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Which departments use a quiet response policy to certain types of calls?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by aromania View Post
    I also don't understand the concept of running lights without siren while driving normally, it seems like a really good way to confuse drivers.
    We do that on tender/tanker ops. If traffic becomes congested, the driver/op may chose to step it up to emergent traffic and hit the siren. I am not saying I condone or agree, just that is the way we do it.

    Note: I have seen a lot of Dr/Ops get antsy when that siren comes on. I write it off to adrenaline, but sometimes, investigate, lift assist, or being the second, third, fourth truck in on minor call isn't worth the risk.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    • #17
      Originally posted by 105 View Post
      More for safety and visibility - no need to endanger anyone by speeding, taking right-of-way through intersections, etc., however it is still a call response and as a result the lights are lit up.

      So far, no confusion noted - nobody in the community has ever asked why we have the lights on but not siren nor taking off like a scalded cat.
      That makes so sense at all. If you are not going to respond in an "emergent mode", there is no point to have the lights on. Under the reasoning of safety and visibility, you should have the lights on whenever the truck moves. In fact, every vehicle on the road should have a flashing light on it.

      That is one of the most bizarre things I've seen here.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
        Please don't think I'm being a smartass, but I just don't get it. Do you also return to the station with the lights on, and if not, why not?
        A city near here used to do exactly that. They don't any more. Supposedly it was something to do with their insurance, but I never really heard anything firm.

        Running with lights requires running with the siren here, although on a lonely country road at 4 AM we probably won't bother with the siren except at intersections.

        If you don't need the siren, you don't need the lights. I'll agree that it just confuses the public. We have enough trouble getting them to get out of the way when we want them to. No sense introducing situations where they have to determine whether we really want to get out of the way.
        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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        • #19
          We run just lights to a lot of calls. Simply because our traffic volume is LOW through our town, we leave the siren off until its necessary. Most of the time, only our first out truck has to blow their siren. Tankers sometimes have to make noise while hauling water, but otherwise overall, we are pretty quiet. Personally, I will make a little noise at blind intersections during the daytime and at night when i see headlights. Plus, electronic sirens are so damn annoying.

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          • #20
            I'd be surprised if any insurance company advised a fire department to drive in a manner that breaks NYS V&T law. Which since you are from NY I'm assuming the neighboring department is also.

            Thats one thing I like about the mechanical Q, you can just tap it so it isn't as loud as when you are attempting to move a gaggle of cars.

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            • #21
              up to officers discretion.. Not going to risk our lives driving emergency if no other life is at risk.. that goes for tummy aches, my leg hurts, ive got a headache, wants bp checked, ... and so forth.
              "....train as if your life depends on it, because one day it could.."
              .....Leather Head N6A
              Tillerman..... The best job in the FD!!!

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              • #22
                Normally we run everything hot. If it is something that can be ran cold (assist person up, CO alarm-low/zero reading, etc), then dispatch will advise Alpha response. If conditions change, they can upgrade it. On AFD's where the alarm company calls in to cancel, the BC cancels himself and the truck, but has the engine continue in Alpha to investigate.

                FM1
                I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

                Originally posted by EastKyFF
                "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
                  Please don't think I'm being a smartass, but I just don't get it. Do you also return to the station with the lights on, and if not, why not?
                  We only run the 'lights only, no siren' setup to a call that is no longer emergent - that is, for example, we have a few trucks on-scene already and simply need to ferry some tools or resources to the scene in a timely manner. We run the lights because it is technically an emergency call, but we don't want to put anyone in danger for something that isn't urgently pressing. This gives us visibility and lets the public know we're there, but doesn't put anyone or anything in greater danger than is absolutely necessary. Think of it akin to when a tow-truck is towing a car - they put their roof lights on to let people know they are engaged in an activity that isn't dangerous per se, but they should probably keep their heads up nonetheless.

                  And we never run lights when the call is over - we just mosey back to the hall and prepare for cleanup and repacking

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by nameless View Post
                    That makes so sense at all. If you are not going to respond in an "emergent mode", there is no point to have the lights on. Under the reasoning of safety and visibility, you should have the lights on whenever the truck moves. In fact, every vehicle on the road should have a flashing light on it.

                    That is one of the most bizarre things I've seen here.
                    Odd - have you never seen the police do the exact same thing? Quite often I've seen police cars running just lights, no siren and not speeding to a call - they are responding, obviously, but not to a situation that requires immediate drastic response.

                    We do the same thing.... I'm... a touch puzzled as to why you would think this is "one of the most bizarre things I've seen here".

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                    • #25
                      We run L&S for most calls, however on Automatic Fire Alarms the First Due engine runs hot, the second due and the platform will run cold, driving like any other vehicle on the road. However if the first in engine gets there and there is something to it, obviously everyone else picks up the pace.

