What do you think, should volunteer firefighters be allowed to have and use lights and sirens in their POV ? Should only the Chief an ASST. Chief be allowed to have them ?

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I have experience running Code 3 in Fl. and you interpreted what I was saying in the wrong way.... The more visible you are the better such as when on a accident seine you have to where the reflective vest, why would you not want to be visible in you vehicle as well?, As far as the 5 over.... honestly now.... can you say you do not drive faster then you are suppose to whether you are responding or not at some point or another?, For the getting there fast.... Yes you have to be safe that is common sense but you can drive faster and be safe at the same time, if not you do not need to be driving, When I said they would know you where coming and coming fast it was meant as, You would be visible as to warn others (hence the name- warning lights) and it lets them know that you are there and in a hurry, If we are not intended to get to a seine fast then there would be no need to have lights and sirens on the trucks.... The whole point is it is an emergency not a Sunday drive if not they would not have called 911 and toned us out. That is what I am saying....
Sorry....it still sounds as though you are just an advocate for fast driving. As a former LEO I'm not at all surprised. Regardless of whether or not I drive over the speed limit, doing so while responding is taking unnecessary risks since one's attention is split between driving and radio traffic and adrenaline has the ability to play funny tricks on people.

You can re-interpret however you wish but your comment about "coming and coming fast" implies just that and without any indication of reasonableness. Driving faster and being safe at the same time are nearly mutually exclusive. The slower one drives (under any condition) the safer they tend to be. Increasing speed increases the risks.

As for Sunday drives, lights and siren get people to move out of the way and allow you, after a proper approach, to proceed through intersections and to arrive on scene safely. This can be done pretty much at posted speed limits with the advantage of all traffic moving out of your way. Do the math and tell me how much quicker you'll get on scene doing 40mph or 45mph for a 1 mile run.
Yes Jack accidents happen and I am not saying it can not happen to me. But 2008 statistics have nothing to do with each individual person. If it did I would not be here, also when you take the job you know there are risks involved, yes it sucks that firefighters die but if you do not want to take the chance then do not CHOOSE to join the dept. Every time you get in a car you take the chance of getting in an accident, yet do you stop driving?

Car accident statistics indicate that at least four people involved in car accidents die every hour. These accidents could be due to the fault of the driver, the other driver, or due to a faulty vehicle. The important thing to consider is the number of deaths occurring every day, excluding the people involved in car accidents and sustaining severe personal injuries.

The main causes for car accidents are reckless and negligent driving and alcohol. Teenagers, according to the statistics, cause most car accidents Inexperience coupled with irresponsible behavior and a lack of respect for the safety precautions are the main causes for such a high number of teenage car accidents.

Another reason is the inattentiveness of the driver. Many people talk while driving, which might prove to be fatal because it distracts the driver from the road. Even though hands free mobile phones are the latest craze, the driver would be unable to concentrate on the road while on the phone. The best option would be to park and then take the call, or not take the call at all while driving. These rules have already been implemented in a number of states.

Inattentiveness can also be caused due to alcohol, drugs, or the driver being distracted by music in the car. This might prove to be perilous to other drivers on the road and might result in either distracting them with reckless driving or causing side or rear end collisions due to inattentiveness. Such negligence can even cause pileups in highways and must be avoided at all costs. Car accidents can be very traumatic, sometimes affecting the person for the rest of their life. Other than the physical injuries that may result due to the accident, mental pressure might also result. A few precautions can eliminate the prospect of accidents on the roads and provide a safety net. It is advised to follow the safety road rules and not drive while on the phone or while on drugs or alcohol. Over 25% of all drivers were involved in an auto accident in a five-year period. The mission of the Emergency Medical Systems Program is to promote and support a system that provides prompt, efficient and appropriate emergency medical care, ambulance transportation and trauma care to the people of Nevada. Also P.O.V.s are not the main cause.... Here are some statistics for you-

2004 National emergency vehicles in ...

Ambulance Fire truck Police cruisers

... Fatal crashes 31 21 106

... Injury crashes 563 706 7,344

... All crashes 4,301 2,637 26,639
Emergency vehicle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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An emergency vehicle is any vehicle that is designated and authorized to respond to an emergency. These vehicles are usually operated by designated agencies, often part of the government, but also run by charities, non-governmental organizations and some commercial companies. Often emergency vehicles are permitted by law to break conventional road rules in order to reach their destinations in the fastest possible time, such as (but not limited to) driving through an intersection when the traffic light is red, or exceeding the speed limit.

