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Author Topic: signal lights for ares member's cars  (Read 33963 times)
WP4WV
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2004, 09:13:50 PM »

hey, you only forgot to mention the GPS ,night vision scopes , satellite finder , flares ,lifegard jacket,
and your lucky rabbits tail...
jejeje  good story  
Here in Puerto Rico blue is for police
red for EM veh. and fire veh.
red and blue for civ def.
green for municipal police
clear for mall priv. police
yellow for tow trucks or heavy trucks
and for ares races react cb amateurs NONE...
73's
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WA4MJF
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2004, 04:54:07 PM »

Well, RACES is part of Civil Defense.
Here in the states RACES used what
ever CD used.  In Virginia, many
moons ago, it was blue lights.

Most states have done away with CD
after the end of the Cold War.  They
don't even put sirens on the new fire
stations here anymore to warn of
attack.

Never been in the territories, so
not sure how the territorials do it,
but probably RACES would uses Blue/Red,
if that is what the rest of CD does.

Here in NC, Blue/Red is Public Safety
(or former PS as in case of Durham).
Public Safety, for those who might not know,
is where the officers are trained to do
Police and Fire jobs.

Used to have it in Chesapeake, VA many moons ago.
the 30 days on the road was great, the 30 days
in the fire station were not so great.  :-)

73 de Ronnie
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K8LEA
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Posts: 69


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« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2004, 02:43:10 PM »

I'm an old rent-a-cop.  Used to have a great "wannabemobile", too.

The wife objected to the "porcupine" look and right now there's nothing on the car except an on-glass hi-band antenna.

No special lights, etc.  But there are a couple of serious spotlights in the trunk, and a nice maglite in the console.

I'd grab one of those magnetic amber lights (where it's legal) because it's handy when you have to park your car in an iffy place, or, as others have suggested, when you're a parade vehicle or something of that nature.  OH law seems (it's been years since I looked) to suggest that _anything_ is OK if the vehicle isn't moving.  Just don't move it....

There's a red magnetic-mount "Fireball" here someplace, but I haven't had a car with exposed metal on the roof since 1989, so it's "somewhere".  "My" (very long story) Guard Service uses blue lights now, but that's really a "look for the car with the blue light" thing when we call for the local PD on an open door or something like that.  Another "don't move" situation.  Guess I should get a blue lens for the thing, but it's so old that "Antiques Roadshow" may be the best source.

I have been known to carry more than one HT, but they're so small now that nobody notices.  At least until my pants fall down due to the rest of the hardware.   I set a record at the Columbiana County Courthouse's metal detectors a couple of months ago.

Guess the real point of this is that if you're not Police, you really don't want to look like 'em.  For one, the insurance company may get upset, and it also paints a target on your back that you may not want.  It's better to be hiding behind a rock taking notes (or shooting videos) unless you're trained anyway....

HOWEVER, and I've run into this one myself, sometimes you have to move into or about within an area that's cordoned off for some reason.  Parade, natural disaster, whatever.  BE SURE that everybody who's handling the perimiter knows who's allowed in.  

About fifteen years ago I was working communications for a parade (one of the radio clubs asked "everybody" to help out), and was "ordered" to change my location as the parade passed by.  

OK, fine - ducked through some back streets (no way I could drive along the parade route and get ahead of them) and couldn't get back into the area.... Township PD guy had no idea who I was or what I was doing there....   Mostly silly in this case (we can argue all day over who's needed at a parade, etc.), but it could have been more serious in a real emergency.  I was in contact with whoever was "in charge" for the Hams, and he supposedly was standing right next to the PD's OIC, but it didn't help....  For want of a nail?

Stu K8LEA

(Maybe I should have showed 'em my badge?  I didn't get it in a Crackerjacks box.  OTOH, a rent-a-cop's badge isn't going to impress too many people.)
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KA4DPO
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Posts: 816




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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2004, 04:12:53 PM »

I have a questin for all and would like your opinion i'm an ARES member in southwest pa. I was recently at a ham fest and one thing a guy had at his booth was a set of blue lights for you car. Now here is my questin when ARES or RACES is activated we need to get to the scean as quick a possable to get setup should ARES and or RACES have some kind of signal light on there car and if so what color.Just an idea let me know what you think.

Tom KB3KOH

Question should be how did you pass the drivers test? From the looks of your post you should be more worried about remedial reading classes than trying to be a cop.

John, KA4DPO
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W4EMS
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2004, 02:19:03 PM »

Most municipalities in TN require that you be formally dispatched to a scene to use any red/blue lights. This includes law enforcement, FD, EMA, etc. This was aimed at some of our rural counties where weall intentioned persons incurred risk (i.e. colliding with another emergency vehicle, personal or government). It also allows for proper worker compensation coverage and government liability protection should you be injured or cause an injury.

Several of our State Troopers refrain from using emergency equipment if at all possible. Draws a crowd, confuses some drivers and really annoys the Beagle community (couldn't resist).

