PDA

View Full Version : First Responder Lights in POV



Jtmays
12-18-2005, 04:36 PM
Just curious to see how many First Responders have lights in their POVs.

Weruj1
12-18-2005, 06:55 PM
nice opener !

Jtmays
12-18-2005, 07:14 PM
ehh, guess I should've done an into first.

Mzanghetti
12-18-2005, 09:14 PM
Don't use 'em! :(

IMO, they cause more trouble than they are worth. John Q sees you responding to a call and then calls your chief and complains because he saw you speeding, (even tho he passed you on the right) or something similar, and nothing looks sillier than a POV at a traffic light with a full light show sitting at a red light and just confusing the h**l out of everyone by just sitting there waiting for the light to change.

RyanEMVFD
12-18-2005, 10:53 PM
Go by whatever your department has as a policy. In most people's opinion (myself including) they are just an accident waiting to happen. Look at state law also.

As for your opening, we realize you are new so don't take offense. There is a search engine in the forums. It is usually a good start to try there first. As for this subject, it has been debated several and numerous times. People have been banned for some of the heated debates this topic has spurred.

Welcome to the forums.

FireAndy
12-19-2005, 08:48 AM
Where I live out in the country everyone is familiar with the lights on the POV's because all of our departments are Paid on Call/Vollie departments. Most of the time though, we do not use lights and sirens to respond to the station unless it is for a structure fire, and we are in the next town over or if it comes across as a cardiac arrest, where time is critical and you are a ways out. However most of the time there are 3 or so of us that are close to the station to get there fast enough without using lights and sirens.

It's tricky, and very risky, you just need to drive properly. Just because we have lights and sirens doesn't mean we drive 90mph either. If our Chief catches anyone blowing stop signs, going more than 5-10mph over the speed limit he will make you remove your lights & sirens. We have had a couple people lose them from their vehicle and be removed from the department because of their driving.

jmoulton
12-19-2005, 02:37 PM
I also live in the country and have a light in my dash...however i rarely use it because i live and work close to the station. by state law we are not allowed to have sirens (unless your a chief) you also cant have a light bar on your roof or rearward facing lights (unless a cheif) , nor are we allowed to speed run stop lights and the like. Other motorists are not even required by law to pull over for us. so it really isnt worth plugging it in most of the time.

FireAndy
12-19-2005, 05:13 PM
I also live in the country and have a light in my dash...however i rarely use it because i live and work close to the station. by state law we are not allowed to have sirens (unless your a chief) you also cant have a light bar on your roof or rearward facing lights (unless a cheif) , nor are we allowed to speed run stop lights and the like. Other motorists are not even required by law to pull over for us. so it really isnt worth plugging it in most of the time.

That's weird, here we cannot have a light just in the dash. We have to have lights that can be seen 360 degrees around the vehicle.

TNLTRPB
12-23-2005, 04:31 PM
Here in Texas, "authorized emergency vehicles" (any official vehicles and any vehicle driven by someone with a license from the Department of State Health Services) can have any type of light (it must include red somewhere). For official vehicles, there has to be two flashing red lights to the front and back, but POVs are exempted from this. Sirens are not required (by the state) on POVs, but are highly recommended.

Personally, I have a full bar on top, with an LED dash light to the front, and a TrafficAdvisor to the rear. I also have a siren.

For rural areas, it's almost a "must have," because it's usually quicker for the closest person to the station to grab a truck and for everyone else to meet on scene.

S8ER95Z
12-23-2005, 04:50 PM
Where I live everyone is used to the blue lights and people pull over immediately. I dont think we have every had an issue with this.

Dubbsy
12-24-2005, 01:25 AM
For rural areas, it's almost a "must have," because it's usually quicker for the closest person to the station to grab a truck and for everyone else to meet on scene.


I think this is one of the most overlooked parts of this topic. I couldn't imagine any wacker running full lighting/sirens for responding in a large populated area - I'll agree with most feelings, it's just not safe.


Rural areas however, I feel it can be very useful.
First of all, we cover upwards of 10 miles in certain directions from base. Within those 10 miles, we have crew members (couple south, couple north, etc) who also carry full jump kits and one has an AED as they're closest to a small town out in 'EMS response no-mans land'.
Not only will lights assist theire response (of course they all drive reasonably, but people around here understand the lighting and often yeild to us), but it's a great way to mark a POV as a responder when they're pulling into someone's driveway out in the county.

We also have support from county and state law enforcement for the use of POV lighting. Most LEOs don't know the area very well and they will follow POVs with lights to a scene.


Now as far as any of us having full light bars and sirens... not a chance. I believe the only ones in our department that have a light currently have magnetic blue beacons (myself included). Most POV lighting I've seen outside of our squad in the county was I believe on a sherrif's POV pickup (also volly FF) which had 2 LEDs in the back window and 2 LEDs in the grille.


Only time I've used my light in a populated area was when I was first on scene at a MVA on a 4 lane interstate during rush hour (I was a passer-by way out of district) and I wanted a little extra visibility until HP and FD showed up; otherwise it's been on scene in the county mostly.



I will admit though, I'm a wacker at heart :)

notmedicyet
12-27-2005, 01:48 PM
Here in Texas, "authorized emergency vehicles" (any official vehicles and any vehicle driven by someone with a license from the Department of State Health Services) can have any type of light (it must include red somewhere). For official vehicles, there has to be two flashing red lights to the front and back, but POVs are exempted from this. Sirens are not required (by the state) on POVs, but are highly recommended.

Personally, I have a full bar on top, with an LED dash light to the front, and a TrafficAdvisor to the rear. I also have a siren.

For rural areas, it's almost a "must have," because it's usually quicker for the closest person to the station to grab a truck and for everyone else to meet on scene.
So... in texas.... any EMT can have red lights and sirens???



In PA, members of a VFD/Vollie EMS agency can have "2 blue flashing or rotating lights, with 360-degree visability ..... Vehicle must be registered with local State Police Barracks" No audible warning device permitted.


I'm not totally sold on either argument. I've had blue lights.... never really used them. I took them off. I'm now not running with a department that will allow them. If I again run someplace that allows them, I might have them again.

I keep an old amber single-rotator mag-mount in my trunk... I figure if I ever feel the need to make my car more visable when stopped, that will work just as well... and I won't get chased as a cop impersonator.

CoolDre
01-01-2006, 06:45 AM
Our laws about light in POVs

What is an emergency vehicle in Ky (http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/KRS/189-00/910.PDF) (POVs used in emergency response are emergecny vehicles here)
Lights on an emergecny vehicle (http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/KRS/189-00/920.PDF)
Right of way is the law, even to POVs (http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/KRS/189-00/930.PDF)
Exemptions to traffic regulations (http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/KRS/189-00/940.PDF)
You can only have lights/siren if you have written permission from the chief (http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/KRS/189-00/950.PDF)

I have one visor light. Its a rural area, covering a >30 min drive in perfect condition.

