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  • Blue light in different district...

    Had a question for you guys. I don't have a light at the moment but I ended up being 10 seconds behind an accident over in Clinton Iowa last night. The person who witnessed it was just pulling up to check on the car and I whipped in behind them and hit my hazards. I did what little I could (nothing EMS related) and relayed some info to dispatch on the cell phone. Once I heard their crews on the way I went over and flagged them into the location (was very dark and the car was in a yard head on into a tree). Once they arrived I stepped aside and let them take care of everything.

    My question was is it a no no to light a blue light or something in that situation? I was parked and thought it might have helped them locate the scene but since I wasn't in IL or in my district even it made me wonder.

    Thanks for the input guys.

  • #2
    I'd say that if you were in IL it would have been OK to have a blue light on, but I don't know about other states.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah I talked with another guy on the department here and he was saying its a pretty thin line. Normally we shouldn't EVER light up in another state but considering I was in the middle of a busy street with just my hazards on it might have been nice to be more visible. I may ask an officer over there to see what they think.

      I also went out today and purchased a fire extinghuiser for both of the cars. After the incident last night (fire under the hood) and I didnt have anything to put it out I decided its a necessity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Generaly speaking, I would fully expect that since you have no official authority as a FF in another state or province without a mutual aid/interstate agreement, and since your vehicle is not registered there either, it would not be recognized and/or subject to your permit or other Chief's authorization.

        Having said that, if you are just marking the scene for safety, it is much different than responding. If you are already on scene, and it requires additional warning, I would just pull the car off the road and stick the light on to warn traffic and approaching resources.

        Of course once the calvary has arrived and you're freed up, you should shut it off before someone starts pointing fingers and asking who that joker is. I would expect the local PO to be very understanding as long as you broke no laws with your actions.
        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

        IACOJ

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        • #5
          I appreciate the feedback. Sounds about what everyone has been saying. (unofficially of course). The local officers who were on scene didn't ask me to move my vehicle which was still in the road when the fire/rescue unit arrived initially. Though when the driver of their engine jumped out I asked him if he wanted my car moved and then moved it back about 500ft to a driveway just off the road. So I can see what you said to be valid.

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          • #6
            S8ER95Z, As I am in one of your neighboring districts and have come up on several accidents over the past years I will give you some advise.... This is just my opinion.....and guidelines I follow myself.... If it is in a neighboring district to yours go ahead and use it to help warn others that there is something wrong, as for other areas, i don't use my light, i will only use my hazards. I have come up on several accidents and stopped to make sure everyone is ok and standby until fire/ems arrive.
            Now for responding to calls in your district from other areas out of your district i would be very hesitant to use it. it is not really going to save you any time and are you really going to make a truck? Example, a couple weeks ago I was on my way home from Bettendorf, heard a neighboring FD go out on a structure fire. I knew where it was and it was on my way home, i called our station and told them to put my gear on the truck if we get dispatched, which we did. I met them at the scene, however i did not use my light to get there. I turned it on once i was on scene and parked. Just use some common sense and you will be ok. Don't get me wrong, I love lights but you got to respect the use of them or you will be called all kinds of names! take care and stay safe!
            Lilyogi

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            • #7
              Thanks lilyogi, I know its a no no to respond from (for example) clinton, ia.. . now I know a few people have come from fulton (about 6 miles north of town) with blue lights going.. no sure if anyone noticed nor cared. That does help me though since I occasionally hear traffic and try to call ahead to get my gear on the truck. At the moment i have a set of turnouts in the car so at least I can head on scene and just let them know I am on the way. The light info helps since I am sure I will be in the situation someday. Right now I don't have a light (been looking for a used one since I live less than 3 blocks from the station and would rarely even have a need to light it.) so I am trying to gain some knowledge before I ever get put in that kind of situation.

              FWIW I live a few blocks away and normally get to the station first or worst case, thrid. I have found that if I am just outside of town coming back through Cordova or even just south of town (near the dragstrip) the trucks are rolling before I get to the edge of town. So just as you said... no reason to respond quickly if your just going to standby at the station anyways.

              Comment


              • #8
                I dount anyone would have questioned you....especially since your vehicle isn't in motion, but simply marking the scene.

                Iowa is a state that allows blue lights for volunteer firefighters...same as Illinois.
                Jack of all trades, master of none.

                Live Green, Go Yellow!

                Join the forums at www.ambulass.com!