One further point to consider: current anti-terror informtion indicates a real concern that ambulances or old fire trucks could be rigged with WMD. Think of how the LE members manning the perimeter of a scene might view an unknown vehicle with emergency lighting approaching given today's environment.

BTW in over 10 years of ARES work and responding to assist EMA/EMS, I have been able to navigate where I needed to go with a proper ID, professional and courteous demeanor and calm approach and never needed to use such lighting. I, too, do use a mag mount yellow strobe during bike-a-thons. We also issue one time use official ID badges, preferably rom the sponsor for these functions so the bikers/runners can discern us from other persons who may not be so well intended.

Stay Safe. Getting home safe is the number one priority.
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N3UED
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« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2004, 09:32:11 PM »

I have to agree with those that state that Yellow/Amber Warning lights can be used in most states.  As stated by others though this varies state to state.   I have seen more "Hideaways" and Hidden Strobe Lights lately and sometimes have to question their usage by certain individuals.  Yellow/Amber lights are a very effective color to use to signal that something is going on and it may be in a persons best interest to wake up and know what it going on.

As a volunteer firefighter I am given permission to use a blue light as a "courtesy light" here in the state of Pennsylvania.  We are not authorized red lights and sirens unless the vehicle fits the description under the sectin for emergency vehicles.

As far as Amateur Radio (ARES/RACES/ETC) I would think that it would be ridiculous to be honest to be allowed to have a emergency warning light.  Imagine if for example every ham was allowed the usage of such a light. Do you realize how much the public would already come to hate us??  As with any type of hobby there are those that would use that opportunity for other than its intended purposes.

As to Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Codes here is a quote:

"§4572. Visual signals on authorized vehicles.
(a) Flashing or revolving blue lights.--Ambulance personnel, volunteer firefighters certified volunteer search and rescue scuba divers and owners and handlers of dogs used in tracking humans may each equip one motor vehicle with no more than two flashing or revolving blue lights.

In order to be eligible to display lights on their vehicles under this subsection, the names of the ambulance personnel, volunteer firefighters and certified volunteer search and rescue scuba divers shall be submitted to the nearest station of the Pennsylvania State Police on a list signed by the chief of the ambulance or fire department or company, the head of the search and rescue scuba diving organization, and each dog owner and handler shall register at the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station.
The manner in which the lights are displayed and their intensity shall be determined by regulation of the department.
The lights shall be operable by the driver from inside the vehicle.
The lights may be used only while en route to or at the scene of a fire or emergency call.
The lights shall be removed from the vehicle immediately upon receipt of notice from the chief of the ambulance or fire department or company or the head of the search and rescue scuba diving organization to remove the lights upon termination of the person's status as an active volunteer firefighter or ambulance person or upon termination of the person's active status as a certified volunteer search and rescue diver or dog owner or handler, or when the vehicle is no longer used in connection with the person's duties as a volunteer firefighter or ambulance person, certified volunteer search and rescue diver or dog owner or handler.
This subsection does not relieve the driver from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons nor exempt the driver from complying with all provisions of this title.

(b) Flashing or revolving yellow lights.--Vehicles authorized pursuant to the provisions of sections 6106 (relating to designation of emergency vehicles by Pennsylvania State Police) and 6107 (relating to designation of authorized vehicles by department), tow trucks and vehicles used for snow removal may be equipped with one or more flashing or revolving yellow lights. The manner in which the light or lights shall be displayed and the intensity shall be determined by regulation of the department.

(c) Vehicles prohibited from using lights.--No vehicle other than a duly authorized vehicle may be equipped with lights identical or similar to those specified in subsections (a) and (b). A person who equips or uses a vehicle with visual systems in violation of this section commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500.
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NN3W
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Posts: 361




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« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2004, 12:05:28 PM »

And people wonder why there is little teen-age interest in ham radio.  Jesus.
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KB1KIX
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2004, 10:14:55 PM »

You know, I can see the point that started in this thread.  A guy asked a simple question and he got quite ragged for it.

So, I'll not be totally that much different.  Yes, I'm a ham.  I'm also in ARES at a state EOC.  We show up, do our thing and are done with it.  No vests.  NO lightbar.  Nothing that would actually land us on the frontpage of hamsexy!

All you need is some radio gear, a license and sit on the sidelines until you are asked to help - period.  Take an Emcomm course either.  Take a FEMA course and kill some time while your waiting to get dispatched.  Don't waste it putting your money and time into such absurd things as a lightbar.

Besides, the cost of a good lightbar can get you a mobile HF rig and you can have even more fun!

