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  • Responding code through as School Zone / Bus Stop

    As we were responding to a call the other day we came upon a bus that had began to stop. There were no obstructions of our 2008 E-ONE Custom Cab Typhoon 2500 Gal Engine / Tanker. Trying to make the point that we are hard to miss. The bus stopped, put its flashers on, and let, what appeared to be, a 6 year old child out and cross the road in front of out truck. By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway. If it wasnt for the Cardiac arrest and the children on the bus, we were going to have a few words with the driver. We continued to the call and after all was said and done the local Police Department usually meets with us at the Station after a call. We asked him about the situation, he stated that it is law
    in the state of Alabama for emergency vehicles to yield to School Buses and to turn off all lights and sirens when going through a school zone and proceed through at the posted speed. Just wondering if anyone has heard of this and has any good stories.Thanks
    Josh

  • #2
    When a school bus is stopped with its lights flashing you stop. Period.

    As far as school zones, when the lights are flashing, you slow down, as there may be kids and busses pulling in or out at any moment.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

    Comment


    • #3
      True. But school bus drivers who stop in front of emergency vehicles and begin to let kids out might not be very good choices for school bus drivers.
      Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wisconsin Law:

        SCHOOL ZONES
        “…Regardless of the emergency, when children are present at anytime in a School Zone, the speed limit is 15 MPH, even when visual and audible warning devices are activated...”

        “… All vehicles, including emergency vehicles, regardless of lights & siren, must stop for school buses with flashing red lights and/or activated stop sign and remain stopped until the lights and stop sign are deactivated.”
        -Wisconsin Administrative Code


        No funny stories about it. It certainly wouldn't look good on Dateline if you struck a kid with a fire truck. Not to mention the personal guilt.
        Jason Knecht
        Firefighter/EMT
        Township Fire Dept., Inc.
        Eau Claire, WI

        IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
        http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
        EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by josh3110 View Post
          By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway.
          Get a new driver. The one you have is unfit and dangerous.

          We all know what a stopping school bus and flashing lights mean. So if you and your driver are surprised that a kid started crossing the road, I'm glad you aren't in my department. I do not know why the bus driver didn't wait to unload until after you passed. Maybe she saw you and didn't care. Maybe she didn't. I'd slap her upside the head for it either way.

          But it's your job in a piece of fire apparatus driving lights and siren to be smarter than everyone else on road, especially the ones that do dumb things. Based on your description, neither you nor your driver fit that description.
          Last edited by nmfire; 12-03-2010, 08:44 AM.
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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          • #6
            A School Bus always has the right of way, period. If your driver did not know the law and did not anticipate that, you need some training.

            Same for school zones. We turned of our siren in school zones, kept the lights flashing, and proceed at 25 mph (the limit in school zones).

            You are on the way to an emergency, it does not give you the right to create another emergency.
            "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by josh3110 View Post
              As we were responding to a call the other day we came upon a bus that had began to stop. There were no obstructions of our 2008 E-ONE Custom Cab Typhoon 2500 Gal Engine / Tanker. Trying to make the point that we are hard to miss. The bus stopped, put its flashers on, and let, what appeared to be, a 6 year old child out and cross the road in front of out truck. By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway. If it wasnt for the Cardiac arrest and the children on the bus, we were going to have a few words with the driver. We continued to the call and after all was said and done the local Police Department usually meets with us at the Station after a call. We asked him about the situation, he stated that it is law
              in the state of Alabama for emergency vehicles to yield to School Buses and to turn off all lights and sirens when going through a school zone and proceed through at the posted speed. Just wondering if anyone has heard of this and has any good stories.Thanks
              Josh

              In NYS you must yield to any school bus that has stopped AND has their lights activated. When responding in emergency mode the driver of the emergency vehicle must stop and wait for the driver of the bus to either wave them on, or wait for them to unactivate their lights and mechanical stop signs.

              PERSONALLY, I think an emergency vehicle should be able to proceed through a school buses yield sign in a life-threatening emergency the way they would a regular stop sign - with Due Regard. If a bus driver sees an emergency vehicle approaching and are at a bus stop, they should retain the children that are about to get off and wait until the emergency vehicle in an active emergency move has passed. But that's just me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maryland has the same law. Emergency vehicles must stop for school busses when their flashers and stop sign are activated.

                My one experience with this, the driver saw me coming and held the kids on the bus, but she had already activated the lights and stop sign. She looked at me like I was stupid for stopping and waiting until she realized that she had the lights on and turned them off so that I could proceed.

                A good bus driver will see or hear you coming and not let the kids off or activate the lights until you are past. Likewise, a good engine driver will anticipate the school bus stopping if it's that time of day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well..............

