Yah... there are, unfortunately, people who volunteer for the wrong reasons.
We have all seen them... if you haven't just search YouTube for POV response videos.
Those cows in the farm fields REALLY need to hear you blasting that siren for a 10-15 min video. And the world is SO much better now that you have showed off to the entire internet that you have a siren in your car/truck.
Unfortunately, a lot of good people get painted with that same brush.
I have not heard of too many sanctions being handed out for the bad apples. Our department reciently updated their SOP to give them the administrative "tools" to deal with people like that... after we got one... he's gone now but it is good that we have it on the books in case we need it in the future.
I'm in Ontario, Canada and we have green (sometimes green/clear) lights for volly FF (and reciently, specific EMS first responders).
NO siren, electronic airhorn... nothin.
It is a courtesy light. (see the TV ad on my profile page about it)
In the rural areas, it works well. The only people that don't pull over around MY "neck of the woods" are summer cottagers up from the city who 1) don't know what the green light is for, cause it is RARE in the city, and 2) they are overly consumed with their ipods, mobile DVD players, and trying to figure out why they can't get cell signal while they are "getting back to nature" LOL
Public education is key (but we know that already).
Traffic laws are made for a reason. You are no good to anyone if you crash on your way to a call.
One question Tim, you say YOUR RED light is "courtesy only".
I understand that in legislation, nobody is REQUIRED to pull over for you in your POV but... RED?
What driver (in North America anyway) hasn't been taught that you pull over for a vehicle with a red light? Seems kinda sneaky...
That does bring up another point though...
If we treated our RED (or whatever colour it's LAW to pull over for) as a courtesy light (in OUR mindset as the emergency responder)... we might have fewer collisions overall....
I know of several emergency responders running code (in Fire trucks, Ambulances, Police cars) that have been CHARGED for collisions because the law here says "...when safe to do so...." If the other guys doesn't stop for you when you are going through a red light... it's not safe to do so.
Whatever you do, whatever colour your light, do it safely.
Chief, let's just hope they pay more attention to the job, than they do to the date of the thread! You're right, this is getting has got way way too old to keep it! It takes away from the more serious ones, that get bumped to the back.. um, kinda like I just did by responding to this pathetic question! lol
put this to bed already the ones who can drive code-3 we know who we are and the ones that cant we know who they are if you respond long enough with someone you know how they operate and know when to get out of the way when u see them comming
Maybe it's because I'm not a volly, but I just don't get it. If you have to follow the traffic laws, then why would you waste money on it? To look cool? Also if you're a volly you probably don't have that much traffic. Does it really save you any time? Probably not. It makes sense in larger cities because we NEED it. Our engines will be responding to a fire and literally have to sit still in traffic because there's no way around. Without lights and sirens a 10 minute drive can turn into a 45 minute drive very easily since the traffic can become gridlocked even in the middle of the afternoon.
I have red/clear lights in my front windshield and red/red in my back winshield. I verry rarely use them. For the reason I get tired of threats by law enforcement (mainly Florida Highway Patrol), even when I'm driving in safe manner. So now, I just use them to mark my vehicle at a scene. If I see a fellow firefighter running code 3 in thier POV, I'll pull over for them. After they pass, I'll procede to the call like I'm going to church. I'm tired of the light issue from both sides. If someone dies because I did'nt get there soon enough, oh well, talk to you friendly trooper of the Florida Highway Patrol. :-)
I think it depends on the community: If volunteers man a station 24x7, it would not be necessary. But as a rule, I'd say yes. I've been a volunteer firefighter since 1987 in Ohio where volunteers are allowed to run red lights and sirens on their POV's. I was transferred by my employer to Pennsylvania for 7 months about 11 years ago where I joined a volunteer fire dept. I was a member there for 3 months. In Pennsylvania, only chiefs and asst. chiefs are allowed to run red lights and sirens. Volunteers run blue lights but no sirens. In Ohio, state law classifies a volunteer's POV responding to the station or scene as a valid emergency vehicle as long as it has a valid state inspection sticker for that calendar year, as well as a yellow and red State of Ohio Maltese cross volunteer fire/rescue sticker. Due caution, however is the main thing, since the traffic laws allowed for fire trucks apply to volunteer firefighters responding to an emergency. In Pennsylvania (as well as many other states), however, the blue light is only used as a warning device, and volunteers must obey ALL traffic laws...regardless if occupants are trapped in a home, and it is burning down. Obviously, I have a big problem with that. While living there, that same thing happened: Two little boys died in a fire. I cannot say if, a lengthy response time-caused by volunteers having to wait at red traffic signals and roadway traffic-caused the tragedy, but I'll always wonder. Two million dollars worth of apparatus in a fire station is worthless if volunteer firefighters are impeded from getting it out the door to an emergency.
Here in Tennessee, we can run red and clear lights, but they must be able to be scene a full 360 degrees. In addition, BOTH must be operational at the same time. You can't run just your lights.
Also, we have the "Vanessa K Free" Act which makes it mandatory that ALL emergency vehicles come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. We have to be trained on the Vanessa K act each year and it is mandatory or you will loose your right to run emergency traffic.
Vanessa K Free was a teenager killed in Chattanooga when a police officer running only his lights, ran a red light and T-boned the car Vanessa was riding in. She was killed and others in the car were seriously injured. Although the state law allows volunteer firefighters and medical service personnel to run lights and sirens, the local Sheriff of the county can forbid it.
I agree with those who think each case should be considered on its own merits. We've had many who drive responsibly and a small few (2) over the last decade who were kicked off the department for driving irresponsibly. Each case should be decided by the Chief. POV lights and siren are legal in Texas as long as the vehicle is operated in a safe manner ("does not present increased risk to other motorists").