Jonathan
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K7PGT
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2007, 04:54:57 AM »

Ya'll are harsh! :-)

First off, I have amber strobes on my truck. Front and back. I am RACES/ARES/SKYWARN and some other ham radio things. I also work public service events. I like to work Drag where I am following the last bike rider. I do move with my ambers flashing, but that is the ONLY time I do. If I am working skywarn and I am parked on the side of the road glassing a storm, I might have them on. If I stop on the highway to assist a motorist that might not have a cell phone, I might turn them on. If I am in a heavy dust storm (Arizona), if I pull over to the side of the road, I might turn them on so I don't get rear ended. Anyway, that's about the only time I can think of using them. I can legally have reds in the back, but I choose not to. I'm not an emergency vehicle. If you get caught with reds/blues up front or a siren and you're not authorized, you are in some deep kimchee... Why take the risk?
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GM1FLQ
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Posts: 794




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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2017, 10:36:39 PM »

I have a questin for all and would like your opinion i'm an ARES member in southwest pa. I was recently at a ham fest and one thing a guy had at his booth was a set of blue lights for you car. Now here is my questin when ARES or RACES is activated we need to get to the scean as quick a possable to get setup should ARES and or RACES have some kind of signal light on there car and if so what color.Just an idea let me know what you think.

Tom KB3KOH

Question should be how did you pass the drivers test? From the looks of your post you should be more worried about remedial reading classes than trying to be a cop.

John, KA4DPO

Bit "antagonistic" that post.  Wink

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ONAIR
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« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2017, 12:49:06 AM »

www.react4800.org/boards/newsletter97_spring.html    Scroll down to"FCA Amber Lights"
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AA4HA
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Posts: 2384




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« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2017, 03:32:39 PM »

I was a salaried EMA coordinator for a municipality for ten years; As part of that I also managed a volunteer group that was part of EMA and directed their activities.

My primary responsibilities was in writing and maintaining a disaster plan, its annexes, in exercises, coordination meetings with department heads and to maintain an EOC.

Every few months I would get some person who wanted to join the group and from some of them the first words out of their mouths had to do with putting lights on their personal vehicles or carrying a radio or a badge. Those folks I discouraged from participating, and often I ended up getting waved off by law enforcement once we did the background check. Quite a few of them would turn around and join the local volunteer fire department or they would end up being mall rent-a-cops or just general pain in the behinds to the police/fire department when they would show up at some scene.

For many of these folks there is some sort of underlying pathology at work and whatever was going on was not going to turn out well for anyone who enabled them. One joined the fire department and a few years later ended up going to prison for arson. Quite a few would end up participating in the "police ride-along program" in the back seat of a squad car with matching bracelets.

It was difficult enough being a peripheral organization that supported emergency responders where it takes a long time to earn trust. It takes only one whacker for you to be set-back two years when that trust is broken when one of your volunteers shows up to support law enforcement and the officers would rather arrest your volunteer for some other misdeed.

I had one disaster where a bunch of ham radio types showed up in ghostbuster vehicles with flashing lights at our EOC. I told them in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome and to stay away from the scene. About an hour after they left I took a radio call from a police officer at a roadblock, asking me if these were my people. I told the officer that they were not and if they were being problems to feel free to arrest them.

If you do not belong to us, fit in to the incident command system, train with us and work within our organization then you were not welcome. I did not care how many bands you could work or how many microphones were on the dash of your car.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
K5BBC
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2017, 09:42:29 PM »

I was a salaried EMA coordinator........

Every few months I would get some person who wanted to join the group and from some of them the first words out of their mouths had to do with putting lights on their personal vehicles or carrying a radio or a badge.

If you do not belong to us, fit in to the incident command system, train with us and work within our organization then you were not welcome. I did not care how many bands you could work or how many microphones were on the dash of your car.

That^^^^^^^^right there.  Be willing to do real work, AND, work within the organizational framework.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2017, 10:32:41 AM »

You don't go till you are directed to.  You don't go with sirens and lights.  Simple!
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AA4HA
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« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2017, 12:09:06 PM »

In my time as an EMA coordinator I only used a revolving light in my personal vehicle once. It was when we had a HazMat incident at the fire department when a truck driver had a leaking barrel of cyanide plating solution and decided to park in the fire department driveway for help. It necessitated the evacuation of the fire department and the police department that was next door. We all had to work out of the EOC for the afternoon.

Usually if I had to get somewhere quick I could do it faster without a revolving red light that just confused people in other cars who thought I was pulling them over.

I have never heard of a communications emergency that could be solved by amateur radio; We were not launching nuclear missiles. At the worst there would be some very confusing communications between the scene and the EOC, staffing shelters or in coordinating mutual aid organizations.

Ham radio operators best serve if they can take care of welfare traffic (where you or your spouse or kids are, things are OK grandma, the tornado did not kill us). This unburdens other communications links and allows for emergency services groups to do their jobs. Think of it like MARS, most of what is done there is welfare related from distant places. MARS operators are not going to be sending tactical battlefield information across amateur radio frequencies.

If you want to have a good discussion with a currently active, full-time employed EMA manager who is also a ham look up WB9OGZ, he knows his stuff.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 12:21:57 PM by AA4HA » Logged

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
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