                      We will also run cold for investigation/checkout calls (ie people calling in about illegal brush burns etc), public service calls, etc where there is nothing "emergent" about it.

                      This is what I understand so far. I am just getting ready to go full time, where as when I was part time I was only dispatched out for box calls so I am learning what we do for what now.
                      Brian Irey

                      My comments are mine and mine alone - they do not represent any thoughts or views of my department or anyone else

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 105 View Post
                        Odd - have you never seen the police do the exact same thing? Quite often I've seen police cars running just lights, no siren and not speeding to a call - they are responding, obviously, but not to a situation that requires immediate drastic response.

                        We do the same thing.... I'm... a touch puzzled as to why you would think this is "one of the most bizarre things I've seen here".
                        I'm with him, I think that this is really bizzare too. No, in nearly 20 years of doing this have I ever seen a police car ride around with the lights on when they're not speeding, overtaking an intersection, or the like - and I worked in law enforcement before getting hired with the FD! No matter fire, police, or EMS, it simply doesn't make sense to have the lights on if you're going to be driving the speed limit.

                        Is the call still an "emergency call" if the other rigs are there and the condition is mitigated?

                        I understand that at 4AM on a country road, some EV's are going to exceed the speed limit with lights on and no siren. But to just drive along with the lights on while not going any faster than the flow of traffic is wierd.
                        Career Fire Captain
                        Volunteer Chief Officer


                        Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
                          I'm with him, I think that this is really bizzare too. No, in nearly 20 years of doing this have I ever seen a police car ride around with the lights on when they're not speeding, overtaking an intersection, or the like - and I worked in law enforcement before getting hired with the FD! No matter fire, police, or EMS, it simply doesn't make sense to have the lights on if you're going to be driving the speed limit.
                          Weird - happens all the time here in Nova Scotia. With cops, EMS, and fire.... any call requires lights, but not necessarily siren/high speed unless it's a high-priority call.

                          Is the call still an "emergency call" if the other rigs are there and the condition is mitigated?
                          Here it's an emergency call until the apparatus are back at the station and dispatch clears the board.

                          I understand that at 4AM on a country road, some EV's are going to exceed the speed limit with lights on and no siren. But to just drive along with the lights on while not going any faster than the flow of traffic is wierd.
                          Usually, honestly, traffic gets out of the way even if it's not requested with a siren/horn blast - emergency vehicles have the right of way when lit up here. However, the apparatus obeys stop signs, traffic lights, and posted speed limits when only running lights.

                          Personally, I'm perfectly fine with this - if the gear/resources aren't need *right now*, why risk anyone's life to get it there? Run the lights, but move at a safe and reasonable speed.
                          Last edited by 105; 03-22-2011, 11:13 AM.

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                          • #28
                            The reason why some of us disagree with the concept of responding with lights alone is that we don't understand the point. Emergency light, sirens, air horns, etc are emergency warning devices. If you are driving normally, obeying the speed limit and all traffic laws where is the need to warn the other drivers? Is it so your preemption devices activate the traffic lights in your favor? If so, if the incident requires your expedited response why aren't you using the siren as well?

                            I am sure there are times when lights and no siren is appropriate... it would seem to be a good for a tender that is moving well below the speed-limit due to weight and road conditions to use lights to warn other drivers of the hazard it is creating (or any apparatus in these conditions).

                            The other reason that there is some confusion is that many states consider it dangerous to respond with lights and no siren. My personal experience is that emergency lights tend to bring the moron out in the average driver, lights don't always change that but they help.
                            "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
                            "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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                            • #29
                              I too have never seen a cop just driving around with their lights on. Also your analogy is off, tow trucks and construction vehicles have hazard lights that are to warn people "hey I'm working here or towing something watch out" our lights are saying "Hey I'm going to an emergency, please move out of the way to that I can get their in an expedient manner". If you are following the rules of the road, there is no need for your lights. Its pretty much just "Hey ma, look I'm a firemans and I'm driving the fire truck, look at me"

                              Its very puzzling. Honestly

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by nameless View Post
                                I too have never seen a cop just driving around with their lights on. Also your analogy is off, tow trucks and construction vehicles have hazard lights that are to warn people "hey I'm working here or towing something watch out" our lights are saying "Hey I'm going to an emergency, please move out of the way to that I can get their in an expedient manner". If you are following the rules of the road, there is no need for your lights. Its pretty much just "Hey ma, look I'm a firemans and I'm driving the fire truck, look at me"

                                Its very puzzling. Honestly
                                Given that all branches of emergency services here do it - it's not an attention whoring device. It must be written into legislation somewhere. I can see how it may be puzzling to areas that have never seen it - I simply assumed, given it's prevalence here, that it was rather standard across the board.

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