Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 Next   Go Down
Author Topic: signal lights for ares member's cars  (Read 59458 times)

Posts: 7

« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2004, 12:34:45 PM »

I volunteer with the local REACT team. Our team policy is amber only, preferebly mag mounted, and only used when directing traffic and other roadside work.

We really try to avoid the "wannabe police/first responder" image. we are communication volunteers, thats it.

Mounting up blue lights doesn't sound like too good an idea.

Posts: 1003

« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2004, 01:58:24 PM »

Many moons ago when police, fire, etc had red ligts
Civil Defense units in the Commonwealth of Virginia
used blue lights.  I was in RACES and had them.
One of my jobs was to block flooded streets
along the water front in Portmouth, VA.
Often there was no electricity, so it was good to have the light to warn oncoming traffic.

Here in NC, many moons later, blue is used for
law enforcement ONLY and Civil Defense
has a red light now.*

As for the ARC, I think they arrive at big fires
for support of the firefighters and to get the
victims clothes and shelter, so I guess they
could use red lights.*  Also, I guess if a State Trooper
is not available (first choice) to get blood from
the bank to a hospital stat, red lights would
come in handy.

73 de Ronnie

* In NC the following can have red lights by law:

Police Car
HP Car
Wildlife Resources Vehicles
Vehicle used for organ, human tissue and/or blood
Fire-fightin Vehicle
School Bus
Vehicle owned by a member of a fire dept
Vehicle owned by a life saving org including
vehicles own my members
Vehicle owned by a Medical Doctor or Anesthetists
Vehicle used a Sheriff or deputy
Vehicle operated by State/County Fire Marshal and assistant Fire Marshal or EM Coordinator regardless of who owns the vehicle
On a vehicle that is required to have one by the
Federal Highway Administration
Vehilce operated by a transplant coordinator
Vehicle operated by EMS agency
Vehicle owned by State Ememgency Management

Amber lights are authorized to REACT member in


Posts: 59

« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2004, 12:11:56 AM »

Sometimes RC and SA vehicles are "Offical" emergency vehicles - I know thatthe SA canteens in NYC carry a FDNY shield, vehicle number, and have red lights!!

As for "Blinking lights" for hams - I see NO need for anything except (on RARE occasion) yellow, and the ONLY time I wanted that was parked on the side of the road, at night, during a blackout, and NYPD was nice enough to park behind me with their lights on, and also handed me some road flares to put out, so I really didn't need it

Posts: 99

« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2004, 12:00:22 PM »

As a Firefighter/EMT I already have Red lights on my POV. I can't imagine any reason I'd need them while responding as an ARES/REACT volunteer.  It's a big difference from my responding to an unresponsive patient or a fire where speed is important.
If I was to use my emergency lights as a ARES or REACT volunteer it would most likely be to mark my location while performing traffic control.

Posts: 657

« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2004, 01:54:36 AM »

Lon, you are correct, SA and ARC have RED lights in my area. These are used on the OFFICIAL vehicles, the ARC job director, the SA EDS officer, but NOT the hams, and NOT to run traffic lights... the lights are used to get thru police lines.

One other thing to point out here, the SA and the ARC have OFFICIAL STATE GOV license plates, not passenger plates.


Posts: 13

« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2004, 12:51:03 AM »

"HAMS ARE NOT FIRST RESPONDERS unless you are PAID by an agency (police, fire, EMT, HazMat, SAR etc) "

Around here, the volunteer fire, SAR, etc don't get any lights either except on the county response vans and trucks.

Posts: 2198

« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2004, 12:07:30 PM »

                  by OBSERVER11 on June 28, 2004
                                                                              Mail this to a friend!
                  ARES, RACES, Red Cross, Salvation Army, are NOT "first responders", as a result, WE do not have lights and
                  sirens. Some guys have AMBER lights as a "warning light" once you are parked, or to make the vehicle if used
                  for damage assessment or other OFFICIAL functions.

                  HAMS ARE NOT FIRST RESPONDERS unless you are PAID by an agency (police, fire, EMT, HazMat,
                  SAR etc)


    Hams are NOT first responders, even if by circumstance they are the first to respond!  They are there to support the official, trained personnel.  And hams are NOT paid.  If they are responding as a paid individual, they are performing duties as a law enforcement officer, fireman, EMT, etc., NOT as an Amateur Radio Operator.


Posts: 3161


« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2004, 08:49:12 AM »

In response to:

RE: signal lights for ares member's cars  
by HIGH on July 6, 2004  
"HAMS ARE NOT FIRST RESPONDERS unless you are PAID by an agency (police, fire, EMT, HazMat, SAR etc) "

There seems to be some disagreement with this statement:

Amateurs 'First of the First Responders,' DHS Official Says:

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 26
Website: on June 28, 2003

Amateurs 'First of the First Responders,' DHS Official Says:

ARRL now is an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps, an initiative within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance public preparedness and safety. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, signed the formal Statement of Affiliation between DHS and ARRL during the ARRL 2003 National Convention June 21. Chief Operating Officer of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (FEMA) Ron Castleman represented Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response Michael D. Brown at the signing. Citizen Corps Liaison to the White House Liz DiGregorio called ham radio operators the "first of the first responders."

"You are there. You are part of that very, very first response when it happens locally," especially in the initial stages of an emergency or disaster, DiGregorio told an overflow audience.


The League joins the National Safety Council, Points of Light Foundation, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, National Volunteer Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Save A Life Foundation and The Jaycees as Citizen Corps affiliate programs.


