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  • Emergency Lights ? ?

    Are members of volunteer fire departments allowed to have emergency lights on their own vehicles to respond to emergencies?

    I know this isn't firefighter.com, but I figure some of you may know the answer to my question. Thanks!!!

  • #2
    I'm not a firefighter, but I have enough practical experience to know the answer...yes voulinteer firefighters can put red emergency lights and a siren on their POV ...course I am in Colorado and only really know for Colorado
    ...

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    • #3
      They can in Ohio. But liability is still on the registered owner of the vehicle not the volunteer department. So can you guess who gets sued ?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bodie
        They can in Ohio. But liability is still on the registered owner of the vehicle not the volunteer department. So can you guess who gets sued ?

        what about failure to yield to an emergency vehicle?
        ...

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        • #5
          I'd check your state law. In mass. you have to have a permit. There is a $300
          fine for having flashing or oscillating red or blue lights without one.

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          • #6
            Tough one to prove. We have seen volunteer firefighters at fault. They can be charged and held liable just like somebody in a marked unit can.
            If a volunteer blows a light like he's in a hell bent hurry and gets clipped he's getting the ticket.
            There are too many cars on the road that you really can't hear the siren that well in and if joe ff blows a light in his mazda protege blue in color with a single dash light and gall's siren it's a no brainer who is getting cited.

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            • #7
              In Pennsylvania there is a fairly short list of occupations that can run emergency lights. In volunteer fire companies only the chief and 1st assistant chief can run with red lights and only the lieutenant of the fire police can run red and blue. Pov's equiped with these lights must also have sirens. Volunteer firefighters can run blue lights(no sirens). Blue lights in PA are a courtesy light only they carry no privileges and other motorists are not required to yield.
              When Society makes war on its police, it better be prepared to make friends of its criminals.

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              • #8
                Very interesting. It definitely sounds like the laws vary quite a bit from state to state. I'll have to check mine out. Unless anyone happens to have any knowledge of this issue in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

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                • #9
                  Minnesota law can be found here.

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                  • #10
                    In Kentucky, volunteer fire and rescue could run red lights and siren to emergency calls, but had to have a letter from the organization head authorizing their use. In my city, the local volunteer departments required thier members to have prominent markings on the vehicle (such as MCRS 123 on the back glass) to identify the person. The requirements for the driver were identical to those of others driving emergency vehicles, and other motorists had to yield the same as well. This may have changed since I moved to Florida in 2001, but I doubt it. Florida law also allows for similar use.
                    God made cops so firemen would have heroes.

                    You do not greet Death; you punch him in the throat repeatedly as he drags you away.

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                    • #11
                      In Michigan they are allowed to have lights and sirens on their personal vehicles, however they must run Lights AND Siren to a call. They utilize a system in my area that tells them if they can run lights and siren. If they do and are not supposed to then, well they get stopped or spoken to.

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                      • #12
                        NC law allows for use of red and clear lights on personal vehicles. Sirens and flashing headlights are illegal. All emergency vehicles are still required to drive "...with due regard to the safety of other motorists," but are except from traffic laws specifically (speed limit, traffic lights, markings, etc.). However, state law says that no vehicles, other than marked police, fire, and EMS vehicles, which are registered as government vehicles, are except from any traffic laws, meaning that unless you're in a cruiser, fire truck, or ambulance, you can't speed, run traffic lights, pass people on a double line, etc. I find that most of our firefighters do NOT have red lights in their vehicles because the area is so urban that people could care less about blue lights and sirens, let alone a Chevy Cavalier with a Code 3 on the dash.
                        "Avoid the summertime blues"

                        "Show me your friends, and I'll show you who you are."

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