Hey all,

I recently bought a Blue/White STL Dual Pro and put it in my car. Last week I heard something about white isn't to be used in the front, thinking it was only red not allowed in the front for a volunteer POV. I was wondering what the new set of laws were because apparently everyone keeps being told different things.

Do we have a 360 degree visibility law? What colors may be used up front? I've looked online but I haven't found any specifics. I have heard something about a 360 degree law but most guys on my dept have an interior bar, dash laser or something of the sort. Everywhere else I go, I rarely see any volunteer with a mini-bar or any type of bar on top, tons of interior bars.

Trying to gather more information for myself and other members.

Sorry for yet another POV post, but in all that I've read I have found contradicting answers.

Help is greatly appreciated.

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The best answer you will get is right from the people who make up the laws regarding POV response to emergencies. Your Chief should also be able to provide that information to you.

From what I have found through a basic search, it seems that the state of Indiana allows a blue light. And they are a courtesy light, not an emergency light, meaning they don't HAVE to move over for you, and that you are to fallow all road rules.

Just google Indiana legislature lighting on personally owned vehicles....should get you started. Maybe someone here has what you are looking for. However, again, your Chief should have that information.

Would also like to ad that instead of thinking about lighting, with your 3 months in, I would concern myself more with firefighting procedures, safety and equipment. Just my 2 cents.

I was just curious as to lighting and was wanting info for a couple other guys. One of the guys is a former chief and even he says they keep changing things around and at this point he has no idea what's up to date and what's not.

As for training I am always looking for the chance to get into classes or with another member of the dept to go over specifics. Currently I'm waiting on FF101 and 102 as well as EMT-B.

Thanks for the reply :)

Don't take this the wrong way, but someone with three months and no firefighting experience shouldn't be running lights any at all. Wait untill you get all your classes out of the way and your able to fight fire. Don't turn into one of those guys who joins the fire service just to turn their vehicle into a mobile christmas tree. 

But on another note, good to see people getting into the fire service and the best of luck to you! 

Stay safe

Suppose you think someone with three months and no experience should just stay at home on the couch until they get that experience?  Oh....wait.... that doesn't work, does it?

Suppose my captain was in the wrong when at my SECOND weekly training meeting, he handed me not one, but TWO blue light permits, one for each of my vehicles?

I don't have a whole lot more time in than the OP - going on 8 months now myself.  And I jump at Every. Single. training opportunity I get.  I spend time at night reading FFN, or going down to the station and practicing putting my airpack on, or just going through the trucks, getting to know where gear is better.  But I also have a job, and it's nothing for me to spend 10-15 minutes at break or lunch reading legislation to see what the law says for me. 

And I doubt very much the OP is sitting down at the station with the Galls catalog in hand, drool running down his chin, trying to figure out how to slap another set of hide-a-way flashers on his truck.  He sounds like me, will take every opportunity to learn something, whether it's from a class or a fellow FF.

Any department that immediately issues permits for POV warning lights to a person with no training and no experience might just as well make them available to the general public because they can do as much on the fire ground as the FNG.

Look at the stats for who consistently gets injured or killed while responding in POVs (almost always with lights) and you'll find that it is almost exclusively young(er) and newer members.  Uh.......adrenaline, driver's inexperience, need to have to be there; sad that members and sometimes civilians get injured or killed as a result of blue/red/white lights coming at them like a bat out of hell.

In our department, it is made clear that we are still supposed to obey all traffic laws, even when running lights in our POV's - and we respond directly to the station, not the fire.  In my case, it happens that the route I take to the station has a FF literally every two blocks for the first half - by the time we get close to the station, there is usually 6 vehicles in a caravan.  Route also takes me directly past the police chief's house... tend to keep things on the up-and-up there.

But I'm curious.  At what *exact* point would you say a new member has sufficient training/experience to be issued a permit? In my case, I came into the department with two years of grassland fire (controlled burn) experience.  Within the first month, in our practices, I had been through vehicle extrication, hose/nozzle training, trained in our (almost never used) aerial bucket, etc.  Granted, I can't follow you in the front door of a blazing house, but I'll be right on your 6 going into a grassland fire.  And does the general public know where the ventilation fans are on your truck?  How about the haligan bars, or a 9/16" wrench?  There's a lot a rookie can do on a fireground that doesn't involve grabbing the nozzle - and if they're there to do it, you guys that DO have the experience don't have to.

