Living in central NY where the weather changes every 10 minutes this is what i noticed today driving around in the high winds and blowing snow and at times little to no visibility. I will not mention any towns but i drove through about 20 different ones today to do what i had to do. On my scanner i was listening to all the different MVA's and in a couple towns i had volunteer fireman come flying on by me with there blue lights on but no headlights and driving like a bat out of hell. The problem at my job i drive miles and miles a day so i'm use to driving in blowing snow i also know 40 to 45 mph was plenty fast enough and these guys had to be doing 55 to 60 and i never saw them in till they were 20 feet or so from me. I just shook my head and really wanted to follow them and slap um upside the head. Both MVA's had came in as minor damage and no entrapment this is what got my blood boiling.
Now i am a volunteer myself and still get exited when the tones go off but i'm going to give you all the same speech i give our people. When the tones go off take a second take in what the call is and take a deep breath. Make the right choice on the way you respond and here is the reason why. You are no good to nobody if you never make it to where you are going in the first place. So please remember to use some common sense when responding to the station. Slow down just a bit and get there and not hinder the first call by being the second!
You are no good to nobody if you never make it to where you are going in the first place.
A very important aspect to always remember.
As for the clowns that you witnessed, if you know which dept they were responding for, an anonymous call can be made to the dept. Give a description of the vehicle and circumstances you encountered...you could even divulge bing a FF as well and that such a response was unneccessary. It may or may not do anything, but it does alert a dept and any dept worth their salt would address such an issue.
John, I know the chiefs to these department and a call will be made. But it did get me fired up enough to give everyone i can a reminder.
Far be it from me to be one to fault for pushing safety. What you are talking about here is not some arbitrary "safety sally" aspect pushed on the fireground, but instead the aspect of just getting to the damn scene.
I would concur with a national ban on operating a POV with lights etc.....or at least more stringent regulations on age and experience for those to have such a privelage. If I piss off a few people because of these thoughts, well then so be it, because I have seen more issues of deaths and injuries in regards to such responses to lead to questioning the validity of such uses.
Even as a FT member and even when the call comes in which could be argued as a priority response, there are many times I will not operate the rig with lights and sirens. Why? Because in majority of cases, going lights and sirens really does not gain that much more time, and if the call is in the middle of the night, with little or no traffic, why create potential issues of responding priority?
When it comes to a POV and like in these situations, it appears to be nothing more than some moronic volly who is in it for the adreneline rush as opposed to operating with Due Regard. If what the OP says is correct, this is not operating with Due Regard. Such drivers should be disciplined accordinly, but even moreso, undergo and be certified in operating an emergency vehicle and operating under Due Regard. Too often we see even damn kids here more worried about what lights and noisemakers to deck their POVs out with despite they have limited driving experience as it is, let alone an emergency vehicle.
Our people are only able to run lights on POV once they are on scene. If we catch them running lights in route they are suspended for 2 weeks.
Lets be careful not to lump all pov drivers w/lights on into the crazy driver group and eliminate something that can be used properly. I'm not going to beat the dead horse that has been talked about before on ffn but yes I do have a blue light (don't use it every time, I have common sense, but when I do use it it's done in the proper manner). It sounds like the situation you experienced is some "cowboys or whackers" who need to be reminded the proper usage/driving. I am a chief and have called neighboring chiefs about some questionable driving by their members. My last 2 cents is that lights on pov's are and can be just like lights on the apparatus the privelege can be abused.
I wouldn't worry about some type of regulation taking away the use of lights on POVs. However, such incidences as being painted here need to stop. Hopefully a dept is cognizent enough to address the abusers like this accordinly.
Yet another aspect should be a set of requirements in order to even have lights on a POV, such as mandating an EVOC cert etc. After all, when the POV is equippped with lights, sirens, etc, it is no longer a POV, but an emergency vehicle. Maturity is another factor that should be looked into, just because one is able to drive doesn't mean they should be able to run lights on a POV. There is a reason that insurance premiums are higher for younger drivers, despite what their personal driving record may be.
In my opinion, lights are good for members who have been with a dept for a long time and can be trusted to use them accordingly as well as to the members who are the EMS responders (EMT or Paramedic) if that dept also has those and the rest can go without. If they want lights, they can use AMBER in the rear so they don't get hit when on a scene and that way they can't use them going to a call.
This really was not a statement about the blue lights. It was a good way to vent and also remind everyone to respond safely in your POV or in the Big Red Truck (or whatever color yours maybe). If you never show up for the call to begin with you just are not no good to nobody!