So I am taking my daughter to breakfast Monday morning when I see red lights in my mirror. My natural instict was to get the hell out of the way, of course. There was a guy right beside me so after he finally moved I got over and looked as a small car with a red strobes and a FF sticker zoomed passed. It was a vollie in a small pov! Then I thought hey I'm in the city's jurisdiction with no volunteer dept. anywhere close by....I had been whacked. I looked ahead and my whacker friend was tailgating somebody and zooming ahead deeper into the city and further from any vollie depts.....If only I had had a rocket launcher on me!
When I was chief, county deputies and state police would call central when they saw someone running code and verify if there was any issues in that area. If there weren't, the violator got scited and the chief notified. We had one dept. member who was on suspension for other reasons, but we allowed him to come to the hall to help with other issues, but NO CODE. He was caught running code again, so he was terminated.
I can't imagine the trouble one would be in if he/she caused an accident while running an unothorized code. As the chief at that time, I wasn't about to find out. He was released from the department, 2nd violation.
I'm sure the county, township and department would find itself as the defendant in a very nasty lawsuit.
Lights on a POV is a touchy subject with most people. I have been on both ends of the spectrum, coming from a paid-on-call department that allowed the use of lights and sirens on your POV, to a combination department that doesn't allow it at all. The way I see it is, emergency lights and sirens are tools of the trade, every firetruck has them and uses them, just like other tools we have. The way we use them is different however. If your going to let firefighters run code in their POV there should be SOP's regarding the use of lights and sirens. Also, to deter whackers from getting on the dept just for the lights, make it difficult to obtain permission to use them by making the member go though a mandatory 1 year probation, have FF1, and take an FFTC drivers training course, before allowing them to apply for the EVP. There should also be strict consequence's for violating policy, ie 1st violation - warning and revocation of EVP, 2nd violation - termination. I am in a larger city than I was before, but it's still not the huge, with a population of 10,xxx it can be busy downtown at times and being on the city department, anyone not on duty or any paid on call members must respond directly to the scene, in this case, at times I miss having the ability to run code, when responding across town to a structure fire with people possibly inside, 3 dept members on scene and I'm either stuck at a long red light, or behind poky joe doing 20 in a 45.
There is no way to fix stupid and there will always be wanna-be's. The best thing we can do is report them and move on. Our department heads shouldn't get upset at us, over a wanna-be using lights for no good reason because it's not our fault. I think it's not professional that some of the leaders can't see that whackers will use unauthorized lights, whether we are allowed them or not and that stripping them away from those that are responsible with them, and use them to better the departments service, would end up hurting those we serve.
here in my jurisdiction i'm 7mi from the station, i run both type's of er calls, ems and fire we are allowed to run lights and siren, i've ran with lights on and with lights off.
time saved 3mins traffic was lite both times, with heavy traffic i appreciate having the op to run lights and respect it.
to the whackers if you can find them, get rid of them i hate the morons who give us a bad rap
I have been reading these responses and their are many good ideas. I was a Volunteer in the State of WV. Here FF with EVP run red lights and Siren. Police run Blue lights to differenciate between the two. A FF running Blue lights is in big trouble. The 2 depts I was on did not allow Junior members to have an EVP. If they showed up with Light and siren w/o an EVP they were instructed to remove them or be terminated. An EVP applcation had to be approved by the Fire cheif and then sent to the Dept of Motor Vehicles to have a sticker issued that had to be on your vehicle, as well asa written permit that had tobe in your vehicle. The police do not like abuse of this either. Once I was stoped at a routine traffic check (looking for drunk drivers on Friday night). The officers pulled me off the road amd checked that I had a EVP (both on paper and my sticker) and that I had a Siren as well as my dash mounted Teardrop light. In WV you have to run both together. This is also a good idea if the police see a light and have no way to identify that you are allowed to have one; tha they pull you over to check. It took them 2 min. maybe. I understood since WV law says the sticker has to be attached to the rear window of the vehicle and I had a truck with a camper top; they couldn't see my sticker. As for my Dept. one required us to report to the station; if the truck left before we got there, we were to discontinue use of Code 2 and continue to the station w/o lights and siren. The other one allowed us to go to the scene. If the first units on the scene reported no injuries, false alarm or whatever we were to discontinue use of Code 2. Both departments I was on we were told we were not to exceed the speed limit by more then 5 mph and safety comes first. Even in our Dept's Emergency Vehicles the light and Siren ask People to give us the right of way in an Emergency. Unfortunately
if we just take it; plow through an intersection and a Stop light and there is an accident. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE.