When I read stories like this, it makes me glad that no Australian State/Territory has any law that allows any vehicle except emergency service vehicles (Police, Fire, Ambulance, SES) to have lights and sirens. Period. And it'll never chage...
It may be an isolated incident, or it may not, however I firmly beleive that having POV's with lights and sirens is an open invitation to whackers causing problems for everyone else and giving the emergency services a bad reputation, that we just don't need....
LEE, N.H. — Police yesterday identified a man who drove an old police cruiser and used an air horn to pull over another vehicle at the Lee Marketplace last week as a volunteer Epping firefighter who has since resigned.
Police Chief Chet Murch said Richard Santere Jr. stopped a friend in the Lee Marketplace parking lot last Tuesday in what was a practical joke. A passerby mistook it as a case of police impersonation and reported it to police after learning that Rochester has had two instances of police impersonation in recent weeks.
What an idiot. Did he really think he wasn't going to get nailed for this?
I think letting volly's respond with lights on POVs can help speed response time, and can make a real difference when minutes count. For that reason I hope they nail this jerk to the floorboards. There can be ZERO tolerance of these shenanigans, it reflects poorly on the entire service.
The public never hears about the good we do, they never forget abuses and misconduct.
Should he have resigned from the fire department? I don't think so, personally. However, I do believe he should have had his POV lights taken away, and he should have been suspended and/or reprimanded for his actions.
As for police impersonation... He pulled over a friend, so I doubt charges will be harshly filed. If he was caught pulling over someone he didn't know, then this could be a totally different story.
I'd suggest, at least in this case, that he gets fined, loses his lights for a certain duration of time, gets suspended for a certain duration of time, and is kept on a tight leash to ensure that he doesn't do such things again. This should be taken seriously, but it's obvious that he wasn't vulgarly impersonating an officer to an unknowing individual.
Overall, POV lights need to be used respectively. My POV lights are taken very seriously. I only use them when responding to the fire station to expedite my travel time. In no way, shape, or form should these lights intentionally be abused. The public should be able to trust us with such a courtesy.
I don't support lights and audible signals on POVs either, and this is one of the reasons why. I won't continue on though like Greg I want to keep my composure about this issue. Then again I am one of those guys that thinks there shouldn't be sirens on tenders (tankers for you east coast crews) and only have yellow hazard lights.
Like many of you I get the Secret List Emails, do I really need to say more? I have a few classic (but sad) faves from there. For instance...the ladder truck that was second due to a vehicle fire that hit a car and killed the two occupants (BTW, it ended up the chauffer was related to them also, twice as sad there.) To many times it has been proven that we tend to be thinking about to many things BESIDES driving, when we are driving! Also, to many times it is ya-hoos like this guy that have the incidents in our apparatus too.
Here in my house I am a HUGE stickler about a sterile cockpit when responding to a call. We are constantly being faced with situations that we cannot control and we mitigate them to be controllable, why can't we do this with our driving? IF WE DON'T GET THERE WE CAN NOT TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE ELSES PROBLEM. Now I'm just ranting...Anywho,
Be safe, drive safe, and learn something new today.
As I said at the start of my post, I am from a country that doesn't allow lights/sirens on POV's, so for me I really (and I mean REALLY!) struggle with the whole concept and why it's even needed in the first place.
Having said that, I don't beleive for one second that thsi is an isolated incident- the difference is that he got caught.
To me, lights/sirens on a POV is like a wet paint sign- ya' just want to test it, same here- some harmless fun that could potentially have soem big ramifications...