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Lights on POV's; how far is too far?

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  • #31
    I have four corner strobes in my truck and a dashlaser rotator, all of which I got second hand. They are all direct wired to a lighted toggle switch that was already in the truck when I bought it. I live pretty close to the station, so it probably doesn't make a difference going to fire calls, but our FD also provides First Responder EMS services to our community (suburban/rural), and I have found that whil responding to FR calls the lights seem to improve my response time. Also I think the lights help the EMS unit locate the house easier, since alot of the houses in our district aren't numbered well. They also help alert drivers when I am parked on the side of the road, that is particularly why I like having the stobes in the tail lights. I didn't put alot of money into the system( a little under $200), which I think is reasonable. I am looking into purchasing a new truck in the near future and I will definitely have four corner lights in it. Some of what I have read is definitely over kill, but I think what I have is an acceptable medium.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ignition_point:
      Thats one of those situations I don't like, with lights. IF someone gets stuck at a bust intersection, people get all confused, either no one stops.. or some do and some don't and it's a big traffic mess. Becareful going through those lights, I'm not sure what state you're in, but here in Indiana, no matter what th situation, if you have the red light, you can't go through it even if people are giving you the right of way.
      Ignition Point...

      I Also know this to be true in New Jersey, Even if you come to a Red Light and are being waved on by the opposing traffic we're not Suppossed to go through but I've seen alot of guys do it anyway....I have my-self on a few occassions depending on the call not that it makes it right by any means

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      • #33
        Courtesy lights are for the birds! I am from southern New Jersey, and as Brian Dunlap stated...a blue light is only a courtesy light and we are not to disobey any traffic laws when responding to emergency's...fire or EMS. Even if you are going to the scene you still don't have more rights than a citizen in this state. The ONLY exception is the Chief and 1st Deputy(assistant)Chief. They are aloud to have red lights and sirens in their pov's, but all of the Chiefs I know don't. As for me I have a whelen single strobe behind my rear view mirror and i almost never use it. I live about 3 miles from the station and I have to go through 2 traffic lights, one school zone, all on a heavily traveled county road. My opinion is if it's really burning, then it will still be burning when I get there, and if it's not then my boy's did their job and made me proud! There will always be the next one!
        Ladies and Gentlemen its just not worth a human life, mine or someone elses. Our job is to protect and serve not to run around like a bunch of wide eyed, crazy thinking blockheads.

        ------------------
        Dan Kerr Jr.
        Firefighter/EMT
        Pennsauken Fire Dept. Sta.#5
        "Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff, and keepin it safe"

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        • #34
          I think what everyone is forgetting is what people have to go thru to get to the station. Some depts. in my area respond to the scene rather than to the station, so they need the protection on the scene. Our dept. is you respond to the station first, but if you have to drive by the incident, you can stop. Also I agree with the others in regards of traffic areas. I have a full size MX7000 on my truck. I dont live all that far from the station, but construction areas are getting heavy and detours make for heavy traffic in my area. I am a big supporter of volunteers having lightbars. Just for the simple fact that if you are going to use lights, they must be seen by everyone, not for just your safety but for all. And the biggest key of all----is maturity and control. Whether you have a lightbar, x-mas tree, dash light, or nothing---- driving should be no different. If something happens to us on the way----we have just complicated the incident and are no help to anyone.

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          • #35
            Ok read allot these replies about how POV lights work and don't work. But don't think I seen a post regarding how the POV's condition is. I mean your doing ninety miles an hour with your pinto running firestone tires!! What type of condition is your POV in really?
            I know my employer requires the emergency vehicle that we use to be inspected before each tour. This is a checklist and visual inspection of the vehicle. Is this done on your rolling(AKA POV)light display? Some might say that state inspections count but I recall that emergency vehicles are required to have them also, but still a dept. inspection is done.
            Overall running lights and siren does not save allot of time and how would you feel if your vehicle decided to take out a van of kids going to school, HEY but it was an emergency YEAH your emergency...

            L4

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            • #36
              Here I use a 6 strobes red whelen lightbar, hideaways front/rear, and large magnetic decals on both front doors of my Suburban.
              The decals were custom made and it is virtually impossible to realize they are magnetic.
              This allows me to keep my car identified when on call and take them away when I want to be just another ordinary car.

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              • #37
                Here in Ohio, red lights and sirens are a tool to help improve response time by clearing traffic in front of you and allowing you to move through traffic control devices *with due regard for other's safety*. They are not a license to go 40 or 50 mph over the posted speed limit or blow through red lights without even slowing down. Your responsibility and maturity are the keys to using these tools.

                As far as the arguments that it doesn't save that much time, do you think the few seconds saved moving traffic out of your way makes a difference to the person having an MI and just went into V-fib or the child choking that just went into respiratory arrest or the fire that only involved the contents in one room when the person called 911? Of course it does!