CH47Doc
01-06-2006, 01:24 AM
NO. Just because i have a license in tejas doesnt mean i can have lights and sirens. Its usually 99% of the time a volunteer fire guy that is authorized by his department (which has an agreement with local cops) to 'run red'. but only in their district. they have their place but ive seen to many egghead volly kids haulin ***** and bustin lights in a ford festiva thinkin their starsky and hutch. it only takes one of em to ruin it for the whole dept. i must say that our volunteer dept is rock hard and never mind them on a call with us. lotta competent dudes.

bisho1p
01-13-2006, 05:52 AM
We can use lights and are required to use an audible siren if we are responding with the lights on. I have a lightbar, and since my SUV is so big (Ford Expedition) I wouldnt dare be without it.

rolandthunder
02-20-2006, 11:01 AM
I got online and found a cheap set of Wig Wags and put them on my headlights. They seem to work great to get through traffic. Not to mention the fact that when they are not on you dont know they are there so you dont have a big light sitting on your vehicle. I have only used them a couple of times but compared to the fire departments in the area that run blue lights it seems that the wig wags work better. I think it has to do with most people think of you as a cop car when they see you in the mirror. All they see is your headlights flashing so they pull over.

sts060
02-22-2006, 02:13 PM
I have two headlights (white) in the front of my vehicle, which I use when its dark while I'm driving to the station to pull my scheduled standby (I volunteer in a large county combination dept. and we can't respond in POVs.)

Oh, I have brake lights (red) and turn signals (amber) too.

Does that count? :D

THEFIRENUT
03-01-2006, 04:05 AM
Here in Texas, "authorized emergency vehicles" (any official vehicles and any vehicle driven by someone with a license from the Department of State Health Services) can have any type of light (it must include red somewhere). For official vehicles, there has to be two flashing red lights to the front and back, but POVs are exempted from this. Sirens are not required (by the state) on POVs, but are highly recommended.

Personally, I have a full bar on top, with an LED dash light to the front, and a TrafficAdvisor to the rear. I also have a siren.

For rural areas, it's almost a "must have," because it's usually quicker for the closest person to the station to grab a truck and for everyone else to meet on scene.

Have the laws in Texas changed??? Last time I checked, your POV "was an official vehicle. Texas law doesn't separate the two (again, unless it has changed). Law also states that if running lights...must also run siren.

I also don't understand this statement:
in Texas, "authorized emergency vehicles" (any official vehicles and any vehicle driven by someone with a license from the Department of State Health Services).
That also must be a NEW law. I guess I need to read up on them.

plhansen84
03-05-2006, 10:57 PM
Ok, the first thing that we must remember is that lights, or lights and sirens are only ASKING for the right of way. In looking at law and taking classes on emergency vehicle operations it says nothing that people HAVE to pull over. Yes I understand that if you don't and a police officer sees it you will most likely get a ticket of some sort. So now as far as lights in POV's NO NO NO. I live near the border of Minnesota and North Dakota, and in ND you can use lights, in MN you can't no way no how. I think it is bad for several reason's one of them being that people think that they can drive as fast as they want and that is when bad things happen. Another thing is that in a lot of states it says that "Lights on Sirens on" Also in some states Exaple ND Blue lights, which are a non emergency light, are the only ones that they can use. But in MN blue lights are an emergency light. Just remember that if you get into an accident or something like that and you never make it to the scene you won't help anyone, you are just causing another problem. A general rule is to only run 10 over the speed limit. You will get there, their problem will not just suddenly go away it will still be there. Yes we need to get there as fast as possible but doing it safely.

Another thing is that it confuses people, they see lights in POV's then what do they do, do I pull over or not, I mean its not an emergency vehicle so do I have to pull over or not.

In short they are BAD don't use them, if you have them take them out.

Stay safe

DennisTheMenace
03-07-2006, 01:18 PM
http://www.foxpowerequipment.com/images/KawasakiTrimmerSmall.jpg ;) :D

MedicTroll
03-07-2006, 03:42 PM
First of all it all depends on what the real question is. Many states like NY have what is called a courtesy light, meaning a volunteer fire fighter may use a blue light and may display said light when responding to an active alarm. The light gives no special rights to the FF, they must stop and wait at stop signs and red traffic lights, they have to obey all traffic laws. All the light does is tells people the person is going to an alarm and if the person wants or can safely do so the can pull aside and give the FF the right of why, but if they don't no ticket can or will be issued. On that note there is nothing funnier then to see some wanker with a $2,000 light bar on a rusted junker sitting at a red traffic light. Now in NY if your a volunteer ambulance you get to use a green light with the same guidelines as blue. Now in NYS fire chiefs and EMS first responder can put red light and sirens on their POV's and have to be Cert by state and become an emergency vehicle. But make sure your insurance company knows this.
Personally I feel unless your an emergency vehicle use of light is just asking for trouble and a waste, I also think it is the cause of why people don't pull over. With all the different lights no one has a clue who is who and what they should be doing. It also doesn't help when NY and NJ run red and blue on emergency vehicles (which in both states the DMV have deemed the placement of blue light on these vehicles take away there emergency status), people just have no clue what to do.

SgtScott31
03-09-2006, 05:14 PM
With volunteers FF & volly rescue squads (non-official vehicles), TN requires that the red or combination red/white light(s) be visible from 360 degrees and an audible siren must be on at all times when running emergency traffic.

If you run with light(s) only and cause an accident, it's your a**.

Insurance costs also hit the roof when they find out you're using your vehicle for emergency use.

montet202
03-09-2006, 08:24 PM
I have a red light on my fire hat. It has a siren too.

ndvfdff33
03-16-2006, 06:58 PM
Who Cares??? Just my opinion

CTFDNJ
03-17-2006, 11:17 PM
I'm not a whacker, but I have a light or 2.

Whelen Talon
Whelen Dashmiser
Whelen Cadet
Whelen Strobe Grill Lights
Wig-Wags
Corner Light Strobes
Strobe Lights in Brake Lights
Strobe Lights in Back - up lights
LED Amber Arrow Stick

Yes, I have obsessive light syndrome. I'm buying more lights online now as we speek.

The More lights you have, the better your seen!

SgtScott31
03-21-2006, 01:41 AM
I'm not a whacker, but I have a light or 2.

Whelen Talon
Whelen Dashmiser
Whelen Cadet
Whelen Strobe Grill Lights
Wig-Wags
Corner Light Strobes
Strobe Lights in Brake Lights
Strobe Lights in Back - up lights
LED Amber Arrow Stick

Yes, I have obsessive light syndrome. I'm buying more lights online now as we speek.

The More lights you have, the better your seen!

There are statistics out there that show drivers that stare at lights when approaching (especially a vehicle that's lit like a xmas tree) are drawn towards them. Look at all the horrific videos of Police/FF/EMS getting struck by vehicles on the shoulder. I hope you don't stay too close to your vehicle when all that sh** it lit up. The police vehicle I'm driving tonight is a slicktop so it has an a**load of LEDs, strobes and backup lights. When I make traffic stops, I usually stay away from it, even when writing the citation. I don't trust anyone on the road.

Dubbsy
03-21-2006, 01:44 AM
Yes, I have obsessive light syndrome. I'm buying more lights online now as we speek.


I think you've got more money into lighting than my rural (very rural) fire department has on all 5 trucks!


I think my next vehicle will get a lighting package to some extent, however with a new vehicle I hope to join a local organization that would require it (assist with traffic both emergency and not, S&R, Weather spotter, Emergency Comms, etc)

Dubbsy
03-21-2006, 01:46 AM
I hope you don't stay too close to your vehicle when all that sh** it lit up.


Park it across the street and use it as a 'bug zapper' per se? Draw the incompitent drivers away from you.

Fueledbyfire
03-29-2006, 12:12 PM
bug zapper haha

MedicTroll
03-30-2006, 12:50 AM
The "More lights the better"

I can first see you have no EVOC training at all.

Not only the safety factor of blinding people and they becoming part of the scene or making a new scene, but even in response mode it make not difference how many bells and noises you make, if people aren't going to get out of the way no matter what you have.

Also it has been proven many times, response times are the same if not in some cases better running no light/no siren then running full blast. I personally have proven this.