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                • #9
                  if you could use lbue in that state go for it. however.. we have a problem in north and south carolina of visitor from the northeast with blue lights on there vehicle pulling over to check and help before we arrive and that gets them in deep stuff with the county sheriff's department. I know some officers will if they pull a vollie from up north will ask them to pull down their dashlights untill they get back in a state that allows blue lights for vollies so there is no confusion. Most have no problem with this it's for everyones safety
                  Originally Posted by the1141man
                  IACOJ is what Firehouse should have been to begin with, and what it now couldn't even aspire to in its wildest dreams.- the1141man

                  the opinions typed in the above space are mine and mine alone

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                  • #10
                    So generally speaking the only issue would be if the blue light interferes with LEO or not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by S8ER95Z
                      So generally speaking the only issue would be if the blue light interferes with LEO or not.
                      No; in Illinois, you are given the authority to use a blue, oscillating light by your fire board and fire chief within your jurisdiction and that includes mutual aid.
                      Being a safety guy, I would not fault you for lighting it up at a scene outside your jurisdiction if the conditions warrant it.
                      But as others have said, be very, very careful when turning it on to respond.
                      CR
                      Visit www.iacoj.com
                      Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                      RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And speaking of blue lights, check out this article on alcohol AND blue lights.
                        Police: Drunk Firefighter Collides With, Kills Off-Duty NYPD Officer
                        The driver's blue lights may have been on
                        ............
                        TOM TRONCONE, EVONNE COUTROS and CAROLYN SALAZAR
                        Courtesy of North Jersey Media


                        NEW YORK-- An Upper Saddle River man was being held in the killing an off-duty NYPD officer in an alleged drunk-driving accident before dawn this morning, authorities said.

                        Robert "Chase" Derian, 23, of Lenape Trail, was driving an SUV north on the West Side Highway shortly after midnight when it collided with a motorcycle operated by 29-year-old Eric Concepcion, an off-duty officer from The Bronx, authorities said.

                        Concepcion was taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Medical Center, where he died around 2 a.m., officials said.

                        New York Police were holding Derian, a member of the Saddle River Valley rescue squad, at the 26th Precinct in northern Manhattan Monday afternoon.

                        Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Concepcion, who joined the NYPD in 2000, was married and the father of two young girls. The mayor called the death a "senseless loss."

                        Derian registered .12 on a Breathalyzer test administered after the crash, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Police plan to charge Derian with vehicular homicide and DWI, Kelly said.

                        Derian is a 2001 graduate of Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale. He joined the rescue squad in 1997 as a junior member and became a full member in 2001. Derian split time between Upper Saddle River and Boca Raton, Fla. A Boca Raton website lists a him as a real estate agent.

                        Derian's father, Robert, is a member of the Upper Saddle River ambulance squad, town officials said.

                        The northbound lanes of the West Side Highway remained closed Monday afternoon as New York City Police continued investigating the crash.

                        E-mail: [email protected].

                        Republished with permission of North Jersey Media.

                        Editor's Note: WCBS has reported that the SUV's driver, Robert Derian, had both flashing blue and white lights in the windshield and a captains' sign on the dashboard. According to WCBS, sources said the lights may have played a role in the incident.
                        Visit www.iacoj.com
                        Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                        RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow.. thats horrible.

                          Thanks for the information so far. My only real concern was lighting a blue light while stationary for safety and to alert the rescue units on the way of our location. Seems to be a grey area but I think in this circumstance it may have been an ok thing.

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                          • #14
                            I don't think any "reasonable" person would fault you for turning on your blue light under those circumstances.
                            After all, SCENE SAFETY comes first.
                            CR
                            Visit www.iacoj.com
                            Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                            RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You know what, I would much rather drive the speed limit without lights to almost every call. And that goes for a personal vehicle OR an emergency vehicle. That's my own opinion and does not reflect our department's policy. I very seldom use the blue light in my own pickup, nor do we use any emergency lights when we're moving a piece of apparatus up to our main station. We'll get there just as fast and not scare the heck out of cars we come up on.
                              That being said, our local sheriff's department frowns upon our guys for responding to a call in a personal vehicle without a blue light on. Maybe the sheriff doesn't really know much. I don't know. He has given me the impression that he'll look the other way for traffic violations if a FF has a blue light on and breaks the rules.
                              We still have a policy that says we obey all traffic laws when responding in personal vehicles, we stay within 10 MPH over the posted speed limit when we're in a piece of apparatus with lights and siren on and we stop at stop signs. We'd also stop at red lights if we had any stop lights in our district, which we don't. Better to get there, even if a minute later, than not at all.
                              And to think, this started out as a discussion about a blue light in another state.
                              Jack Boczek, Chief
                              Ashley Community Fire Protection District

                              FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

                              Comment

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