                Bottom line - *You* have to take responsibility to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem whether you just have a dash light or your POV looks like the Las Vegas strip at night.

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                • #38
                  I use a small, 20 inch or so lightbar on the top of my car, and i am thinking of getting a small Hotshot of something for a dashlight. I am also looking into the headlight flashers that cost $20 in galls. a buddy of mine had those and said they worked better than any roof light. I just people to see me in their mirror. I have to respond both through a city area, and an open county area, so i tried to use that in my determination of what lights to get. People don't need a damn seizure mobile. Keep it simple.

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                  • #39
                    This is from 15-20 years ago, in MO. The law back then was a blue courtesy light, with or without a siren. My response was down a two-lane primary, w/a right turn at a stop light, then down another 2-lane. Total of about 3 miles.

                    On the primary, if you came up behind someone going 30 (speed limit was 40), they'd usually pull onto the shoulder and let you by. Also, if someone was waiting to turn left, you were allowed to pass them (safely) on the shoulder - normally passing on the right on a two-lane would be illegal.

                    Likewise, at the stop light, you could use the shoulder like a right turn lane (there wasn't one in those days), but had to yeild to crossing traffic. Right on Red was legal, though, so if they saw it and stopped, you could pull out in front of them.

                    But you couldn't speed anyway, so if the traffic was going the limit, it didn't save you anything. And as another post stated, you couldn't go through a red light (except turning right) so that was more confusing than anything else.

                    Also, no "direct to scene" was allowed except for chiefs, so that wasn't an issue.

                    The bottom line - I never turned it on unless I came up behind a left turner (so I'd be legal as I went around on the shoulder) or a "grandma" driving way under the posted limit. And usually the "grandma"'s (or grandpa's) had been around enough to know we were vollie, so they promptly got out of the way.

                    You ought to see it now, though. The area has exploded with new development. There's 1000's of new houses. Lots more "transient" traffic. So no one knows what a "blue light" means anymore.

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                    • #40
                      I once ran a blue light. Until I reached about 19. I grew out of that stage and passed the light onto my brother. He has a few years left with it.

                      I have not see any really advantage to responding with a light, in either city or rural settings. I see there are 2 types of situations. One is it will be over with by the time I get there or, two, it is big enough that it will be there when I arrive. I have found there is no need for me in a POV to drive like a fool to go to a call. I guess for some that comes with age. And for others it will never come. Just my opinion.

                      ------------------
                      Keep Safe!

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                      • #41
                        Anything more than a dash light is excessive, in my opinion.
                        Also being from S. Jersey if people don't get out of your way when your in the BRT with the Red Lights and Federals blaring no way in hell do they get out of your way with the 'courtesy' blue light in your POV.

                        ------------------
                        The statements above are my own opinions

                        FF Greg Grudzinski
                        Oaklyn Fire Dept.
                        Station 18-3

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                        • #42
                          I do know that some depts require you to be seen 360 degrees. A buddy of mine was just gonna go with a hotshot on the dash, but had to get a roof light to be seen all the way around. This is in Ohio, btw.

                          ------------------
                          DFD Company 18
                          "The Clubhouse"

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                          • #43
                            This may make some people unhappy, but here goes. First of all in my state having a light on your dash doesn't allow you to speed and doesn't even give you the right-of-way. I never understood the reasoning of some fool driving through a school zone at 60 mph, and thinking that it's O.K. just because they have a blue light (or what have you) blazing away. You might save a couple of seconds getting to a fire, and you might not. In a driver/engineer class I took a couple of years ago, it was mentioned that you only save seconds, not mins. by driving like a maniac. And that's in a fire engine, not a car or truck. No I don't want to take the dash lights away from people, but what's the point. It doesn't give the driver of a car outfitted with one in my state the right-of-way anyway.

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                            • #44
                              This is astounding. There are 42 posts on this board about lights and not one of you addressed the legality of the lights. I am only familiar with NJ law. The law states (I think the site is 39:4-51) that there will be one light, placed either in the center of the roof or in the space trafitionally held by a spotlight, controlled by a switch inside the vehivle and not more than 51 candlepower. Light bars, dash lights, strobe lights, whatever, are ILLEGAL in NJ! If you don't like the law, lobby to change it, but until that time, as public officials, you are obligated to obey the law.

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                              • #45
                                After considering the logic of this post, we should remove the lights and sirens from all the fire trucks too. After all, no fire will burn forever right? Think of all the over-time you'll get!!!

                                And if they are on an EMS run to save life? New babies are born every day you know. It's not like we're running out of people or anything like that.

                                It's not the lights and sirens that cause problems, it's the person behind the wheel.

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