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

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  • #61
    I use a lightbar on my truck, mainly because I run a lot of daytime calls, during the time when we're screaming for manpower. I've never had a problem with traffic not moving, except for the out-of-state semis who don't give a rat's *** about the locals. The problem with lights are the younger guys with hot nuts for riding on the big red truck who haven't yet figured out that there's more to the fire service than driving fast. Give those of us who are responsible and actually have a need for lights a little bit of credit. Speaking of legality, in Ohio if you have a 360 degree light and a siren, you are LEGALLY an emergency vehicle, and drivers can technically be cited for failure to yield, just like with the big red truck.


    • #62
      Brian; First of all, I didn't take anything personally. I have enough posts on this Board to anticipate some of the inane responses I get.

      Secondly, My "kidding" comment about DMV was meant the exact opposite of how you took it. You are talkking about a guy who is judged on how many cars he gets through the line and how short he can keep the wait. Of course he doesn't give a rat's butt about your blue light. That is not the greatest standard to have for this argument.

      I don't believe the laws regarding blue lights should be changed in NJ. In fact, if it was up to me, I would outlaw them. My point was that IF someone has a problem with the law there is a mechnism to change it. Until that time, it should be obeyed, whether you are a police officer or not.
      That is our responsibility as public officials.


      • #63
        I have 1 word - "HOOPLE"!

        AFF_RESCUE4 <-----You need help!

        IAFF member, Love this job! Hate SCABS!


        • #64
          I guess everyone will do as they wish to there POV's, granted they are there own. I do know that state law does dictate a lot about what you need to have on your POV as a volunteer.

          I am a paid firefighter/emt in Colorado and the law says that you have to have a red light on top visible to 360 degrees. I have a 99 Taurus and have a Whelen 4 head mini-edge on top and hideaway strobes in my reverse lights. It seems to request vehicles to move to the right of way for myself. Of course every situation dictates it self.

          I am working with a city/rural department with a response area of 650 square miles. We mostly have to respond to the scene first unless it is way out in the county.

          Again every dept has its own set of rules and guidelines covering the use of warning lights and sirens on vehicles.

          Common sense and EVOC(Emergency Vehicle Operators Course) are very helpful tools. I know that my dept requires every member to take this course once a year. With some of course it does not always sink in.The over zealous voulnteer, not to bust on volunteers I was one once before. Never forget your roots.

          I am neither for or against lights on POV's, just a little judgement should go into, how much or how little you may need.

          The space shuttle looks great lifting off but not going down the road.


          • #65
            Originally posted by Firelover:

            I do have one question for all of you that do have lights, sirens and so on. Do you have to follow the usual traffic rules? What I mean is stop at red lights or stop signs. Are your lights also known as "courtesy" lights?

            I know before everyone starts that Louisiana does not follow the rules of any other state, but per LA law RS 32.1 a POV is consided an "Emergency Vehicle". As an EV we are afforded the same rights a police, ambulances, fire trucks, etc. We are alowed the right-of-way through intersections, etc.

            However, the fine print of the laws are as follows "The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of an authorized vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others."

            Cory Lee
            Volunteer Firefighter
            Winn Parish Fire Dist. #3
            Jordan Hill Station


            • #66
              I am a volunteer in upstate NY. When I joined 7 years ago, I had a blue Code 3 Halogen Flasher. It was mounted near my rearview mirror. Some of the people in the area were great about pulling over. It's just a courtesy light here. Others were obviously in another world or didn't care. I didn't seem to save that much time when I drove like mad to get to the station. So I took my light down and it is now collecting dust on a shelf.

              I don't think that is ideal for everyone. People that go directly to the scene need some sort of lighting for scene safety if no other apparatus is there. NY state recently allowed certain EMS providers to use red lights and sirens on their POV's. Some areas in the state wait 15+ minutes for an EMS unit. Maturity factors greatly into this topic. Some people just want to "put on a show" while responding. While others use their priviledge wisely and sparingly.

              As for how much lighting a person should have, I think too much is a bad thing. You should be visible from 360 degrees. Whether that means a full lightbar or a combination of hide-away strobes. If you show up with a POV that has more lights than the apparatus, sorry but you have overdone it. I agree with the person that said spend your hard earned money on firefighting equipment. Buy something your dept won't foot the bill for.

              A veteran once told me "You are of no use to anyone if you don't arrive at the scene/station safely." Besides if you crash because of an overly aggressive response, you may take your department away from the very call you were going to. So they can tend to you.

              Stay safe out there!


              • #67
                I will like to see any pictures of POVs.
                Just to steal some ideas...

                Does anyone knows of any webpages?
                Fernando www.briasa.org
                mexico city


                • #68
                  ANY LIGHTS ON A POV IS TO MANY!!

                  "DID ANY BODY GRAB THE JUMPBAG?"


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by DFDco18:
                    Now the only reason someone should have that many lights on their vehicle is if that is a dept. chief's vehicle. (referring to pic above). Now, i was talking to a friend of mine who used an MX7000, and i questioned him about why. He said that the only reason that he had such a large lightbar was b/c he was one of only a handful of paramedics in the county and had to drive POV on a number of instances. Not only was it used for traffic, but to identify him as a paramedic when he arrives on scene and so apparatus could ID his vehicle as well.

