Warning light colors

boardmansteve

District Chief
START WATER said:
CURRENTLY WE SEND A TILLERED LADDER ALONG WITH WHAT EVER ELSE IS NEEDED AND THEY JACK KNIFE THE TRAILER AND STOPS TRAFFIC VERY WELL AND THE STATE TROOPERS GET VERY UPSET

THEY TOLD A BC TO MOVE THE LADDER AND HE SAID HEY YOU HAVE THE JAWS NO WELL THEN LEAVE ,LOLOLO YEA IT WENT TO THE COMMISSIONERS OFFICE WE STILL BLOCK AT LEAST THREE LANES . I REALLY BELIEV THE LE THINKS WE WORK FOR THEM
AND THERE SHOULD BE A WAY TO TEACH THEM THE FACTS
I've seen several incidents over the years in which overzealous, undertrained, and overfed cops (excuse the redundancy) have caused problems with fire and/or EMS at a scene. Cops - especially state troopers - don't care about patient care and management, fire suppression, or any other facts; all they are capable of focusing on is whatever's in their line of vision (or thought, but of course, not both at the same time). Around here some of the Chargers and Crown Vics are being replaced with Tahoes because the state troopers' insatiable, unmanageable, and sponge-like egos won't fit in the cars. Most folks don't know this but cops are the reason Denny's has picture menus.

Back to the warning light discussion...!
 

Platypus

Probie
Hi, standard light colours way down here in Oz are Red/Blue on all emergency vehicles, be they Fire, Police, Ambulance or SES (State Emergency Service Rescue).
There are no turf wars over colour, in fact I have never heard of such a thing happening here.
Green lights signify a water supply point in use (a set hydrant or, out in the sticks, quick fill pump draughting to fill bushfire tankers).
Our VicRoads officers (Transport regulations policing heavy transports on the roads in Victoria) use magenta, which is stunningly bright!
Amber is used by road maintenance vehicles, towies, public utilities etc. White has only recently been introduced on some of our busier Fire Brigade vehicles.
Pre-1990s our Police were all blue lit, same as the UK and Europe.
Fire and Ambulance (separate organisations) were all red.
Studies done in the UK and Europe showed that Red was more visible by night and blue by day, hence the change to both colours on all vehicles around 1992 onwards.
BTW, that was an official University-controlled study, not a pseudo-science thing. We got official papers back then explaining the outcomes.
No private vehicles in Australia are permitted to use Red, Blue or Magenta lights.
That law is very strictly policed to ensure only emergency vehicles run them.
Hope that's of some interest to a few of you, regards from Australia. Mark.
 

cpyahoo

Firefighter
I know there are certain states, like Iowa, that use red and blue lights on all emergency vehicles. I believe the ideology carried over from when all emergency vehicles used red lights. Some time back in the late '60s or early '70s, the USDOT conducted a study of emergency lights on vehicles. The study concluded the optimal set-up for emergency lights was red and blue, with the red lens over the driver's side and blue over the passenger's side. Rational was on the driver's side because it was closest to oncoming traffic and from behind was the side closest to the road when pulled over. Red being most visible in daylight, while blue was most visible at night.

Blah-blah-blah. You folks already know all this.

Point being, a lot of fire departments are incorporating blue lights in their color schemes because of the night visibility, but also because people also associate the red & blue with a police car. I mean... you ever notice people will hardly get over for a fire truck or an ambulance, but they'll get the hell out of the way for a police car??? Oklahoma DOT runs red & blue flashers on the back of their highway trucks because people way down the road think it's a police car up ahead.

Red & blue lights fall in the same realm as the lime yellow fire trucks that were all the rage in the '70s & '80s. When it was new, it was pretty effective. Why? The public hadn't seen it before and it really got your attention! But, what do we do when the color scheme and lights become a part of the same ol'/same ol' norm?
 

EricJ

Probie
I'm not Fire related, just a truck driver, but one thing I can attest to is idiots on the road have no respect for emergency vehicles, but slow down for cops out of fear, so in my opinion the blue light is a very good thing for your and my safety. If you scare them they slow down. Just my 2 cents'

Eric
 
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