Oh boy. I was at the firehouse with some of the other guys today and we were discussing our tanker and the use of red lights and sirens when responding to the scene. Some of us think its okay, some just say no. I'm not sure which states, but some states have it that any new tanker built cannot have red lights or sirens.

What's your opinion on this?

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Karl, I might of went off here,but to state to each there own is not the way to look at it. I have read this tread from the beginning. I have even commented in the beginning. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of concern and safety. We kill off and injure way to many people to just let it go when it comes to tanker/tender incidents. 

In my little part of the world with the mere 27 departments in our county we call them tankers. I don't care if they are called tenders or tankers. I would agree that there should be national standards in all areas in the fire service. That is a whole different debate. 


No offense taken here.  And I understand everyone has a way of doing things.  One of my first comments was alot of it comes down to training and safety.  No different then driving an engine or truck to a fire alarm or reported fire.  There's departments near me that don't even run lights and sirens to outside fires (rubbish, brush etc) but that's up to their policy.  I wasn't trying to start a war of words here (although it did). And each area (state/county/city) may have their own laws that have to be followed. I get that.  My comment "to each their own" was meant at policy. Every department has reason to do what they do. I don't write policy in my department, but I have to follow it and I do.  In addition, I don't care what these rigs are called.  I mentioned NIMS as an example to standardization.

I'm done with this topic after this.  I've been in this business long enough to know when to stop!

My comment "to each their own" was meant at policy. Every department has reason to do what they do. I don't write policy in my department, but I have to follow it and I do. 



I get your point in regards to beating a dead horse and what you were trying to say with your first post. Whether you respond to this or not is up to you, but hopefully other folks will read before they comment.


That's right, that is the main issue in which Don, Derek, and some others have been trying to put out but that message has consistently fallen on deaf eyes, or blind eyes in the hopes of "contributing" to a thread without taking the time to read through the responses. The reason this thread has spurned this far is because of that reason, people just commenting and even speaking on things that have already been debunked or addressed.


The other reason you see such retorts by some of the common commentators is that actually care about the fire service and don't want to see more useless deaths and injuries from the complacent attitude which seems to thrive. Regardless of a dept's personal protocol, SOG/P, rules and regulations and what have you, the fact remains that common sense is seldom written in to that. It is the attempt at trying to provide that common sense that seems to keep falling by the wayside.


Nobody is saying that lights and sirens can't be used for the initial call, where there is the disconnect is when the argument persists with the belief the tender, tanker, shuttle, should keep operating with light and sirens once the water shuttle operation is set up and you have tenders waiting to dump.


At that point, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to be running lights and sirens just to wait in line. In the vast majority of places where you will see a water shuttle operation is in the rural type of setting, where traffic is already limited. I ask, (to anyone) what use is running lights and sirens to fill and dump when you will be waiting in line? I answer, there is none, except to either show off that you are actually on a call, vanity, or plain ignorance.



When I made my initial post on this thread last year, I relayed an incident of a water shuttle operation with tenders waiting 10, 15, 20 minutes to dump, because of so many tenders, and just have these tenders go off lights and sirens. These folks were actually told to shut down their lights and sirens.


After that post, the municipal dept I work for had a significant fire in a neighboring municipality recently merged with, who has a seperate water system. Essentially there was concern of the water usage and the cost to the municipality so that a water shuttle operation was initiated. There were several tenders called in and there was a significant wait time to dump and fill sites were essentially a few blocks away. I will tell you from an eye witness factual account I saw a couple tenders running lights and sirens to the fill site, only to sit an wait. The only answer I can see is because of an ego or vanity to "advertise" their dept is being utilized. IMO, there is no reason for this and maybe it may take some calling out of such escapades to hopefully facilitate a change, regardless of individual protocol.

Our response area is mostly rural.  We get to tag a hydrant about every five years.  If we did not have red lights and sirens our water would be delayed.  We still expect the drivers to use common sense on the run.

How much delayed?  Have you ever run the same course without lights and sirens?


AGAIN, I said run lights and sirens when water is an emergency.  Running lights and sirens while other tenders wait in line to dump is completely unnecessary and dangerous.



The point you and I are simply not getting is it is far cooler to run red lights and sirens than not to.  The fact that we drive fire apparatus all the time for training, to go get fuel, to take them for maintenance, and many other things, and don't run red lights and sirens and make it to our destination and back safely is inconsequential to the coolness factor.

Don, Your right I forgot about the cool factor. I need to go and buy some more blue lights for my POV also. I want the cows to think i'm cool responding the fire house.Lol

Aren't cows colorblind?  

My first question is: What classes or books are you using to teach common sense?

I think the wonders of modern science figured out a way to remove the common sense gene several years ago, and they replaced it with a stupidity gene.

My next question mirrors Don's: Have you driven the routes in a non emergency mode?

My entire career has been in the rural setting, and my "limited" experience tells me that there is only a 1 - 2 minute difference, and the water still gets there. That being said,  I have worked fires with 12 - 14 tanker/tenders in the shuttle, flowing ladder pipes. The tankers would turn the lights on at the fill sight while they were filling and then run non emergency back to the scene. We never once ran out of water.

Having a good water supply officer (not mentioned in this thread) who knows how to properly set up the system, who knows what capacity and fill times of the tankers, and knows the flow requirements of the incident, can do a lot to negate the need to always have tankers woo wooing up and down the road. But then again with my limited experience, what do I know?


I think part of what is making people rip their hair out is some people are responding to the initial question without reading through the previous posts. Since those that have been with this thread for about a year now have come to similar conclusions how about we post a thread dealing exclusively with the water shuttle?

Jim, I'm not sure I never asked on while I was milking them.

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