One last note, Most states have a written law as to the lights. In New York it states "A blue light......" meaning one light, not a bar light, not 50, not one on the roof, one on the dash, one on the muffler. Just one light. The cops may look the other way out of being professional, but how much respect are they going to have towards you for over stepping the law and taking advantage of there kindness of not writing you. Do you really want the people you may need on your side having no respect for you and not so willing to back you and support you.

PumpOperator
04-04-2006, 05:24 PM
You guys are right. If you have a Comfirmed Working Structure fire and your stuck in traffic, it isnt that bad. Working Struture fires aren't that bad of a call, right?









One light is good to have. Whether it be a rooftop beacon or a strobe or LED light on the dash, it makes a difference when your stuck in heavy traffic.Electric Air Horns are also a good idea.

SgtScott31
04-05-2006, 03:42 AM
You guys are right. If you have a Comfirmed Working Structure fire and your stuck in traffic, it isnt that bad. Working Struture fires aren't that bad of a call, right?

One light is good to have. Whether it be a rooftop beacon or a strobe or LED light on the dash, it makes a difference when your stuck in heavy traffic.Electric Air Horns are also a good idea.

Nobody said not to go to fires.

Bottom line, follow your agency's policy and your state laws on emergency lighting for a vehicle. In my neck of the woods, many don't and it causes a severe strain on other volunteer agencies. The sheriff of the county where I volunteered stopped FD response all together unless it was a serious MVC or actual smoke/fire visible. Now where does that leave me when I'm working an extrication? The rescue squad arrives on scene, recognizes an entrapment, and then is going to wait 5-10 min for an engine company before we start cutting? Nope. Now I have an extrication without a handline because of dumba**es.

The FD's in my area dug their own grave when they did not regulate their young (immature) members throwing half-a** lights on their vehicles and responding to anything/everything they could.

corynick
04-05-2006, 08:08 AM
I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. The only person permitted to run a red lite in siren in a POV is a cheif or deputy cheif and they are allowed to display A red light, not 40. I dont think just any idiot on the road should be allowed lights and sirens, or lights, or anything. If you are too far away from the station, you cant make the trucks when they roll unless you drive like a madman. All of our members are instucted to respond to the station, if they are too late to roll on the truck, they are to stay at the station in case they need be called upon for backup or more manpower on a large fire.

ccl442
04-05-2006, 09:31 AM
In VT we are allowed to have red lights and sirens. The use is pretty prolific. All you have to do is get a form signed by the chief and then submit it to DMV. Everyone and there brother has lights and sirens. I think this state keeps Gall's in business. By state law we are allowed to exceed the speed limit, other vehicles must pull to the right and stop. For the most part it works ok, some abuse some dont. The only thing we cant do is pass a stopped school bus (no brainer).
At our state EMS conference last weekend, it was red lights as far as the eye could see in the parking lot. Its not uncommon for people to have more emergency lights on their POS personal vehicle than the cops.

doughesson
04-12-2006, 12:50 PM
On the first,I wouldn't say that too loudly around LEOs.They take pride in knowing all the possible escape routes a fleeing suspect might could take and the quickest way across the county to a call.Use them as a valuable navigation resource,not a source of laughs.
On the second,ever see a Wally World special bike with lights and sirens?Me neither but I joked about getting a light kit for mine when I lived a half mile from my old station when I was on a volunteer department in Kentucky.That's about as whacker as you can get and still be taken seriously.
In Kentucky,POVs with lights and sirens must have departmental authorization,and they must be visible 360 degrees.In my county,if you are a county volunteer,you cannot use them in city limits and must stay within ten miles of the speed limit.
Out of your district is kind of iffy as you aren't supposed to but how else are you going to mark an off the road rollover as a responder?
Like others have mentioned,I've known a few folks that keep Galls in business when they could go to a local SO that moonlights installing vehicle electronics, save a few bucks and know the job was tailored to their vehicle.



Most LEOs don't know the area very well and they will follow POVs with lights to a scene.


I will admit though, I'm a wacker at heart :)

doughesson
04-12-2006, 12:59 PM
When I was in the Navy,my duty section inport mobile repair party chipped in and got one from Radio Shack for our On Scene Leader for his birthday.
He loved it and actually wore it when we had critiques after the drill.If we done good,he had the light and siren going as he entered the mess deck where we mustered after stowing the gear.If not,well,you get the picture.The officers and Chiefs in the duty section thought it was funny but a couple officers didn't think so.


I have a red light on my fire hat. It has a siren too.

Kevo231
04-12-2006, 07:35 PM
i am a vollie firefighter in warren county mississippi. here the volunteer departments run ems as well as fire. however, we have to respond in out pov's, but if a medic is at the station and a engine crew is there then they can respond on a truck. we have a whole set of rules to go with responding in our pov's with lights. of course we can only use them for emergency calls. we also connot have blue lights. they have to be red, white, or amber. if we get caught with a blue light we can get a ticket or arrested.

Kevo231
04-12-2006, 07:37 PM
oh yeah, and we can't put sirens in our pov's and respond with them. only our fire trucks can have sirens.

JonathanGennick
04-15-2006, 07:53 AM
There are statistics out there that show drivers that stare at lights when approaching (especially a vehicle that's lit like a xmas tree) are drawn towards them.

I believe this. I used to ride a motorcycle a lot. You would think i'td be easy to avoid potholes and such, because you have so much room to maneuver in the lane. What I found is that I tended to stare at whatever it was that I wanted to avoid, and doggenned if that bike didn't want to go where I was looking :-). So I had to fight the urge to look at the pothole and focus on the track I wanted the wheels to follow.

My experience is anecdotal of course, but it's in line with those stats that SgtScott31 cites.

FireMav
12-25-2006, 08:20 AM
This is straight from the back of my blue light card that is issued to me.
Missouri Statute 307-175, in part *
Emergency use of sirens and flashing blue lights by fireman- violation is a misdemeanor.- Motor vehicles and equipment whichare operated by any member of an organized fire department or ambulance association, whether paid of volunteer, may be operated on streetts and highways in this state as an emergency vechile under the provisions of 304.022, RSMo, while responding to a fire call or ambulance call or at the scene of a fire call or ambulance call and while using or sounding a warning siren or displaying thereon fixed, flashing or rotating blue lights, but sirens and blue lights shall be used only in bona fide emergencies. Permits for the operator of such vechicles equipped with sirens or blue lights shall e in writting and shall be issues and may be revoked by the chief of an organized fire department or organized ambulance association and no person shall use or display a siren or blue lights on a motor vechicle and fire or ambulance equipment without a valit permit auhorizing the use. Permit to use a siren or lights as heretofore set out does not relieve the operator of the vechicle so equipped with complying with all other traffic laws and regulations violations. Violation of this section constitutes a misdemeanor. (L. 1957 p.623-1, A.L. 1971 H.B. 113)

I hope that this helps somone from Missouri. I can from a department that didn't have a blue light card, and now i'm on a department that does, i can see a big difference when running and not running. I'm not saying that either way is faster or slower. The only thing that i can pass on is that either way you need to be more alert as to what is going on. Believe it or not, people don't normally see a big RED truck with flashing lights on it. how are they going to see a normal looking car with flashing lights. Be careful either way. Stay safe. Safety is the number on priority.

SgtScott31
12-25-2006, 05:42 PM
oh yeah, and we can't put sirens in our pov's and respond with them. only our fire trucks can have sirens.

I'm bringing up an old post, but lights without sirens is retarded. I've seen this mentioned many times in this forum and it amazes me that states would actually allow people to respond without an audible siren. That's just an accident waiting to happen. TN state law requires an audible siren must be on at all times when the lights are running.

