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Anyone familiar with flashing 'courtesy lights'?

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  • Anyone familiar with flashing 'courtesy lights'?

    I've heard that in some states volunteer EMTs are allowed to use green flashing lights when enroute to the ambulance or a call. I've been told that the lights don't give the driver any special priveleges (like red and/or blue flashing lights do) but helps to get people out of the way. Can anyone confirm or deny this and provide some information on it?
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    Kirch, I believe that in our neck of the woods, green lights are for command posts.

    It doesn't sound like a bad idea. I know it was frustrating when I was on the volunteer fire department. People wouldn't move over for our hazard lights.
    Drug Recognition Expert

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    • #3
      I've always thought it a little odd that volunteer firefighters (here in WI) can, with the authorization of their chief, install flashing red lights in their vehicles and those of us who are EMTs (with just as much at stake) don't have that ability.
      Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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      • #4
        The ONLY department vehicle in my area equipped with GREEN lights belongs to our Fire Chief....who ALSO has RED emergency lights on his department vehicle.

        Our EMTs and Volunteer Firemen use traditional RED emergency lights.
        "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
        -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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        • #5
          Sorry, never heard of using green lights. Our volunteer firefighters are authorized to use red flashing lights on their personal vehicles & most all first responder EMT's are volunteer firefighters.

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          • #6
            Legal for EMTs in Indiana to run green. Vol. Firemen use blue.
            And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”- Romans 8:28

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            • #7
              In KY, fire fighters and members of rescue squads (this would include EMTs) are allowed to use red lights and sirens on their personal vehicles.

              I've seen green lights on several security vehicles, along with amber lights.

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              • #8
                It's so variable............ When I lived in PA, volunteer firemen could use blue lights (the chief and asst. chief could use red), but in FL, volunteers use red lights and only LE can use blue.

                Green around here is essentially unregulated, so it's a free for all. I have seen a few security companies using them instead of amber.

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                • #9
                  Accually, Kentucky varies from county to county as to who can have emergency lights in their POVs. Gotta love the laws in the only state that still has the office of "Jailer."

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                  • #10
                    I can't find any references to Volunteer Firefighters in the California Vehicle Code, and as far as I can tell green lamps are only authorized as a "courtesy lamp" to be mounted on the door or running lamp and not to exceed six candlepower. You often see these on semi-trucks.

                    If the Volunteer Firefighter is driving a vehicle that is owned by a fire suppression agency, then as best I can tell they would fall under "Authorized Emergency Vehicle" and can use red lights and a siren (blue is authorized only for LE in California). If they're responding in their own POV, then I would say their vehicle can't have any special lights on them.

                    Then again, in metro LA it's not likely that I will run into any, at least in their official capacity.

                    [ 02-11-2003, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: Sig220Man ]

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                    • #11
                      In the UK , some doctors have a green flashing light on the roofs of their cars. This does not give them any special priviledges on the road, however, as mentioned previously it warns other road users that there is an emergency doctor on route to something and therefore they will hopefully give precedence to him/her. Only doctors are allowed to use this colour.
                      sigpic
                      Scream if you wanna go faster

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                      • #12
                        In Ontario.......Red/White flashing are only used by Police..Fire and Ambulance...NO Vehicles other than previously mentioned can show red lights to the front) Blue is for snow plows..Green is for volunteer firefighters(no special priveleges just headway). Yellow/white for tow trucks and other vehicles that may be a hazard on the roadway..
                        dilligaff

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                        • #13
                          The only green lights I know of are the center rotator on Battalion Chiefs' vehicles or other fire command vehicles.

                          For some reason, security guard companies think they need amber lights on their cars. I don't know why, because they are not allowed to turn them on on a public road, unless they are on the scene of an emergency, such as running across a traffic accident.

                          In New Mexico, I saw blue strobes on tow trucks. Interesting.
                          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                          • #14
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by KYGlockShooter:
                            Accually, Kentucky varies from county to county as to who can have emergency lights in their POVs.

                            Technically that is incorrect. While some volunteer departments may have specific regulations, the Kentucky Revised Statutes give ALL volunteers the right to display emergency lights.

                            KRS 189.910 defines an emergency vehicle as "...any motor vehicle used by a paid or volunteer fireman, paid or volunteer ambulance personnel...while responding to an emergency..."

                            KRS 189.920 goes on to say that any of the above vehicles may be equipped with red flashing lights.

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                            • #15
                              This is a BIG pet peeve of mine...
                              I wrote many a citation in regards to emergency lighting in regards to display and use.

                              Green lights may only be used in PA for command posts. Blue lights may be used for POVs of responding EMS and fire personnel. Persons using them must have permission and be on a list maintained by the fire chief.

                              IMO, the blue lights were a joke. When I was an EMT and ran ambulance, I received a lot of pressure to get a blue light...my response was always that it was better for the department to have a citizen say, "Look at the way that jerk is driving!", than, "Look at the way that jerk from the fire department is driving!"

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