• EMERGENCY
A sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action
Dave,
Firefighters dying in the line of duty are indeed part of the risk, but reducing those risks are what the NFPA (among others) are about. Driving POV's recklessly (speeding to the scene or station) are a leading -and avoidable- cause of death in the fire service.

I'm gobsmacked that you are so steadfastly convinced that speeding is both acceptable and necessary. Honestly you wouldn't last long in my department and certainly not on my rig.

But let's be clear about this, warning devices are intended to warn other motorists of oncoming emergency vehicles thereby allowing the emergency vehicle to proceed without the usual delays of traffic, stop signs and red lights. They have no effect whatsoever on how safely that rig is operated. That is up to the driver. Furthermore, rigs are going at the same rate as POV's. On local roads where the speed limit is 45 that is most often the fastest a rig (engine, tanker, ladder, heavy rescue) can travel at. POV's (especially those driven by (most often) young volunteer firefighters) can and do easily exceed that limit by 15mph or more. That simply is not safe, regardless of the need or the ability of the driver.

If I'm reading correctly the stats you included then clearly police cruisers are significantly more involved in crashes. Is it because they are parked in traffic at incidents or is it a result of their traveling at high(er) rates of speed to an incident? Without more context those numbers don't really say much. On the other hand, 21% of ALL LODD for 2008 were responding to or returning from a call. That still is significant, and avoidable. At least for those who think it's worth avoiding.
Dave I say police officer drive like a bat out of hell. I vote police officers take drivers test at lease once a month LOL
Thank you. After all these years I now know more clearly what it was that i was doing and responding to.

FYI in Connecticut the definition of an emergency vehicle is more narrowly defined and while a huge fan of wikipedia, for circumstances that might get me arrested I will choose to follow my state guidelines.

Also, I notice that Wiki's definition does not include any mention of reasonableness or due caution. Really it's just a general definition appropriate for a 6th grade civics class. Moreover, while we may indeed be able to proceed through a red light, only after having come to a complete stop and gained the right of way.

For what it's worth, I'd suggest printing out the Wiki definition and taping it to the back of your driver's license. It may help should you get pulled over or charged with some motor vehicle violation.
In Texas if you are moving with lights you must also use an audible warning device.
I feel like it should be a chief's decision to allow responsible individuals to use lights and siren on a case by case basis. We've had members who are not safe drivers, therefore they were not allowed to continue using the devices. Too many responders get killed or hurt in their POV's.
Here in Nova Scotia. The only members that are allowed to go Code (Lights and Siren) is the Chief & Deputy Chiefs.
good idea. But what about their day jobs? I don't know too many people, that aren't retired, that don't have to work and be able to stay at the station. I mean no disrespect, but I would be a little uneasy seeing a crew of 4 or 5, 65+yr olds jumping out of a rig to put my house out.
Lol again I agree with Ralph. If the only reason you're in the fire department is to run lights and sirens on your car, then you need to reevaluate why you are even a firefighter in the first place.
Not true. . .Sec 547.702 para. (a) of the TX Transportation Code states "An authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:

(1) of a type approved by the department; and

(2) that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 500 feet."

The other sections of TX code that apply are:
502.202 GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLES…
541.201 AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLES (A.E.V.)

545.156 VEHICLE APPROACHED BY A.E.V.
545.157 PASSING A.E.V.
545.365 SPEED LIMIT EXCEPTIONS
545.407 FOLLWING/OBSTRUCTING FIRE APPARATUS…
545.408 CROSSING FIRE HOSE

546.001 PERMISSIBLE CONDUCT
546.002 WHEN CONDUCT PERMISSIBLE
546.003 AUDIBLE OR VISUAL SIGNALS REQUIRED
546.004 EXCEPTIONS TO SIGNAL REQUIREMENT
546.005 DUTY OF CARE

547.305 RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF LIGHTS
547.501 AUDIBLE WARNING DEVICES
547.702 ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS…

and can be found here:
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/

But, I do agree that is should be up to each dept to establish an SOP regarding volunteers and lights.

TCSS
Shawn

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