should the color of fire apparatus be red or lime green? or does it matter? why or why not?

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neither... everyone knows that white fire trucks are the best!



Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Type I KME Fire Engine (white with blue reflective stripe)
well, you'll get both sides on this one thats for sure, but all of our trucks are lime green and we like them a lot, I was told that thetres been studies that prove a lime green truck is more visible than a red truck, not sure if its true:)
RED RED RED. This is partially due to tradition. In the late 70s, early 80s there was a huge push to go lime green. After this switch, they found that the there was actually an increase in accidents involving apparatus. The public just didn't recognize lime green as an emergency vehicle. This may be just ban urban legend though. But nobody around here has purchased that color in over 25 years.
Ok, so now the truth about why we have white fire trucks and the color blue...

Where I work, years ago, someone responsible for counting beans figured out that they could save the county a few bucks if everything they bought was white. This philosophy resulted in the departments entire fleet, still to this day, being all white with the added blue stripes. There is still a number of us who want red fire trucks...

For our needs, having a vehicle that is contrasting compared to the darker color of brush is a good thing. The cops figured out years ago that out of all the possible colors, the color blue can be seen the furthest distance away. I think it's a shame that the fire service cannot take advantage of this definite visual advantage. The way the rods and cones in your eyes work, makes the color blue standout and actually be amplified when the color is seen. Now put the blue light into a bright flashing strobe and you get increased visibility compared to any other color.

Science: "Blue" Cone Distinctions

The "blue" cones are identified by the peak of their light response curve at about 445 nm. They are unique among the cones in that they constitute only about 2% of the total number and are found outside the fovea centralis where the green and red cones are concentrated. Although they are much more light sensitive than the green and red cones, it is not enough to overcome their disadvantage in numbers. However, the blue sensitivity of our final visual perception is comparable to that of red and green, suggesting that there is a somewhat selective "blue amplifier" somewhere in the visual processing in the brain.

The blue stripe is retro-reflective so when light is shined onto the surface, it reflects the light back making it more visible. Now that you know the secret about the color blue, maybe you might consider putting a blue stripe on that red engine?
I favor 2 types red and black two tone with white stripe (chicago style) and white but from what I have been told the reason behind Lime Green series was cause of night time calls people were declaring that blood red and dark red trucks were harder to see coming down the road..I can only say to these people ..."DUHHHH".. how can you notice color over leds flashing and a federal screaming , well apparently someone agreed with me on that one cause it was no longer a "standard" as much as an option, Now if your returning from a call obviously there are no sirens or leds flashing here is where the powers to be made a booboo again years back it was said that rear runner lights (once used for guys riding on back) as warning to be careful of the men on back when that was stopped so were the ligts after a call.in some depts. my feeling we are an emergency vehicle meaning even if returning something should be on signifiing our presence in the event a sudden second call comes in and we have to light em up, sorry to float off topic a bit but it is in part. Long story short red combos and white lol
RED...period. OK, now I have that covered, today it seems with all the NFPA "stuff" they require like lights, stripes, ugly-ass chevrons etc, you could almost paint the darn thing any color you want. I'm a traditional guy, so red is the vote here. Being an "old guy", I remember those studies in the past got us all started in the lime yellow, bright yellow, baby poop green direction. Several departments have done their evaluations and found they could go back to red. I think if we did some research, we could likely get more answers.
We have a green and a red pumper I would like us to get firehose in the same colors to match each truck I feel that could help on large fires when we have multiple hose lays.
Our trucks are red.It just looks right.We have one eqt. truck that is white and one brush truck that is brown though.Oh ya, We have one red and two white/grey boats also.Be safe ya'll.
One of the great debates of the past few decades. What color is safest for the Fire Service? "Slime Lime", Yellow, White, Red...........the world my never know! My favorite paint schemes are Chrome Yellow and White (Owings Mills FD, MD for example) or Maroon (Sringfield FD (Company 44), Del Co, PA). Traditionalist will say RED, and nothing but RED....ever!!! It all depends on what your FD likes. I've seen just about every color in the rainbow in my 30+ yrs. With the addition of relective striping, zone lighting, and rear chevrons, I don't think color is a factor anymore.
I prefer red as it is the color of tradition for the fire service. That being said all of our equipment at our station is white with red and blue stripes. The county is even more diverse with colors as we have various stations with red units and others with dark green units. While I enjoy tradition in the end I really don't care what color it is as long as it works.

Thats Right!
RED

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