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[color=blue][/color] Blue light or no blue light?


Has anyone else had this problem when they joined a department?  

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    • Yes
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    • No
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Nick, I'm coming into this a little late. I missed the earlier postings and I avoid these 'blue light' threads like the plague. I don't really care what colors you can use in what states, etc. After about 20 threads and 1,000 postings of that nature I don't even look at those threads. However, I'm gonna guess you are a little new to this game so maybe I have something of value to add (then again, maybe not). In our department, we put all new members on a 6 month probation. During that period they are not eligible for a light permit. The officers get to know the person and how they respond to calls, attend their training, and perform their job. If all goes well, then can get a light permit, uniform, and department ID's at the end of that period. HOWEVER, once you have the permit you have now become very identifiable with the department and every member keeps an eye on how you drive in response to calls with that light on. If you push the limit, you will be spoken to or lose the permit.

A wise old officer put it to me this way: "If you pass someone on the way to a call doing 50 mph with no lights on, they will pass you off as someone in a hurry. BUT if you pass that same person doing the same speed with Blue Lights flashing, they will be on the phone to the chief that night screaming about the 'reckless fireman that flew past me at 80mph'.

(As an example, one of our guys was doing a response to get a special piece of apparatus out for a mutual aid, and he had his lights going and sort of "forced" a slower driver to get out of his way. He didn't know it was our Congressman, who wasted no time in getting hold of the Chief.)

The perception of you department in the public's eye is a precious thing and easily lost. Be very careful and responsible when you turn on the lights. We don't want to see you listed in the LODD forum.

Jafo

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Something else to remember is how the insurance on your POV will be affected by the use of blue lights. Some of my co-workers were told by their agents that their policy did NOT cover their vehicles while running the lights. Remember, your adjuster will probably assume that the light was on.

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Currently in NYC, the firefighters union and the fire officer's union are battling the FD commissioner and the mayor, as it appears response times are going up. This follows a collision of a truck (ladder) company with a private car, with injuries.

Are the firefighters driving being even more responsible for their driving tasks, or is it political, as there are contract negotiations connections involved? Both sides continue to argue it out.

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In my dept. here on LI, when you first join you are on probation. It could be anywhere from 6 months to a year. During your probation time you are not allowed to have a light (Here on LI it's a green light).

Once you are off probation and are now considered a regular member, you can have green lights on your vehicle. The green light is not exclusively for responding to the building, but also if you are responding to the scene.

As a probationary member you are not allowed to respond to the scene, as a regular member you can. Also probies rushing to respond to the building without any regular members being there doesn't accomplish anything, as without a regular, the ambulance isn't going nowhere. So there is no need for probies to have a green light.

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I have a blue light on the dash gathering dust, here in NY we blue for vol fire green for vol ems, I am aloud by my department to respond to scenes if als is requested, or if its between me and the fire house(rarely) or some other company has the duty and it is dispatched as an als assignment. ...and my light gathers dust.....

Its not the light that makes the response. drive like a kid is going to pop out at you any minute. drive like you a balancing an egg on the seat next to you... if you crash on the way , two things happen ...first , the original call doesn't get handled and second there is a second call..

I like to get home and harass my kids as often as possible

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In Alabama you are not allowed to have a blue light in your vehicle, but you can have red or yellow, but it is against the law to run them while moving, going to an emergency or not. you can run them once you are parked. most officers overlook someone in a volunteer squad running them to a legitimate call, but every now and then, you have the jerk that is running his lights going about 100 and hits something or someone and then they start pulling all of us over for running them whether we are going the speed limit or not when responding.

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I'm a day late and a dollar short, as usual...up here Blue is LE, Red is Fire/EMS, Green is Incident Commander/Incident Command Post. There is a simple permit -well, as simple as it can be for a VT DMV form- for red or blue lights that your head of service signs off on, send it or bring it to DMV for a countersignature, keep the yellow copy in your car at all times and you're go to go.

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