I'm glad there are at least a couple people in here who have their glasses clear.
There's another thing I would like to ad, if you don't mind my intrusion. What the heck is with someone doing "43" when others are doing "40". Do you whackers actually believe you are saving valuable time by going 3mph faster than normal traffic. In a generous distance you might save..what...25 seconds? Come on...really. Use your GD heads. Jack's last reply says it best. Get a grip. Those fellow FF's/VFF's in the LODD reports likely thought the same way. Yes, that's just an assumption, but a likely one in my opinion.
If you're legitimately going "43" when others are doing "40", drop your 3mph in the bucket of safety. Not because you think your driving is perfect and nothing can happen to you...do it for those who are staring wide eyed into their rear view mirror and losing focus on what's ahead of them. For the sake of 25 seconds, or a minute at best....relax and breathe and actually think about what you are responding to....go over action plans in a more relaxed state, get there without anyone calling and reporting you to your chief.
That's my rant. Take it for what it is.
Drive safe. And wear your damned seatbelt too.
I have lights on my car, yes it's a used CVPI, but it looks like a grandpa car, but they are subdued. You can't tell they're there until activated. I have them because we have a revolving door on deputies and troopers around here so not all of them know my car, and I am allowed to go POV to EMS and MVA's because I'm the only paramedic in the department. Trust me, DUE REGARD is in my mind every time I use them. I've had too many close calls in ambulances. Fortunately our area is either farm to market roads or back roads, no major intersections.
I don't think everyone should be allowed to run emergency equipment. Officers and select personnel only. Our current chief, when he was still a firefighter, passed the fire marshall on the way to a structure fire and went out of sight. Marshall talks to Assistant Chief on scene, firefighter gets butt chewing. Now he has nothing on his truck.
Very nice lights.
I think you missed Eric's point of if a responder who is following the law is pulled over because a cop feels the need to check out a POV running a legal set of lights... that is a cop that does not know his zone and (using a volunteer district as an example) if a responder gets stopped and its later determined that a person died because of the delay, how is that justified?
In NY state there is a group of EMS volunteers who are legally allowed to run red lights and sirens on their POV's. they are being stopped by the police for reasons that are not clear
despite my other posts, i agree that some go too far but they are serving their community
How can you possibly prove that the police stopping ONE responder was responsible for someone's death?
I would guess that if the cops are stopping responders running red lights that one or more of them did something to draw citizen complaints.
All that being said, I have a legitimate question: If having lights on POV's is so dangerously confusing to the average Joe driver.. why do we put them on our big red trucks? And how is it a volly with lights on his POV is dangerous driving to the station, but once he dons his magic bunker gear, he's fine to hop in a (much larger, much heavier) engine and drive to the scene? I understand that there are some that go overboard - both with the lights and the driving (I think we just had one apply to our department...), but that's a pretty broad brush to paint all volunteers with.
I must have missed this earlier.
Driving a rig is much different than a POV. Volunteers SHOULD be held to the same professional driving standards as career firefighters and have appropriate training on the rigs in their station. When confronted with 2 or 3 POV's all converging from different directions with multiple strobes and flashes and patterns, yet no sirens, people see these lights last minute and panic. They may see your lights in their rearview mirror and yank their steering wheel to pull over and end up going off road...or worse. With an engine or ladder or ambulance you have sirens to warn them a little sooner, and they can be seen farther away than a normal POV with umpteen flashy things on it that blends in more than a big red (or green, yellow) fire truck will. If you have drivers in your station that drive recklessly without due regard, PULL THEM OFF THE DRIVERS LIST until they mature more and learn to drive defensively to all calls. As captain I monitor the driving ability of all drivers and make sure they do not disregard driving rules, and always drive with due regard. I tell them all; "If you are in an accident, it will always be your fault as the firefighter who is supposed to drive with due regard for all other drivers while responding to an emergency, and you will loose in court."
I find that blue and red lights in my area send people into panic mode, I have seen people loose control of their cars trying to pull over and allow the blue light to pass, I have seen people slam on their brakes in an intersection when they see the blue light last second to allow them through and almost get rear-ended and cause multiple car pile-ups...
EVOC training, in-house training with an officer or experienced engineer/driver/operator, and repitition of defensive driving training skills is a must for all drivers, especially those of us vollies who do not have large call volumes and may only drive their aparratus once a month at drill. Thats why you see all the accidents in volly departments with tankers...they carry thousands of gallons of water, and that water (If not properly baffled in the tank) will roll around and slosh around and make it hard to steer the rig, possibly making you loose control of it if you are going too fast. We need to stop and think more, take our time and get there alive, calm down before getting behind the wheel of the engine and not drive amped up on adrenaline.
The most important tool to every firefighter is your brain...we need to practice using that tool more than any other.
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