ERAngel
12-29-2006, 07:21 AM
I run at a fire and rescue squad and have a red and white light that is under my rear view mirror. Looking up our state law AND the by laws of our station, we can have one light in the front and one in the back, but no more than that. I have seen others deck their POV out with more lights than we legally should have. If it isn't too ostentatious then the local PD and deputies turn a blind eye, same with if we go over the speed limit, but it has to be in a safe manner for all, you and others on the road.

However...anyone who runs from home, PLEASE take it from me, I got into an accident responding from home in my POV with my light going. The car in front of me slowed and got over, as did the one in front of him, I slowed, I looked and I went to pass when I thought it was safe. Unfortunately, the woman in front of him was in a small car, I didn't see her, she didn't see my large white F350 and I hit her rear end trying to avoid her as she turned right into my path. Spun her vehicle and she went off the road and the car turned over sideways.

End result, I got my hands smacked in court, paid a fine, and the newspaper had a field day with me for weeks. The facts were twisted, they didn't get the whole story, didn't care that it wasn't factual, as the volunteers in our town are looked down upon by the paid crew. The woman I hit was fine, she was 83 and in good health so I was lucky. My insurance was raised some, not a lot but I learned a very valuable lesson. I drive safe, I obey all traffic lights and signs, and no one at the station thought it would happen to me of all people as I have always been cautious. But it only takes one person not paying attention to ruin things.

Riversong
12-29-2006, 10:34 AM
Unfortunately...it only takes one person not paying attention to ruin things.
Well, it takes two to tango, and both have to pay attention to what's going on. But the emergency responder has a particular responsibility to make sure that they are seen (and heard - even a car horn can make a difference).


lights without sirens is retarded...and it amazes me that states would actually allow people to respond without an audible siren. That's just an accident waiting to happen. TN state law requires an audible siren must be on at all times when the lights are running.
Retarded is a bit strong, and so are laws requiring constant use of sirens. But audible and visual alarms should be available to emergency response vehicles, whether official or POV, if they are used as primary response units to a scene.

Air horns, however, are often more effective at intersections since drivers will hear the siren coming for a while and often not be able to determine its origin. And studies have shown a tendency for emergency vehicle drivers to develop "siren narcosis", getting hypnotized by the wail and unintentionally driving faster and faster.

Here in Vermont, lights are always on during emergency response or transport (though there is debate about their value during low priority transport), but sirens are used as needed. Responding, even in an ambulance, in the middle of the night on a deserted road, it is not only unnecessary to use a siren but it would cause far more problems. Nobody would want an ambulance barn in their neighborhoods if they were awakened every night, and there would be (and has been) plenty of protest from the community.

In the town which contained our receiving hospital, the police required that we use sirens when going through downtown intersections, but we generally silenced the sirens as we approached the hospital.

As far as sirens on POVs, I've had one as long as I've had a red light, though I've used it only rarely and when needed. As we all know, sometimes a light just isn't enough to get someone's attention and a quick blast of the siren is all it takes to wake them up.

- Robert

OlieCan
12-29-2006, 10:40 AM
I think a lights without sirens is fine.

Im not telling anyone to go through an intersection blindly cause they have a light, but with the same cautious driving, there should be no problems, and should help clear the way a little bit.

SgtScott31
12-30-2006, 04:28 AM
There are obviously exceptions to the siren rule (burglary/robbery alarm, little or no traffic in the AM hours, etc), but that's about it.

If you are running an emergency vehicle in moderate to heavy traffic, with lights only, especially during the daytime, it will never grab the driving public's attention like it will when using both lights & siren. It's almost asking for an accident to happen.

TN law requires lights that are visible from 360 degrees and an audible siren when running "emergency traffic." If you choose to run "emergency traffic" without the siren and get involved in an accident, guess who will hold a majority of the blame? You will lose your a** in court, especially if it involves your equipped POV.

Emergency lights mean that the vehicle is asking for the right away, not that the right away is required. It is also our state law that all drivers of such vehicles will drive with due regard at all times. This is a lawsuit happy world so the days of POV response are much more stringent than they used to be. In my volunteer days, I had my POV equipped and ran lights/sirens twice in 2 1/2 years. Even then I wasn't crazy about doing it.

SgtScott31
12-30-2006, 04:28 AM
Oops again

SgtScott31
12-30-2006, 04:28 AM
Oops...triple post...

doughesson
12-30-2006, 02:56 PM
I'm bringing up an old post, but lights without sirens is retarded. I've seen this mentioned many times in this forum and it amazes me that states would actually allow people to respond without an audible siren. That's just an accident waiting to happen. TN state law requires an audible siren must be on at all times when the lights are running.

When I got on my old volunteer department in Kentucky,we were told that if you ran lights,you had to have sirens.It wasn't an either/or choice.POVs or the department rigs.
Now,at 0300 when tapped out for a smell of smoke,we'd lay off the siren til we got out away a little from the neighborhoods and were going down the 4 lane highway out of consideration for our neighbors but during daylight,the Q was blaring.
As mentioned in my previous post,we mostly just had a department decal or a Volunteer Firefighter license plate issued by the Commonwealth,if that.Few people responded directly to the scene as it's better to arrive in a truck that has the needed gear plus yours on board.

35monroeffemt
12-31-2006, 09:57 PM
In Michigan if you chose to use emergency lights you HAVE to have a siren also. My department runs close to 1500 calls a year and every person on the dept has warning lights. It works out very well as many guys respond directly to the scene with thier own medical equipment which gives us an average response time of 3 minutes often it is even less than that.

DFDMAXX
01-01-2007, 08:54 PM
Yup, got a light and siren in my vehicle. Might need it in some areas, others not. Here is my personal issue w/ lights and sirens in POV's, formed by what is going on in my area.

For the most part, little or no training is required for their use. Maybe an evoc course that lets you practice some manuvering, but no information on what decisions to make when operating in emergency mode. Really, all you need is the Chiefs authorization, and the requirements for that vary greatly from one department to another.

In 16 years I've had 4 evoc courses w/ apparatus & personal vehicles, 2 rather long classes that teach you how to drive properly and deal w/ all the traffic issues when acting like an emergency vehicle, and 2 trips to the skid pad. And all my training leads me to believe that I should use that light and siren in my pov as little as possible.

Interesting bit of info here..... a company in my area would do an emergency run to the hospital, and then would time themselves back to the scene while obeying all traffic laws. In the approx 10 mile route ( give or take a mile or 2 depending on where the scene was in relation to the hospital, and which hospital ) they found that they were saving an average of 25 seconds when driving in emergency mode.

How many fire or ems calls do you have that 25 seconds makes a difference? I know some rural depts in northern wisconsin that have a 35 - 40 mile response, and the same to get back to the hospital. More time savings w/ that long distance. No argument.

I'm just saying that you should look at the time saved in pov's and apparatus in emergency responses and see if the added risk is worth the gain in time for that type of call.

RFRDxplorer
01-01-2007, 11:49 PM
I think a lights without sirens is fine.



Maybe I just notice it there more, but Buffalo Police runs just lights pretty regularly. I've seen them take intersections barely tapping the brakes with just lights...............pretty ballsy if you ask me. I hear them with sirens about half the time I'm guessing.

the1141man
01-02-2007, 05:57 AM
Maybe I just notice it there more, but Buffalo Police runs just lights pretty regularly. I've seen them take intersections barely tapping the brakes with just lights...............pretty ballsy if you ask me. I hear them with sirens about half the time I'm guessing.

