SO THERE IS THIS BIG DEBATE AT OUR STATION ABOUT RUNNING YOUR ARROW STICK ANYTIME THE TRUCKS ARE IN MOTION. I SAY RUN THEM ANY AND ALL TIMES, OTHERS SAY NO IT IS JUST FOR SHOWING CAUTION OR WHEN MOVING SLOW OR STOPPED OR AS A HAZARD. WELL I SAY THAT FREEKIN TRUCK IS A HAZARD OTHER VEHICLES NEED TO SEE YOU WEATHER RUNNING CODE OR JUST COMING BACK FROM A CALL!!!! WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS???
It depends what type. Here they leave the small led sticks on all the time, but the older engines have large left and right arrows mounted above the hose bed, and I think they're tied into the turn signals, so they wouldn't be on unless the turn signals are. As for leaving the sticks on all the time, I think it's important to take into account the fact that even if they aren't going to an emergency, apparatus are still large vehicles that can't do everything a small sedan can, so as an advisory device, to remind drivers to give them a little extra room, I think it's a great idea.
When I worked in road construction I would forget to turn the arrow stick off when leaving a site and driving to the next one. Well my boss told me that when people see arrow sticks the vehicle is usually stopped and the arrow is diverting traffic, but if you are driving around all day with the arrow going people start to ignore it and pretty soon they wont pay attention to it at all, and that could cause an accident. So I would say leave them off until they are needed.
One of the companies that I run with has their stick flashing all the time. I don't agree with it. It is hard driving behind the rig with the stick flashing. You also have the chance that someone migth pay more attation to the stick than the turn signals or stop lights.
Dept practice is that while responding with lights and sirens arrowsticks may be used in a warning pattern (not in a pattern to direct traffic). When needed, arrowsticks will be set as appropriate to direct traffic. During non emergency driving arrowsticks are NOT to be used. If parking an apparatus presents a traffic hazard we'll do 1 or a combination of the following: Use all emergency lights(including appropriate use of arrowstick), the general hazard lights, and/or place cones around the apparatus.
Our rescue, first out pumpers, and most of the staff vehicles have arrowsticks.
Responding or at a scene the arrow stick is on, always.
The arrow sticks, depending on the piece of apparatus, will flash randomly at half the power. It's meant to be more of a warning light that the apparatus may stop/slow unexpectedly.
Ours are left up to the option of the truck officer as far as when the truck is moving (on scene we try "try" to have only the end-of-the-line trucks with lights on). Personally, when i'm riding the right hand seat, if the emergency lights are on, so is the stick, on the "warn"/"flash" setting.
We use them only to guide the flow of traffic when we are on or alongside a roadway. We do not use them any other time. I am one that believes our trucks are visible enough at other times without it since we aren't worried about being sitting ducks.