In my department I'm on the Engine.  I get off with whatever tools I'm going to need if I'm not on the nozzle.  While usually on some part of the hose I may occasionally be assigned to do truck work and I'll take what I need for those duties.

For alarms and inspections I carry a few useful tools in my pocket.  Seldom do we have to ask for someone to bring something in, unless it's another hose or an overhaul crew.

Being experienced in grassland fires is great, especially if the lawn catches fire.  But otherwise those skills don't transfer over to structural firefighting.

It takes more than a month to be competent in vehicle extrications, moreover it is (at least here) considered a 'hot' zone so unless your SCBA qualified you don't get to go near it until it is deemed under control and safe by the IC.

The comment about the general public was a snide one but nevertheless a person with no practical experience or training is not needed nor should be on the fire ground, other than to observe.  (and maybe repack the engine.)  Being a member of a VFD with no training, experience or qualifications only allows (or should only allow) you to be on the fire ground side of the yellow tape

I think a 'fair' assumption is that every department makes it clear that a red/blue/white light permit still requires the permitee to observe ALL traffic laws.  Unfortunately the USFA stats on injuries and LODDs would suggest that is not always closely followed by all departments all of the time.  Otherwise we wouldn't read of members getting injured or killed in POV accidents.

Youth, inexperience and adrenaline is a very bad mixture to put behind the wheel of any vehicle.  But that's just my opinion.

At what *exact* point would you say a new member has sufficient training/experience to be issued a permit?


There really is no *exact* point because everyone is different. However, all the garblygook you listed doesn't mean squat without one more important cert....EVOC. Emergency Vehicle Operator Cert. Essentially putting likes on a POV thus makes that vehicle an emergency vehicle. Get some time driving and driving WITH someone qualified for practice before worrying about running lights. It also helps to have several years experience driving vehicles in all weather conditions.


Being experienced in grassland fires is great, especially if the lawn catches fire.  But otherwise those skills don't transfer over to structural firefighting.   And another snide comment.  But I forgot, it's coming from someone who thinks the average VFF isn't capable of keeping the drool off their boots.

And there is a HUGE distinction to be made.  In the time I've been on, we have responded to a total of TWO structure fires, and over a dozen grass/cornfield fires.  (It's been dry here, and the CRP/native grasslands are HUGE tinder boxes.)  In my district, there is maybe 3,000 residents, but nearly 150 square miles of crop ground, native prairie, and thousands of acres of CRP land.  Grassland fire knowledge is, contrary to your ill-informed opinion, very useful in those settings.

At any rate, this has gotten way off topic.  I'm done with this tangent. 


Before you take your ball and go home (which is what it appears you are suggesting), re-read what you wrote.  There seems to be a strong suggestion that you felt your grassland experience, along with "... in our practices, I had been through vehicle extrication, hose/nozzle training, trained in our (almost never used) aerial bucket, etc.) that you were equating your grassland experience to structural firefighting. And that was to what I was responding.

However it still stands that POV lights combined with youth, inexperience and adrenaline can have catastrophic affects.

You should re-read all of your comments.  You right off the bat take an offensive (in both meanings) attack and write very sarcastically.  So you don't really have a lot of room in which to toss about incriminations towards others. 

And no where did I say (or have I said or did I imply) that vollies are incapable of keeping drool off of their boots.  That is your statement and one made to make me appear mean spirited and anti-volunteer.  Neither is the case.  I just stated why I don't think a new vollie should have POV warning lights.  And I addressed what appeared to be your comparing grassland experience with being on the fire ground.

For you to presume I'm ill-informed and anti-vollie is just petulance on your part (as is you're being "done with this tangent.")  Clearly you look only to see what you presume to be an attack (and respond in kind) without bothering to read, comprehend or address the other issues discussed.  Pretty thin skin for such a 'seasoned vet.'