It's not just you. A lot of police agencies, especially in the cities, will run "quiet code-3"...namely because in the case of in-progress felony crimes, especially those involving potential or actual harm to a person (ADW, DV, robbery, etc) they don't want to alert the bad guy to their presence from 3 miles away.

Unlike the cops, though, who're trying to maintain a stealthy approach in those cases--they often shut their lights down a couple blocks up from the actual scene--the fire doesn't give a damn whether you're coming or not. Come in quiet, or come in screaming the Q and laying on the airhorn, that fire's going to keep on doin its thing till you do something to stop it. ;)

BLSboy
01-02-2007, 04:14 PM
Anybody ever been PASSED by a CIVILIAN while using lights in your POV??
No joke, I got passed a couple weeks back doin 40-42 in a 35 zone by a big ol F-350, with my blue light .....I guess I was just driving too safely....:eek:

Seriously though, there is no excuse to have a bazillion lights in your POV, a deck and maby grille light. THATS IT!
A Red or Blue/Amber to the rear, if you area allowed to stop/ come across something.
Boy, we just keep shooting ourselves in the foot with the lights.....

tbonetrexler
01-02-2007, 04:24 PM
Anybody ever been PASSED by a CIVILIAN while using lights in your POV??
No joke, I got passed a couple weeks back doin 40-42 in a 35 zone by a big ol F-350, with my blue light .....I guess I was just driving too safely....:eek:

You think thats bad? Ive been passed while riding the brushtruck (going full code 3 on the highway) by a d@mn MINIVAN. So humiliating and annoying.

BLSboy
01-02-2007, 04:53 PM
I recall many a time being passed on the Garden State Parkway going full balst in an ambulace, but that was cause it just cant do the 80 mph everyone else is.
I wish I was a cop, so I could have pulled that SOB over:cool:

the1141man
01-03-2007, 10:00 AM
Anybody ever been PASSED by a CIVILIAN while using lights in your POV??
No joke, I got passed a couple weeks back doin 40-42 in a 35 zone by a big ol F-350, with my blue light .....I guess I was just driving too safely....:eek:


Well, that depends...were you stopping at green lights??? ;) :D


You think thats bad? Ive been passed while riding the brushtruck (going full code 3 on the highway) by a d@mn MINIVAN. So humiliating and annoying.

tbone--what kinda brush trucks do you have? A diesel F-450/550, even with a full box on the back, 300 gals water, and a big midship pump should be towing a U-Haul trailer for all the azz it'll be hauling.

professorduck
01-03-2007, 11:56 AM
Not sure what the laws are in your state for red/white lights on pov but doesn't it confuse people to see red/white on POV's and it be a courtesy light and then have the same on fire trucks/ambulances?

Here in NY the PD just added blue to the rear only, brings some respect back to the blue light.




I run at a fire and rescue squad and have a red and white light that is under my rear view mirror. Looking up our state law AND the by laws of our station, we can have one light in the front and one in the back, but no more than that. I have seen others deck their POV out with more lights than we legally should have. If it isn't too ostentatious then the local PD and deputies turn a blind eye, same with if we go over the speed limit, but it has to be in a safe manner for all, you and others on the road.

However...anyone who runs from home, PLEASE take it from me, I got into an accident responding from home in my POV with my light going. The car in front of me slowed and got over, as did the one in front of him, I slowed, I looked and I went to pass when I thought it was safe. Unfortunately, the woman in front of him was in a small car, I didn't see her, she didn't see my large white F350 and I hit her rear end trying to avoid her as she turned right into my path. Spun her vehicle and she went off the road and the car turned over sideways.

End result, I got my hands smacked in court, paid a fine, and the newspaper had a field day with me for weeks. The facts were twisted, they didn't get the whole story, didn't care that it wasn't factual, as the volunteers in our town are looked down upon by the paid crew. The woman I hit was fine, she was 83 and in good health so I was lucky. My insurance was raised some, not a lot but I learned a very valuable lesson. I drive safe, I obey all traffic lights and signs, and no one at the station thought it would happen to me of all people as I have always been cautious. But it only takes one person not paying attention to ruin things.

tbonetrexler
01-03-2007, 02:40 PM
Well, that depends...were you stopping at green lights??? ;) :D



tbone--what kinda brush trucks do you have? A diesel F-450/550, even with a full box on the back, 300 gals water, and a big midship pump should be towing a U-Haul trailer for all the azz it'll be hauling.

We have a light load on a diesel from the 80's not sure what model, small pump, not tons of hose, 300 gal tank that wasent even all the way full. It wasent so bad that she passed us really, but then she cut us off to exit at the same ramp we were getting off at. She finally realized that we were an emergency vehicle when we blasted her with the siren at the stop sign and went around her.

Riversong
01-03-2007, 05:59 PM
Not sure what the laws are in your state for red/white lights on pov but doesn't it confuse people to see red/white on POV's and it be a courtesy light and then have the same on fire trucks/ambulances?

I think that NY's light scheme is confusing, with red on PD and Fire apparatus and blue on POVs.

In most states (that I'm familiar with) blue is for police only. Red is for all other emergency vehicles: fire, ambulance, and responder's POVs.

And the law is the same for all vehicles displaying red rotating or flashing lights: other drivers are required to pull over and yield right of way.

Here in Vermont, it's generally the flatlanders (NY, MA, CT, NJ) drivers who fail to yield for a POV with red lights. That's why I'm glad I also have a siren and air horn.

- Robert

the1141man
01-04-2007, 06:19 AM
It wasent so bad that she passed us really, but then she cut us off to exit at the same ramp we were getting off at. She finally realized that we were an emergency vehicle when we blasted her with the siren at the stop sign and went around her.


Wow. Just ridiculous... how do these idiots manage to pass their behind-the-wheel tests????

Then again--I guess that brings up another related code-3 response topic: what should you do if you're not able to keep up with the flow of traffic (say an engine or truck going up a steep grade on the highway)??? Shut it down and run cold?? Continue to run "code" and curse those "well-meaning fools" who go around you???
I mean, my way of thinking is if you're rolling code on a highway/freeway and traffic is passing you up, you need to shut down.

ERAngel
01-06-2007, 12:12 AM
In our state, VA, POV's can have a red and white light for emergency response. I have checked our bilaws as well as talked to the deputies in our county. They have seen me go by with said light on as well as been behind me as I was on my way to the station. I think the color of the light and how many depends on your state and bilaws of your station.

FirstDueCTVol
01-06-2007, 08:20 AM
Lights are a tool - nothing more or less. I have blue leds all over my truck - and honestly - people here have extreme respect for the blue lights (maybe cause in MA/NH/MAIne the cops use em) and go to extremes to get out of the way. I don't even use mine alot - but they certainly help.

I think we should all use red - because thats what the public identifies as fire. Not sure why Ct started using blue- the general public thinks that blue is only police- too much confusion.

FireDoc99
01-10-2007, 02:00 PM
In CO. we ran code 3 from the station to the interstate but shut down once we were on the on-ramp because the truck was governed and everyone would pass us. We would pick it back up when we got off at an exit back into town or just turn on the lights when we pulled off on the shoulder, if the call was on the interstate. This was a good policy, it makes no sense to run code 3 (and is probably more dangerous) when you are being passed by traffic on the interstate. All you are doing is getting people to pay attention to the pretty truck instead of the road........ as they pass you like you were sitting still. They probably also wonder whats up with the goofball in the 1982 honda if you are going POV.