                  My Wife and Oldest daughter both have many years in the School Bus business. Both are/were Owner-Operators and Volunteer EMTs so they know both sides of this discussion quite well. Both have held kids on the Bus until an Emergency Vehicle passed, and there was no problem...........
                  Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                  In memory of
                  Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                  Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                  IACOJ Budget Analyst

                  I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                  www.gdvfd18.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Busses here activate their amber flashers before they even stop, so you have fair warning that the reds will be coming on. Sometimes, if you're close, it becomes a guessing game - if they're still doing 15-20 MPH with the ambers on, you're safe going on by (and if you stop, they might drive right by you, to their intended stopping point). If they're almost stopped, so do you.

                    That said, I'm sure there are bus drivers out there who would be more than happy to stop an emergency vehicle "because they can" and without regard for anyone's safety. It's entirely possible that the bus driver got an evil chuckle out of the smoke coming off the tires...

                    Can't say that I've ever heard of any law requiring emergency vehicles to turn off their warning devices in school zones.
                    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In those rare instances where I have come up on an active school bus while responding, I have ALWAYS stopped, killed my siren, and waited to see what the driver does. Most of the time he/she will stick a hand out the window and wave me around. I do NOT pass until I either see that gesture or until the bus has turned off its flashers.

                      A bus full of loud kids will drown out a siren. Don't assume the driver knows you are there, and consequently, don't assume that the children he/she drops off will respond rationally if and when they see you.

                      As far as what the law is, does it matter? Does it take a law to install common sense in your head? Would knowing what you did was legal make you feel any better if you ran over a child?

                      A bus stop takes seconds. Just stop the fire truck and wait.
                      “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
                      ― Hunter S. Thompson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by josh3110 View Post
                        As we were responding to a call the other day we came upon a bus that had began to stop. There were no obstructions of our 2008 E-ONE Custom Cab Typhoon 2500 Gal Engine / Tanker. Trying to make the point that we are hard to miss. The bus stopped, put its flashers on, and let, what appeared to be, a 6 year old child out and cross the road in front of out truck. By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway. If it wasnt for the Cardiac arrest and the children on the bus, we were going to have a few words with the driver. We continued to the call and after all was said and done the local Police Department usually meets with us at the Station after a call. We asked him about the situation, he stated that it is law
                        in the state of Alabama for emergency vehicles to yield to School Buses and to turn off all lights and sirens when going through a school zone and proceed through at the posted speed. Just wondering if anyone has heard of this and has any good stories.Thanks
                        Josh
                        Nope, I prefer the leather helmet.

                        Wait, no, KME. Best engine builder out there.

                        No, Yes, I run lights and sirens on my POV...

                        Although the above has not reached the same level of troll as the helmet, POV, or whose engine is best, I think we have a new contender.

                        I know smart people in Alabama - Lots of them. What happened to your department? When approaching a school bus with the lights activated, you stop. Not slow, not blow it, you STOP. You only proceed after you get confirmation from the driver that it is ok to pass. POSITIVE confirmation.

                        This was a troll post, right? Josh, you are Joshing us, right?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by josh3110 View Post
                          ...By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway...
                          Forget, for a moment, that a school bus was involved. The driver (of any vehicle) should always drive as if a 6 year old is about to run in front of his truck. Because you can drive the vehicle beyond it's operational limits does not mean you should. You and your driver are too immature to be driving anything, much less a 2500 gallon tanker. Have you discussed this with your Chief? I would be surprised if he shared your view.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WV law is the same...stop for a school bus with lights flashing. Driver can shut the lights down and motion you past.

                            On a side note... A 2500 gallon tanker sliding to a stop, don't like the sound of that...

                            We wouldn't be driving very long after that incident

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by josh3110 View Post
                              As we were responding to a call the other day we came upon a bus that had began to stop. There were no obstructions of our 2008 E-ONE Custom Cab Typhoon 2500 Gal Engine / Tanker. Trying to make the point that we are hard to miss. The bus stopped, put its flashers on, and let, what appeared to be, a 6 year old child out and cross the road in front of out truck. By this point we are coming to a skid in the middle of a 4 lane highway. If it wasnt for the Cardiac arrest and the children on the bus, we were going to have a few words with the driver. We continued to the call and after all was said and done the local Police Department usually meets with us at the Station after a call. We asked him about the situation, he stated that it is law
                              in the state of Alabama for emergency vehicles to yield to School Buses and to turn off all lights and sirens when going through a school zone and proceed through at the posted speed. Just wondering if anyone has heard of this and has any good stories.Thanks
                              Josh


                              Josh,

                              It seems to me that your department needs to review its response procedures and the state motor vehicle laws for your state.

                              If this had been one of our guys and the rig was in a skid to stop, the Officer and Operator would be in deep poop before the day was over.


                              That size rig you said was responding and had to do a panic stop, was going too fast to begin with!


                              Slow down and arrive safe and alive!

                              Comment

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