Before you take your ball and go home (which is what it appears you are suggesting)

I meant nothing of the sort in regards to "taking my ball and going home"; merely stating that the OP was asking about the laws regarding light use in POV's in the state of Indiana.  We have devolved into an off-topic debate, tangential to the original question.  My comment was merely an attempt to recognize such, and give the thread the chance to return to the original topic.

There seems to be a strong suggestion... that you were equating your grassland experience to structural firefighting

Never, under any circumstances, did I imply that my experience and knowledge in grassland fire had ANY bearing on a structural fire.  That was YOUR inference.  While they both produce heat and smoke, they are by nature two entirely different animals.  Mention of my grassland experience was only as an asset of value to my department, based on the calls WE respond to.  On a grass fire, I have no problem backing a fellow FF on a hose, or grabbing the nozzle.  On a structural fire, I wouldn't think of it.  The one structure fire I have responded to (the other one happened on a day when I was 100 miles away for a work meeting), I was on "gopher" duty - pulling LDH to hook up to the hydrant, setting up scene lights, staging ventilation fans where they were needed, and grabbing tools as they were needed.

And no where did I say (or have I said or did I imply) that vollies are incapable of keeping drool off of their boots.

I'll just leave this nugget here, a direct quote from you in another thread.   "I do believe that most VFDs don't measure up"  See where I might be coming from with that comment?

Pretty thin skin for such a 'seasoned vet.'

Another snide comment :) (Hey, I'll admit.  I'm a sarcastic prick.)  I'll be the first to admit I have a lot to learn when it comes to the fire service.  So excuse me for speaking my mind.  But when I see comments like the first several on here, indirectly implying that a rookie has little or no value to a department responding to a fire...yeah, maybe I do get a little offended.

I'll end this with a serious question:  In responding to a call, my driving style isn't going to change whether I have a warning light in my windshield or not (and I can gurantee this.  Even though I got the permits right away, it was two months before I bought a light for my truck, and I JUST put one in my car two weeks ago).  Which is better - me driving to the station, listening to the dispatcher and dealing with the adrenaline rush, with no light, or doing the same drive, at the same speed, with no warning to other drivers that I'm coming.  And I do ask that in all seriousness.

I'm done with this tangent.

Pretty much suggests to me you were taking your ball home.

Of course it was my inference, that was what I took from your statement about your experience with grassland fires.

"I do believe that most VFDs don't measure up"

I probably did write that, but in what context was it written? Go further back and read what I've written about vollies, I have nothing against them.  But in far too many cases they fall short (oftentimes very short) of the necessary training (among other issues.)

Let's define our terms here.  For many people a rookie is someone right out of the academy and serves a 1 year probationary period before becoming permanent.  It's OJT.

For others (and this may be the case for you) a rookie is simply someone with no experience, new to the department and firefighting.  For that person I don't believe they should have an active part on the fireground.

As for snide comments, I've got enough years under my belt to at least have some idea from which I speak, not to mention chronologically gained experience.  You on the other hand may be lacking in both areas.  Be as much as a prick (your words) as you like, it doesn't endear you to a lot of people with far more experience than you.

While you may claim that having a light won't/doesn't change your driving style, enough volunteer firefighters are injured or killed because they drove their POV or tanker off the road.  There must be something going on that causes that to happen; BRTs just don't tip over and POVs don't drive themselves off the road.

Your final issue is the most important one; the adrenaline rush.  Warning other drivers that you are in the midst of one doesn't mean that you are driving safely.  You may think you are but again, there are a number of POV accidents that occur every year and I suspect that most of them had warning lights.  You know that old saw, 'you can't help if you don't get there.'  And adrenaline means that your foot may be pressing down harder on the gas pedal than you may realize, especially if you think you're going to miss the truck.

And regardless that you think we're going off topic, a lot of things are being brought up that I hope will make the OP think a bit more each time he gets into his POV to respond.  Just because you don't see any benefit to this conversation doesn't mean one doesn't exist.  That too may be a result of a lack of...experience on your part.  'nuff said.

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