If you live far enough away from the station and can't respond directly to the scene (which can also be a bad idea),why have lights? If your not gonna make the 1st or 2nd truck out and always end up as manpower ot stuck at the station, take your time, it's not worth it. If you live close enough to always be first out, you still don't need em', you still live close no matter whats on your dash.

I have noticed that most responses to this thread talk about their dept. by-laws and state laws. How many of you have checked with your insurance carrier? Some say flat out "No", even if the state says you legally can. Running code in your POV is a large liability and my family likes their home. It would suck to know you meet the letter of the "law" but your insurance denies you because it was not covered in your policy. I do have an insurance rider for the lights(and it does cost extra $) but refuse to run code anywhere in my POV. In fact, they come in more handy trying not to smacked while parked on the side of the road.

Also there is the issue of courtesy and public relations, not to mention using common sense. I do not care what any laws say about having to run a siren with lights, if you are going through a residential neighborhood at 3 a.m. doing 20 miles per hour, turn off your damn siren! What good does it do to wake up a whole sub-division? I have never met a cop (and I was one of those for a while too) who would ticket you for practicing a little common courtesy in a safe environment. As a matter of fact most of them think EMS and Fire who do run code like that are idiots for doing it in the first place.

SgtScott31
01-11-2007, 03:24 AM
In CO. we ran code 3 from the station to the interstate but shut down once we were on the on-ramp because the truck was governed and everyone would pass us. We would pick it back up when we got off at an exit back into town or just turn on the lights when we pulled off on the shoulder, if the call was on the interstate. This was a good policy, it makes no sense to run code 3 (and is probably more dangerous) when you are being passed by traffic on the interstate. All you are doing is getting people to pay attention to the pretty truck instead of the road........ as they pass you like you were sitting still. They probably also wonder whats up with the goofball in the 1982 honda if you are going POV.

If you live far enough away from the station and can't respond directly to the scene (which can also be a bad idea),why have lights? If your not gonna make the 1st or 2nd truck out and always end up as manpower ot stuck at the station, take your time, it's not worth it. If you live close enough to always be first out, you still don't need em', you still live close no matter whats on your dash.

I have noticed that most responses to this thread talk about their dept. by-laws and state laws. How many of you have checked with your insurance carrier? Some say flat out "No", even if the state says you legally can. Running code in your POV is a large liability and my family likes their home. It would suck to know you meet the letter of the "law" but your insurance denies you because it was not covered in your policy. I do have an insurance rider for the lights(and it does cost extra $) but refuse to run code anywhere in my POV. In fact, they come in more handy trying not to smacked while parked on the side of the road.

Also there is the issue of courtesy and public relations, not to mention using common sense. I do not care what any laws say about having to run a siren with lights, if you are going through a residential neighborhood at 3 a.m. doing 20 miles per hour, turn off your damn siren! What good does it do to wake up a whole sub-division? I have never met a cop (and I was one of those for a while too) who would ticket you for practicing a little common courtesy in a safe environment. As a matter of fact most of them think EMS and Fire who do run code like that are idiots for doing it in the first place.

Even if it violates state code, I wouldn't cite an emergency vehicle for leaving their siren off in the AM hours, but in Tennessee, it needs to be in the back of the driver's head that if they are involved in an accident and the siren wasn't running, there's a good chance a (winnable) lawsuit is soon to follow...

FireDoc99
01-11-2007, 01:48 PM
Even if it violates state code, I wouldn't cite an emergency vehicle for leaving their siren off in the AM hours, but in Tennessee, it needs to be in the back of the driver's head that if they are involved in an accident and the siren wasn't running, there's a good chance a (winnable) lawsuit is soon to follow...

Thats what I meant about "safe environment". Probbaly not the best term to have used. It's all about driving with "due regard". I totally agree; keep your head on a swivel and your speed low. I was almost hit by a driver who backed out of their drive-way way to fast and without looking. The only thing that kept us from hitting them was that I saw them first and we were only traveling about 15 mph.

BLSboy
01-11-2007, 01:51 PM
Hey FireDoc, unless Fla finally got with the times, you can only have 2 red lights in your POV, correct?

FireDoc99
01-11-2007, 01:55 PM
They probably also wonder whats up with the goofball in the 1982 honda if you are going POV.

I was not trying to put down or slam any Volunteers. I have worked both sides of the paid/volunteer street. What I meant (and should have said) is that our departments and reputations are based on public perception. If you are in Fire, EMS, or LE you should act professional no matter what your doing,
especially if you respond anywhere POV.

shkedi87
01-12-2007, 01:35 PM
Hello everybody,

Here in Israel the law states that only a vehicle which is registered as an "emergency vehicle" (ambulance, police, fire engine) and is driven by a person authorized to drive an emergency vehicle is allowed to use lights and sirens. In reality there are lots of EMTs using light in thier own vehicles, very few use sirens. If you choose to use them over here you need to take the risk of getting caught by an angry police officer who doesn't give a **** that you were on your way to an emergency call.

Personally I do have a light in my vehicle but I never used it. I figured out that since I'm not going to cross any intersection in red light or drive over the speed limit on the way to a call then there's no point of having the light on because it will just confuse other drivers on the road and may put my license at risk.

LVFD301
01-13-2007, 11:01 AM
Also there is the issue of courtesy and public relations, not to mention using common sense. I do not care what any laws say about having to run a siren with lights, if you are going through a residential neighborhood at 3 a.m. doing 20 miles per hour, turn off your damn siren! What good does it do to wake up a whole sub-division? I have never met a cop (and I was one of those for a while too) who would ticket you for practicing a little common courtesy in a safe environment. As a matter of fact most of them think EMS and Fire who do run code like that are idiots for doing it in the first place.


You are correct, most LEO's would not cite you. HOWEVER, if you
are involved in an accident without that siren on, but you had your
lights on, be prepared to lose that house your family likes so much!

If you are not going to make the noise, shut off the lights!

IowaFFandEMT
01-16-2007, 12:07 AM
As a volunteer service with fire and ems combined we are allowed to have blue lights in our private vehicles. We are a small town with a population of only about 3000 or so. The people that live here know most of the 40 members on the department but it still helps us to stand out to the out-of-towners when there is a fire or emergency.

Funny thing just happened today however, we got called out for a medical pt. so i jumped into my truck and took off for the station. I've got two blue LED lights in my grill and a blue dash light. Well, the person who was from my state but not the county did not have a clue what was going on when i pulled out onto the highway right behind them. It was only about 2 blocks to the station and they ended up pulling in to the station also. At this time i am wondering to myself who could this be as i didn't recognize the vehicle. Anyway to make a long story short, they thought i was a police officer and i was pulling them over. After i told them i was only a fireman and that i was responding to an emergency they understood, probably felt like an idiot and then left.

FireDoc99
01-18-2007, 01:52 PM
Hey FireDoc, unless Fla finally got with the times, you can only have 2 red lights in your POV, correct?

Been out of town. FL is still the same. A lot counties also require you to have a county permit.

engine4cLT
02-14-2007, 11:26 PM
oh yeah, and we can't put sirens in our pov's and respond with them. only our fire trucks can have sirens.


MS state law says NO lights without siren.

eging1451
02-17-2007, 02:35 AM
As a volunteer service with fire and ems combined we are allowed to have blue lights in our private vehicles. We are a small town with a population of only about 3000 or so. The people that live here know most of the 40 members on the department but it still helps us to stand out to the out-of-towners when there is a fire or emergency.

