I would like to see if there is anyone out there who feels that we just aren't getting the message out about response habits. Wether in our private vehicle or in a department vehicle why is it that all common sense seems to just disappear when people get behind the wheel to respond to a conceved emergency. It seems that at least once a week there is another vehicle crash involving some one responding in a car or truck, and it isn't just a Firefighter thing either. Just today there was an article where a Deputy Sheriff plowed into the back of a line of cars stopped at a red light, and he will be charges with the accident.
What is it going to take to convince people that the Lights & Siren are to notify that you are reponding to assist someone and to let you through, not a free license to drive like an idiot. If you don't get there and crash then you have just become more of the problem and haven't helped anyone. I did a study years ago while managing a smallAmdulance Service, the personnel wanted to know why I placed a 70 MPH limit on response in a rural area. We drove the course at the speed limit (55 MPH) and at faster speeds and while driving 60 or 70 on a clear open road was faster that 55 the difference from 70 MPH to 90 MPH was only 30 or 40 seconds on a twenty mile response. Is that little bit of time worth your life or the life of your partner or someone you might hit.
I welcome comments on this, as I have been thinking seriously about doing a paper to send to all Public Safety Departments.