and you may hurt or kill your firefighters in the process. And what happens if on top of going fast, you have a mechanical failure. The results have proven to be disastrous and fatal for firefighters.
I've said this before, and I'll share it again, "a picture says a thousand words..."
Think Safety! Mike from Santa Barbara
Note: Pictured above is a CDF Type III Fire Engine that experienced a mechanical failure. They were going below the speed limit, and YES, everyone was wearing seatbelts. I have no further information on this incident but as you can see, accidents to happen.
Mike Schlags, Fire Captain
Santa Barbara County Fire Department
According to TCA 55-8-08 in Tennessee an emergency vehicle can drive any speed as long at the driver uses due regard for saftey. Our Dept Sog's Emergency vehicles useing lights and sirens can travel 10 MPH over the posted sped limit. POV's must obey all traffic laws.