Funny thing just happened today however, we got called out for a medical pt. so i jumped into my truck and took off for the station. I've got two blue LED lights in my grill and a blue dash light. Well, the person who was from my state but not the county did not have a clue what was going on when i pulled out onto the highway right behind them. It was only about 2 blocks to the station and they ended up pulling in to the station also. At this time i am wondering to myself who could this be as i didn't recognize the vehicle. Anyway to make a long story short, they thought i was a police officer and i was pulling them over. After i told them i was only a fireman and that i was responding to an emergency they understood, probably felt like an idiot and then left.

This is exactly why I have always believed that non-law enforcement vehicles shouldn't be running blue lights.

IowaFFandEMT
02-19-2007, 10:18 PM
1451-It used to be that law enforcement only used red and maybe sometimes white, then they added blue. Blue is the best color to be seen. The next time you are out driving down a busy street at night, take note of what colors you see. Lots of red and white lights aren't there... Throw in a bright blue flashing light and you are bound to see it. It is different from everything else that is out there so it is easily seen. I don't see a problem with the blue as long as the volunteers are using them what they are intended for. In the last fire paper it had a few stories of guys using them to pull people over for such things as cutting them off on the road and what not. They were fined, had their permit to use the lights pulled, and i believe they may have even had their license pulled. Its those one or two guys that are dumb that ruin it for the rest of us.

allison20
03-14-2007, 02:33 PM
Well here in the ozarks of Arkansas, most ff respond in thier own vehicles, and it almost required to have a light in the car. My pickup has a mini bar light on it. I use my truck at accident scenes for traffic control and the light help the ambulance crew find residences at night. Many of the ff in the area also have sirens. I don't, but thats because I'm to cheap to buy one.
On weather you should have a light or siren, it would de[pend on where you lived and if you respond to calls in your pov. Here the lights are nesasary.

LIGHTSnSIREN
03-17-2007, 05:07 PM
When I was back in LA, I had a nice slick top setup on my POV. 6 corner strobes (4 front, 2 rear), TIR-3s on the sides. A Whelen Traffic Advisor in the Rear And 2 Nova Microthins in the Rear. 2 Nova Microthins and an LED Microdash in the Front. I ran Red/Amber Backwards, and Green/Amber/White forwards. I pushed the letter of the law, but I got to know lots of CHiPies and they always let me fly. Siren was a big no-no.

-Jared
----------
Jared Ross FF/EMT

Owner
LIGHTSnSIREN.com
Pittsburgh, PA
Phone/Fax: 888-4-LED-LIGHTS (888-453-3544)
E-Mail: Sales@LIGHTSnSIREN.com

algoma44
03-21-2007, 01:33 PM
check your state laws.. but i know some state laws consider red or green lights in vehicles as a "courtesy," meaning, even though some people think they should, they really don't have to pull over for you... again, varying by state... the only way to get around is 360 degree lighting and an audible siren for other motorists legally having to obey you... this is because in this case you're considered an actual emergency vehicle..

on a side note.. studies have shown that the use of lights and siren don't necessarily change the outcome of most patients... check out emergency responder.com's info on this.. a study i've seen showed a L&S 10 minute urban transport saved an average of 43.5 sconds faster than non L&S trasnport.. minneapolis, minnesota did a study and showed that it saved on average 3.02 minutes in transport time... i really think the urban setting could benefit more from the Opticom system than L&S.. i still do think there is a time and place to use them; however, use them with caution... when making the decision.. ask yourself.. is my patient in that bad of shape?? it should solely depend on your patient's problem...

LIGHTSnSIREN
03-21-2007, 04:29 PM
algoma44, I completely agree with you about the importance of checking your state laws. Back in LA I was operating in a gray area of the law, which is not something I would recommend.

To add to your point about courtesy lights, I know many states where Blue and Green are used by volunteers and do not give them any rights to break any laws while moving. I am not aware of any states where Red is used as a courtesy color, but it would not surprise me.

I think it is very important that emergency vehicle operators make an informed decision about the use of lights and siren useage, unfortunately a lot of that has been relegated to protocol manuals. We need to keep in might that lights and sirens are for getting through intersections and gridlocked traffic, not an excuse to go 85mph on an open highway.

-Jared
----------
Jared Ross FF/EMT

Owner
www.LIGHTSnSIREN.com
Pittsburgh, PA
Phone/Fax: 888-4-LED-LIGHTS (888-453-3544)
E-Mail: Sales@LIGHTSnSIREN.com

the1141man
03-21-2007, 05:18 PM
When I was back in LA, I had a nice slick top setup on my POV. 6 corner strobes (4 front, 2 rear), TIR-3s on the sides. A Whelen Traffic Advisor in the Rear And 2 Nova Microthins in the Rear. 2 Nova Microthins and an LED Microdash in the Front. I ran Red/Amber Backwards, and Green/Amber/White forwards. I pushed the letter of the law, but I got to know lots of CHiPies and they always let me fly. Siren was a big no-no.


*LOL* actually you violated the law... green is not an allowed color for vehicle lighting according to CA VC.
Further, ambers may only be displayed when an "unusual traffic hazard" exists, and flashing reds are pretty much a "no-go" on non-emergency vehicles period--doesn't matter front-facing or rear.
You were just really lucky you lived in a city where the cops were probably busier than a one-legged man in an azz-kicking contest, and couldn't be bothered to go writing up all the "mechanicals" on your vehicle.
Anywhere outside of the big metro areas, you would've been fried.

The east coast is a good place to be if you want a mobile x-mas light display. ;)

CenTexMedic
04-04-2007, 09:53 PM
Green light here means youre IC. Our EMS supervisors have a green light in their lightbar that can be turned on and off w/o affecting the whole bar. Battalion commanders have greenlights in the bar that are on when the bar is on.

EMT178
04-10-2007, 11:52 AM
For Louisiana:
RS 32:1
1. Definitions

When used in this Chapter, the following words and phrases have the meaning ascribed to them in this Section, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Authorized emergency vehicle" means a vehicle of a fire department, a vehicle of the department's weights and standards police force, a police vehicle, a privately owned vehicle belonging to members of an organized volunteer fire department or fire district when so designated or authorized by the fire chief of that fire department or fire district, an industrial-owned vehicle assigned to members of a fire department or fire district when so designated or authorized by the fire chief of that fire department or fire district, a vehicle parked or stopped by elevator repair or construction personnel while responding to an elevator emergency, such ambulances and emergency medical response vehicles certified by the Department of Health and Hospitals that are operated by certified ambulance services, and emergency vehicles of municipal departments or public service corporations as are designated or authorized by the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development or by the chief of police of any incorporated municipality. For purposes of this Section, elevator repair shall be limited to those elevators that move people.

RS 32:24

24. Emergency vehicles; exceptions

A. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this Section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.

B. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:

(1) Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this Chapter;

(2) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down or stopping as may be necessary for safe operation;

(3) Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property;

(4) Disregard regulations governing the direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

C. The exceptions herein granted to an authorized emergency vehicle shall apply only when such vehicle is making use of audible or visual signals sufficient to warn motorists of their approach, except that a police vehicle need not be equipped with or display a red light visible from in front of the vehicle.

D. The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of an authorized vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.


As for myself, I have a red dual led talon , 1 red tir 3 and 1 clear tir 3, in the front, as well as 2 tir 3 on my tool box, oh and headlight flashers, I also have a whelen siren also. All of which is very effective for moving people out of the way, but also be sensible in when and how you use them, obey the laws set forth and act professional and courteous, this is the only way this courtesy to use these devices will continue to be allowed.

Now, I have all this equip. I am a member of the vol.fire dept, a paramedic with the amb service, a sheriff's deputy, and on the sheriff rescue team.

