According to Ashanti Iyengar Wassamattayou---
Red, as a primary color, contains tantric properties that stimulate the chakras and siphon the cerebral cortex, leading to greater visibility. However, if one wanted to respond in stealth mode, she reccomends seafoam green.
Let me know what you think, I'm here to hinder.
The most widely-accepted reason that fire engines are painted red dates back to the 1800s -- a time when there was a lot of competition between the fire brigades of neighboring cities and towns. The firefighters of each brigade took great pride in their pump. Each brigade wanted their rig stand out by being the cleanest, having the most brass, or being a regal color. Because red was the most expensive color, that's what color most crews chose to paint the pump.
Other sources cite the tradition of painting fire engines red going back to the early 1920's. Henry Ford wanted to make cars as inexpensively as possible and only offered cars in one color: black. With all of these black vehicles on the road, the fire service began painting their vehicles red in an effort to stand out.
As for colours standing out, I honestly don't think the colour of the vehicle matters a whole lot, as much as the lights. Our police are going back to blue and red lights, and away from blue and white because the white light does not register as well apparently. The blue lights they are now using are LED and amazingly brilliant. We are apparently going to see blue LED's on our trucks at some point as well, hopefully down low enough where they will be easily seen in the rear view mirror of the idiot who never seems to realize there is a fire truck behind them... you know the one, that guy who thinks everyone else is pulling over just for them??
The most common theory on why red, goes back to the 1800's when fire companies had to compete with other towns or boroughs. This competition caused fire companies to want the most elaborate showy apparatus to call attention to their particular station or brigade. It is thought that red, being the most expensive paint was chosen, again to stand out. There is also another common theory that when Henry Ford started building cars, most were black. Fire departments chose red in order to stand out. At any rate it is a tradition.
There was a study done several years ago, I believe in Dallas, TX, that supposedly proved that lime yellow or yellow/white was the most visible color especially at night, and resulted in fewer apparatus involved collisions. I do know that lime yellow is the required FAA color for apparatus at commercial airports.
Back in the day when firefighters were more "tanked up" than their apparatus we had white trucks. The running joke was; white allowed us to find our trucks easier at a fire. Some traditions are better off dead.
Our trucks are "fluorescent" red. It is an iridescent color that allows any source of artificial or natural light to bounce off of it. We know that you can see the color from great distances, but that only allows the dummies to see you LONGER before they HIT you.
Traditional red creates shadows at night, unless you have additional lighting.
Yake a look on my page for our colors its like a slime lime....they cahnged the colors back in the 70s because we have one of the main highways into the city of buffalo and at night the lights werent bright enough so they went to the slime lime.
If one were to study firefighters over time, one could prove that red fire trucks promote firefighter happiness and contentment. Case studies have shown that when the truck color is arbitrarily changed to a lime green or yellow or whatever color, firefighter discontent skyrockets. Tempers flare and gastrointestinal distress rivals epidemic proportions.
The only cure for these signs and symptoms is changing the color back to red. Symptoms will rapidly diminish although the gastrointestinal issues take some time to abate.
Have you tried Zantac?
Studies further show that the dichotomy experienced by emergency responders when the color dynamic of the turnout gear clashes with the hues of the affiliated appartatus can increase Xanthophobia to detrimental levels.
Hey; as long as you don't mix a brown belt with black shoes, I'm a happy guy.
As far as the color of fire trucks go, red is the color. The color is red.
I have a song on my page's playlist.
It's Sammy Hagar's RED from The Essential RED Collection.
It leaves no doubt.
Did you know that many apparatus builders will not order a cab that is already painted red?
Because it's not the right SHADE of red? Many departments used to go with Mack Red because it was darker, but now, folks are wanting the bright reds. The brighter the better. Problem with red is that it is the hardest color to match if there's a problem. Red that is a couple of years old is even worse.
Takes lots of clear coat to keep red from fading fast.
HOORAY....!!!!!! FINALLY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS FIRETRUCKS...!!! We tell all our color challenged neighboring departments that yes a RED truck can/and sometimes will get you to a fire....BUT it take a YELLOW one to put it out......LOL