                    As for general use, a small light bar on the roof, and maybe a dash light should do it. I am gonna add headlight flashers, since they prob. work best at getting people's attention in the rear view mirror.
                    If you read the small caption above the picture you will notice that he is not a Chief Officer, No I'm with a Paid FD and our Chief has his own vehilce and has small red and yellow light bar in the back windshield of his vehicle, Theres a volunteer fire department nbear us, I've seen there Chief's car, He has red subruban on the back door in white lettering it says Fire, And all he has is a small red and yellow light bar, Also blue lights are illegal in California, The only emergency vehicles permitted to have any type of blue light bar Police Vehicles


                    • #70
                      howdy all
                      i run a code 3 dash laser and that is all
                      people dont have to get out of my way but some do
                      in north carolina omly cheif officers are allowed to run sirens
                      stay safe and have fun


                      • #71
                        My Fav topic....Lights

                        Lights can be defined as one thing

                        Thing that can be used for good or bad.
                        Good- Use them for a call, to get to Firehouse/ EMS building faster to get people help and safe a life/property
                        Bad- Gets people into a frenzy and don't know what to do

                        But if you have a easy, 95 FPM dashlight or mini-bar, or even lightbar with mirror or w/o it will do. teardrop u can't see in daytime (barely)but it is good for night time. Strobes are great in night and day (depending on the CP)

                        NJ State Law:
                        Under 51 CP's---- Bull s**t, only a tear drop makes that kind and it is the OLD model.
                        Placed only 2 rotating and or flashing.... no prob I can understand

                        Center of the roof, but can not have on dash..... more BS

                        NJ has about the stupitest laws, pretty much. Does RI have these stupit laws with Candel power? The reason my dad (16 year VFF) says there is a candel power is so "Cause NJ is a small state" and "So the jurk doesn't have a super powerful dashlight that will blind a whole neighborhood" but isn't that half the fun! *Laught* My point
                        you need a light (unless you live close to the Firehouse, but again you could be on the other side of town when the tones go off)
                        The State should rethink there "laws" and recall them "Stupit laws"
                        In the State of NJ YOU have to yield to Red and/or Blue.... it is in the NJ State Drivers manural..... A state docmation! The state says you have to. My friend is a Lieut of a FAS in upper NJ he said he called the State and asked about lightbars, he said they have no law agenest it. Blue lights for Volly's, Red/Blue for Chief's, Capt's of FAS's and Emerg vechile's, and Pink for Juniors!
                        ( I was a Junior at one time I know I got the same thing sorry juniors, I am just playin)
                        Take Care and God Bless
                        Dan M. B.
                        NJ State Firefighter 1
                        Passaic County Fire Acadamy
                        Class of 2001
                        "Let's Not Forget Our Fallen Heroes"


                        • #72
                          Value of Lights on POV's

                          Ohio law:
                          Requires at least one red light visible for at least 300 feet to the front of the vehicle under normal atmospheric conditions and an audible warnining device (typically a siren). White and amber lights can also be used. Blue is reserved for law enforcement. Both have to be activated for your POV to be considered a "public safety vehicle". Public safety vehicle is the exact same category as fire apparatus, ambulances, and coroner's vehicles (Ohio's oddity). When running BOTH red light and siren, public safety vehicles are exempt from many of the Ohio traffic regulations and can go left of center, excede the posted speed limit, use cross-overs on divided highways, proceed cautiously against traffic control devices (stop signs, stop lights, etc.). All must be done with due regard for the safety of others on the road.

                          POV's must be inspected annually by their department and display a sticker issued by the state fire marshal's office.

                          My personal experience is that running lights & sirens usually saves at least 1-2 minutes per response, more if you have a long direct scene response. I've had scene responses of 10-15 miles on time critical EMS calls. Lights are also very helpful for protecting scenes, e.g. alerting traffic on busy streets.

                          So, I'm strongly in favor of POV's with emergency devices, especially when the responder has to drive longer distances.

                          The real problem comes from inappropriate use, either driving recklessly with RLS, or using RLS when not warranted. RLS is not needed for wires down, CO checks w/o symptoms, etc. RLS is beneficial for chest pain and trouble breathing calls, etc.
                          Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.


                          • #73
                            All I have is one light.A little hotshot.Its all I need.The guy that says one light is too many on a pov,whatever pal.I use my POV as a first in medical unit.We run to the scene if it is near our home.It helps PD know who we are and also keeps people from getting ticked cause we parked in the street!Use it right or it gets yanked is a good rule we have that can be used by all departments.First time someone drives like an idiot with one and is reported you yank his light and put him on desk duty for a specific amount of time.I can hear it now"But members will quit!" Let em! Its easier to get newbies than it is to dump money to pay for a lawasuit!


                            • #74
                              If your wife, girlfriend or any combination of the two is ashamed to ride with you...perhaps you've gone too far.


                              • #75
                                Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and David Letterman...

                                You might have too many emergency lights on your POV if...

                                A 747 lands and follows you to your firehouse!

                                People don sunglasses during a night run.

                                Looking at a nuclear blast is easier on the eyes!

                                People start acting like zombies due to "strobe light hypnosis".

                                Your POV can double as a tanning salon!

                                The battery and alternator system of your POV needs replacing every few weeks!

                                You have to tow a generator behind you to power the lights.

                                The County Fair wants to use your POV for a spotlight to attract crowds at night!

                                You can grill a Mongo sized steak from the heat generated by the lights on your POV!

                                Your hometown replaces Paris, France as the City of Light whenever you run hot to a call!
                                Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-27-2002, 05:04 PM.
                                ‎"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


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