LordMedic
04-18-2007, 08:17 PM
I dont put lights in my POV, but many vollies here on Long Island do, it seems that the less certified you are the more lights you have, :D

JoeyT1986
04-25-2007, 02:59 AM
I personally think it's a thing for fire nerds. I guess it's required for some dept.'s in rural areas but I don't think I would go out and spend my own money to put lights on my car. It's an accident waiting to happen cause so many volunteer dept's hire this young kids who think they are rescue rick. I am a part timer outside of chicago and my dept. doesn't allow those and it's something a lot of full timers would joke about. I remember in school we had a guy in our classes we called Radio. He would have like 4 radios tied around his belt clip and he drove a 1990 crown vic with yellow lights on it and a siren and he thought he was the coolest dude on the block. Granted he weighed a good 400+lbs he thought he had it goin on and to top it off he was a volunteer ESDA which is basically a bunch of nirples if u ask me and i can count numerous times cops pulling guys like that over.

the1141man
04-25-2007, 09:40 AM
I remember in school we had a guy in our classes we called Radio.

"Hey radio."
"Don't call me Radio, Unit 91."
"Well don't call me Unit 91, Radio!"
"....are you finished?"

:D

hiletm1
06-12-2007, 10:04 AM
I live in a rural area and I drive a dodge ram pick-up. I am a younger firefighter with numerous certifications. I am also an EMT with the local volunteer ambulance service. I was thinking about getting two small blue LEDs for inside my grille. Something inconspicuous. I don't want my truck to look like wacker central. I just want it for visibility sake and the rare occasion where I might want to pass a vehicle

SgtScott31
06-13-2007, 11:01 PM
I live in a rural area and I drive a dodge ram pick-up. I am a younger firefighter with numerous certifications. I am also an EMT with the local volunteer ambulance service. I was thinking about getting two small blue LEDs for inside my grille. Something inconspicuous. I don't want my truck to look like wacker central. I just want it for visibility sake and the rare occasion where I might want to pass a vehicle

Not sure about PA, but in my state lights must be visible from 360 degrees when running emergency with an accompanying siren. A couple of blue LED's (which boggles the mind for me because blue is law enforcement in TN :D ) is not going to stick out, especially in the daytime.

ArkansasFan24
06-16-2007, 06:38 PM
I'm on a volunteer fire department now and have been for five years. Here, I'd guess everyone but me has some type of emergency lighting with half of those having sirens. Why you'd have one without the other is beyond me?

Arkansas statutes (I'm a cop) allow a certified Arkansas firefighter to operate a siren and red light on his dash (of POV) when responding to emergency calls. It also states that emergency medical technicians certified by the AR Dept. of Health can do the same.

Oddly, it says light on dash and mentions nothing about six pairs of strobes, grill lights, rear lights, wig wags, and all the other stuff people use. Of course, no one here is going to stop a volunteer fireman for having lots of lights, but they do sometimes get stopped for driving foolishly as few have been trained in emergency vehicle operations and none are in true emergency vehicles that the public recognizes. (AR Fire. Cert. here is 24 clock hours of training, lol). Then again, if they had blue lights, I'd stop them. Very few people around the county (there are 11 volunteer fire depts) have lightbars. Most people use concealed lights.

Most people here have trucks and SUVs, and some do arrange a set up that looks pretty cool. I've never gotten lights because I don't want to pay for them, I don't live even a half a mile from the fire station, and I seldom go to fire scenes in my vehicle. I usually only do car wrecks in my truck as I'm a paramedic and often the true first responder there. I now have a mobile radio in my truck with all of the fire, EMS, sheriff, and police frequencies in it, and I'm entitled to use all of them.

The big problem with operation a personal vehicle in an emergency fashion is that often your auto insurance carrier won't cover the vehicle in a collision. However, you can purchase an emergency policy for several $$ more.

FIRELIEUTENANT
08-19-2007, 03:39 AM
I am a firefighter in Iowa and we are only allowed to run blue lights. I dont personally mind blue lights but we are not allowed to use sirens. I dont think you should use one or the other but should use both or nothing at all. Iowa's light laws are kind of confusing but from what I gather chief's can have red lights and sirens, firefighters can have blue, EMS can have blue and white, and water rescue divers can have red and a siren BUT the red and siren can only be used responding to a water rescue otherwise they have to use the blue lights. I dont personally care for the complicated laws and believe that we should use either red & white or red & blue or all red but with a siren. Can anybody tell me how I would go about trying to get the laws changed.

algoma44
08-21-2007, 10:35 PM
there isn't much choice but to run for the next election or contact your state congress.

FirefighterKing
08-31-2007, 10:06 AM
If you live in the city and have volunteer Dept., then your city needs to review its EMS! If you live in the boondocks like I do, The lights are really helpful. Our CON does now cover EMS. We are suppose to just fight fires. If there is an EMS call we respond and stand around waiting for the Ambulance from a neighboring town. This is where the lights really help. gently sloped terrain provides a great view of the area as you aproach from town. This give the responding ambulance or Helicopter an immediate "here we are". This also helps the other volunteers as they may not know exactly where the street or address is. Most of the time is is way quicker to go direct to the scene than go down the rough dirt roads to the station, get an engine or brush and go back down the same rough dirt roads to the Cardiac patient who is dead because you were dumb. Lights does not always mean "Code-3" to the scene. It can mean simply "This is where the problem is!"

KB1OEV
07-30-2008, 12:37 AM
Something to consider for anyone who is not allowed to have a siren in their POV but can have lights.

In Massachusetts, we can have red lights with a permit, but no siren. However there is nothing in MA law that prevents us from having an electronic air horn, the same as is used on many ambulances and fire trucks. Whelen makes a unit that only has an air horn and a PA, but no siren tones. I have one in my truck and as far as I can tell, it is perfectly legal, yet can still be used to move people out of the way.

emt161
08-02-2008, 11:53 PM
A POV red light thread dug up from the grave a year later? Seriously?

emt12
07-19-2009, 11:00 AM
i have one blue rotating dashlight in my jeep. it was given to me by my cousin. don't use it much though

GRatEMT
07-20-2009, 08:06 PM
Don't use em... But IL has a blue courtesy light law for FF's/EMS POV (with proof of employment/affiliation) and IN has the same except for EMT's, I guess they can use "A single green rotating, external light mounted outside the vehicle."

Haha, I'll pass.

emt161
07-24-2009, 02:18 AM
The thread that just won't die...

RescueYou
08-27-2009, 08:43 PM
I personally do have them in my car, but I rarely use them. I've responded to several calls from my POV and either beat the crew there or just met up with them on-scene. Yeah, they can't change the stoplights, but in the case of a severe and major emergency, at least they'd do you a little good. You'll probably get on-scene a little faster than you would if you didn't have any lights. But hey, every second counts. I know that when I'm driving and I need to turn my lights on, most people move over for me and that when I'm not in my district and I see someone with theirs on, I do move and try to pull over. In general, I use mine for when I'm first on-scene but out of uniform so that it does indeed give obvious support to the fact that I'm an EMT. It's also good if you turn them on and make your car face oncoming traffic (unless you have some in your back window) for safety reasons if in a high traffic area. ^_^

berkleyems
09-22-2009, 07:45 PM
I'm not a whacker, but I have a light or 2.

Whelen Talon
Whelen Dashmiser
Whelen Cadet
Whelen Strobe Grill Lights
Wig-Wags
Corner Light Strobes
Strobe Lights in Brake Lights
Strobe Lights in Back - up lights
LED Amber Arrow Stick

Yes, I have obsessive light syndrome. I'm buying more lights online now as we speek.

The More lights you have, the better your seen!



lol your right the more the better