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Would You Run Emergency To This?


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I can't stand when units use just lights and no siren. My local FD does this all the time and I can't think of anything more dangerous. They won't even turn the siren on at intersections. I have seen cars pull out in front of them several times, yet they rarely use the siren.

Where I learned to drive ambulances and fire trucks, you are not going emergency unless you have BOTH on. If you just have one, you can not run a red light and you can not speed. They are designed to be used together to help the other drivers on the road acknowledge the emergency vehicle's presence.

There are laws about this as well so I encourage all to seek them out in their area and abide accordingly. It's one of my biggest pet peeve's.

The ONLY time I could see it being ok to not have the siren on but just the lights is once you are in the neighborhood if it's residential and close to the address. But never going through intersections or down main roads.

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I work for the same service as cprted and yes we would go to this call L&S but it seems that maybe some things have been overlooked, Fell face first out of his wheel chair = rule in/out C-spin

"Do you?" and "Should you have to?" are two distinct questions in this. If your service's policy is that you do, then it probably would be wise to follow that (while also trying to prompt change).

Your patient is already in a state of altered mental status, might not be able to voice concerns or location of other pains. Me? due to that uncertainty, I'd do my best running L&S to the scene, a

I mention a driver's ed class, where I and 2 other students rode in a Toyota Corolla driven by an instructor, in a large parking lot, with the wipers going in a light rain, a Led Zep tape softly playing, and the car at 40 MPH (64 KPH?). The lesson? Advise when we heard the siren from our own ambulance, which would chase us.

We only heard the siren when the ambulance was less than a car length off the rear bumper. At that seemingly low speed, most cars are outrunning the sound of the siren.

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you are NOT running emergency in Missouri if you don't have both lights and sirens on. If you get in a wreck with one on and not the other, it's YOUR Fault regardless of who is really at fault. There have been a number of emergency vehicles who have been in accidents in KC MO that have not had their sirens on but their lights on. Each time they have lost the lawsuit.

If you are running with lights on and no sirens then you are just driving in my opinion.

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The biggest intersection in town is prety clear. I can se over hunder fifty feet in all directions. Let me put it this way: if we have traffic at 0200, it's either us, fire or LE. The 24hr convenience store will have employees standing in front because they have no customers. In a town of 1500+, not much going to happen. If we have more than three cars at the main intersection, it's a traffic jam!!!

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The biggest intersection in town is prety clear. I can se over hunder fifty feet in all directions. Let me put it this way: if we have traffic at 0200, it's either us, fire or LE. The 24hr convenience store will have employees standing in front because they have no customers. In a town of 1500+, not much going to happen. If we have more than three cars at the main intersection, it's a traffic jam!!!

If your state law states that you need to have both lights and sirens on to be running emergency, it won't matter much if you live in a small town.

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All I can do is follow what is outlined in our protocol. In which it is written that..

the use of the siren will be used sparingly on all calls 1800-0600 unless warranted to aid in the moving of traffic on main and secondary roads. Sirens will be used at all intersections weather traffic is present or not regardless of time of day. When crossing the intersection of XXXX Rd and XXXX Rd when the traffic light is red (yes the only traffic light in town) due regard must be followed; lights and siren on, complete stop, all traffic has stopped and intersection is clear before proceeding. If light is green proceed with caution, use lights and siren, be watchful for turning vehicles.

When we are on the highway we use the siren a bit more but if it is late at night we are the only vehicle on the road usually. At the one hospital we go to it is an actual policy that no sirens be used within two blocks of the place. The surrounding residents got the town council to draw that one up.

Although I do see where there is the need to have both on and in some places it is required I also see the flip side in where in a rural area with low traffic volume the use of both is sometimes not required. Yes at any and all intersections it should be used regardless.

If I see someone coming from a driveway I usually give the a blow of the air horn to grab their attention more so then the siren. For some reason it seems (to me anyway)that they can hear it better and know which direction I am coming from faster. Intersection get it all, lights siren and horns.

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But in all seriousness in a small town of 1500 people, how much time does lights and sirens save you?

I think that lights and sirens is really a gimmick that tells the public we are giving it our all to get to their homes. It really doesn't save much time overall. It's just good PR in my mind.

Most will disagree but we have done small controlled studies in our town (where I used to work) with one ambulance going emergency and another going non-emergency and the time saved was less than 15-30 seconds.

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Captain at the recent EMS convention around here they had a presentation about just that. L&S vs None in non critical patients and they found the same thing it only saved an average of a few seconds but ADDED a large amount of risk vs reward. http://www.njmedics.com/assets/presentations/LightsAndSirens.pdf

Again I have to agree that its the perception of doing everything we can.

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Yep,

Here's a personal anecdote.

3:15 in the morning, woke up and found our daughter (8 months old) not breathing. My skills kicked in and I was able to get her back. Not sure what happened but we arent' really sure if she did code or not, but she came around after my screaming at her, slapping her face shaking her and yelling at her saying "I"m not Fin doing cpr on you Kat" and after a few tense moments she started to come around.

My wife is on the phone with 911. Ems is dispatched. ambulance and pumper drive non-emergency to our home.

I have NO issue with this due to the fact that I know what kind of traffic they faced at 3:15 in the morning.

I discussed their response with the captain and he confirmed my thoughts as well. I HAD NO issued since she was responsive by the time that the call was dispatched.

The captain did say that they would have responded differently if we had been doing CPR or if she was still unresponsive.

The total drive time to our house was 4 minutes at 3:15. If they had run emergency, their drive time would have been 4 minutes or a little less.

If it had been during the day,the captain also said that their response mode would have been different as well.

4 minutes from turning the ambulance on to getting to our house is a great response time.

My perception of course is completely different since I'm a medic versus someone who is not. People who don't know the system would probably have been livid.

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To me, it seems like common sense should take over. While I know that there is the need to run code three to calls because of our protocols, would you do in the small town a 0200 and wake up the ENTIRE town? I found that, while the protocols are there for a reason, so is common sense. I will have the lights on, but only use the sirens when it really is needed. At 0200 in a sleepy little town like mine, I don't.

Missouri law states that if your lights are on so is your siren. You either use both or you use neither. It's not an either/or issue no matter what time of day it is. Time of day is irrelevant. If you turn one on you turn both on. If you turn one off you turn both off.

Missouri is not the only state to mandate the use of both lights and sirens is an emergent response.

Get into an accident with only your lights on and no siren, it has happened, and you will lose. You will lose the lawsuit. You stand a good chance of losing your job.

Is it worth it to you?

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