Are lights allowed in personal vehicles?

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by Big Papa, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Big Papa

    Big Papa Senior Member
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    I am just wondering what the laws are regarding having lights in our personal cars as EMTs. Does anyone have any? I am not planing on having any in my car but I just wanted to know.
     
  2. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    In Illinois, a single front firing blue light is allowed for members of a volunteer fire department or rescue squad. Many cities, especially in Chicago (home rule) prohibit them however and require they be completely covered when in their jurisdictions. Equipping personal vehicles with emergency lighting with only an EMT certification (absent membership on a volunteer squad) in prohibited throughout Illinois (and I suspect most other states).

    - H
     
  3. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Depends completely on the state. In California, NO.

    BTW, lights dont convince anyone to get out of your way, and don't protect you when you're stopped. They just attract drunk drivers.
     
  4. Big Papa

    Big Papa Senior Member
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    sigh, there go my dreams of equipping my car with more lights than Home Depot lighting section. :laugh:

    Thanks for the quick replies guys!
     
  5. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Georgia requires a light certificate (blue for police, red for fire/EMS, green for emergency management, and yellow for tow trucks and other vehicles requiring warning devices). The color of the certificate decal on your windshield is the color of the light you can use (i.e., blue for police, etc.).

    In order to get a light certificate, you must have the fire, police, or EMS chief in your county sign an application form (and an extension form every year), and it must be approved by the Georgia State Patrol/Department of Motor Vehicles. Any use of a warning light while the vehicle is in motion must have a siren activated. So Rescue Randy gets to have a siren with his red light.

    Most counties no longer allow POV's to have warning lights. I know a few still do, but those are few and far between now.

    Personally, I think lights on POV cars might be valuable in volunteer agencies, but in Georgia there are NO volunteer EMS agencies. Hence, there is no need for lights on POV's as far as EMS is concerned.

    Give me a few weeks and I'll let you know what Connecticut is like.
     
  6. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Thank goodness. One less "rescue randy" driving around (j/k)
     
  7. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    I can tell you what Connecticut is like....at least in my region (northcentral)

    Green lights for EMS and blue for fire. You must have a permit issued by your department chief. You are only allowed to use the light in your own town when responding to an emergency. I have a green light and it is very handy when responding from home to the ambulance or scene. A blue or green light is just a courtesy light - it does not allow you to speed, go through red lights, or break other traffic laws. However, most people do pull over - if they see the light. At night they are easily visable; on a sunny day - good luck.

    Incidently, fire and EMS chiefs and officers are allowed to have red lights and sirens on their vehicles.
     
  8. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
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    Exact same in NY as in CT.... Technically one green 50cp courtesy light is allowed for volly EMS, blue for volly fire. I have a roof-mounted green mini-bar on my vehicle. One guy in my department is both Fire/EMS and has a full lightbar (8 rotaters/4 flashers), a dash-mounted rotater, a wind-shield mounted strobe, corner strobes in the headlights, flashers in the grill, 2 strobes pointed out the rear side windows, and 2 oscillasers pointed out the rear window, and tail-light flashers. Now that's a bit of overkill :)
     
  9. oudoc08

    oudoc08 Please pass the gas...
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    Ten years ago, I was a volunteer FF for WTC in Branson, MO, and we were allowed to put blue lights & siren on our POV (but you pretty much had to in order to get through traffic to the FD's). At the time it was pretty cool. I was a sr. in high school, had an '85 red Porsche 944, decked out w/ a dashlaser, strobes, wigwags, and a siren mod hidden in the ashtray. I lit it up going to a house fire one time and was running 110 down Hwy 65, as I blew past a MHP officer. He just waved. What a rush for an 18 yr old kid.
    Looking back, I'm somewhat embarrased by my 10-8 Rescue Randiness, but what the hell. It was killer at the time.
     
  10. hakksar

    hakksar Senior Member
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    I just had a question for all those in states where they use green lights. Flashing green lights are supposed to become the national symbol for the location of the incident commander (in Colorado this is already true) . . do you think that your states lighting system will need to be changed or is this a non-factor.

    As for the Ops question in Colorado Volunteer Firefighter can have flashing red without any law enforcement authorization, anyone can have flashing red and blues with law enforcement authorization (this is how Search and Rescue/ Dive Rescue/ other types of rescue agencies have them on their Personal Vehicles). They are talking about having Volunteer Firefighters get law enforcement authorization as well to cut down on impersonators.
     
  11. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
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    It still is :) Can't count how many tickets the light has saved me....
     
  12. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    LOL. At Christmas time, I went on a LOOONG road trip in my Yukon (no lights, but a whole bunch of radio antennas) - Los Angeles to eastern Canada and back, right around 8800 miles.

    No troubles (or police) at any part of the trip - except, 35 miles from home in the desert west of Victorville, CA. Going 75 or so on the road (the same as everyone else, btw) and drew the attenion of a CHP officer. OK, fair enough, he got me fair and square, the speed limit was 55 (2-lane, undivided road).

    I did all the "good perp" stuff, kept my hands on the steering wheel, looked at him in the mirrors so we could maintain eye contact, etc. After he ran my DL/Reg, he gave me a pass (didn't even have a current insurance card). He was trying to figure out the antennas on the truck though-in a square like a lojack receiver. After he let me off the hook, I explained that I do SAR, and used to be a reserve LA County Sherrifs Deputy for SAR.

    Thats the first and so far only time I've ever gotten a pass like that, btw.
     
  13. musiclink213

    musiclink213 My room is a mess
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    my sister's boyfriend lives in Jersey, and he's a reserve police officer and a volunteer fire fighter. He has lights on his dashboard, and wants to get one in the back too, so i guess it's ok for fire fighters in New jersey.

    \My friends' father is a volunteer EMT also in new jersey, and he has lights on the front of his car as well.
     
  14. EMT036

    EMT036 MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
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    Yeah a couple of my friends in college who did volly EMS in NJ had blue lights on their dashes...
     

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