They also will work together to promote the formation of local Citizen Corps councils and assist them with education, training and volunteer service opportunities "that support first responders, disaster relief organizations and community safety efforts." As an affiliate, ARRL will be linked from the FEMA and Citizen Corps Web sites.



The word "Volunteer" is very prominent in this article.

Dennis / KG4RUL


Posts: 10

« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2004, 10:05:14 AM »

As a former officer in a Vol Fire Dept. (Texas) which did not allow lights on personal vehicles, I can tell you what we told members who complained about our no light rule:

"Get permission in writting from your auto insurance carrier and we will consider it."

When told that their insured car will be runining lights (it means to the Ins. carrier fast driving and running stop lights also)Insurance carriers generally will either drop them or charge so much it is shocking.

We never saw a letter from a member's carrier.

I still feel no personal cars should have emergency lights.

Posts: 7

« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2004, 10:09:50 AM »

A response vehicle needing lights needs to be responding to life threatening situations.  Amateur Radio Operators are not that type of first responders; we may be included as part of an emergency team, but unless we are there when the incident occurs, we are not first.  If you respond as a Firefighter or EMT, and are also an amateur, fine, but you are responding as Fire or EMS, not radio.

We've beaten the point of light color enough.  Here's another angle, however.  If you install emergency lights on your vehicle, personal or otherwise, your insurance company will consider it to be an emergency vehicle.  Your rates will go up, and not just a little bit.  As a former EMS captain (moved and no longer with the service) I checked into having such lights since I often responded in my personal vehicle ahead of the ambulance.  I was told that having such lights, even if authorized by the sheriff, would change my insurance status.  

Now, just how badly do you want those lights on your car/SUV/truck/van?

John - WW0H

Posts: 169

« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2004, 10:15:41 AM »

OK, let's get by all the emotional inputs and and answer this post objectively.

First-look at your state Motor Vehicle Rules. Bottom line. That's going to tell you what you can and can't do. Nothing else matters unless you can pass these requirements.

Second-as to color, red or blue? HELL NO! Yellow or white? Maybe. See first point. Green or purple? Usually reserved for special purposes. Here in Florida, funeral cars can use purple...strange.

Third-use in motion? For 99% of the time, probably not. Exceptions would be: as an escort vehicle for bike riders during tours, bike-a-thons, etc. People are naturally nosy, so the lights cause them to slow down and see what's going on. Much safer for the cyclists. Another would be if you are going into a disaster area to do damage assesment. Having a light on your vehicle as you approach the area shows that you require some special attention as opposed to someone who may be assessed as a nosy onlooker and summarily turned away.

Fourth-insurance. Since yellow lights are not generally considered to be "emergency" lights, you are probably not going to be considered an "emergency" vehicle by your carrier. Mine, for example, considers them to be "ancillary hazard warning lamps." If you tend to speed and drive like an idiot, you're going to do it whether you have flashing lights or not and your insurance bill will reflect that anyway.

Finally-common sense. Frankly, if you put flashing lights on your vehice and then act like an idiot, you get what you deserve. I tend to think that most people who are serious about their disaster assistance work and do it well are far less concerned about looking important than getting the task at hand accomplished. By the way, yes, I do have yellow and white strobe lights on my dash. I do ARES, Skywarn, Red Cross, and Civil Air Patrol work. And I can count on one hand the times I've actually used the lights. But it's nice to know they're there if I need them.

Larry, N2HBX

Posts: 6252

« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2004, 07:16:00 PM »

I tend to believe that cars nowadays are already equipped with the warning lights that we, as ARES volunteers need:  Four way flashers.  Also, they're not to be used while moving except to warn other vehicles that a MOVING hazard exists.  

Also, I have been informed (possibly wrongly) that green lights in Massachusetts are reserved for law enforcement personnel other than police and sheriff vehicles.  This would possibly leave the way open for an 'impersonation of' charge for using one.

Anyway, to do our job, "We don't need no stinkin' badges"--or lights!  ;-)

Posts: 362

« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2004, 09:19:45 PM »

Don't know where you guys live but when there is emergency around here I come prepared. I have two blue jump suits to ware. These unifroms have a gold shield with an eagle on it. My call letters are above the shield. To be noticed I have a chrome military helmet that my dad brought home from the big one. You can never tell what you need in an emergency so my belt has 9mm, handculfs, mace, nightstick, 2 meter ht, 220 ht, 440 ht, a police scanner, a cb ht, a cell phone, a GMRS ht, a FRS ht, and a canteen. Thing weighs about a hundred pounds so I got me some leather scraps that go around my shouders to hold it up. I also have a suit case ready that holds a week supplies of water and food and extra bullets of course. My car is ready too. I have a moble radio for all of the above plus HF. I have ten antennas the last time I counted.I have a mag blue light, red light, yellow light, a green light, and one I am not sure what color it is his. With all the holes in my roof it takes me a little while to find enough metal for them to stick to. I have mag signs for the side that say Ares, races, skywarn, and react. You can't have sirenes so I take my Beagle. He sticks his head out the window and howls.Scares the hell out of people. The only trouble is in the 5 years that I been so equipped I have never gotten to the meeting place on time. Even though it is only a mile away every one is gone by the time I get there. I don't understand.
In reality I know fireman who won't have red lights on their car for fear of being sued if they are in a wreck or their insurance goes sky high. If you feel you need a light, and I see where it might be handy. Go to Wal-mart or somewhere and get you one of their cheap flashing mag yellow lights. Should be all you every need. I guess mag. signs for the side of your car might not be a bad idea either. I wouldn't spend a lot of money. You will probally never use them.  I guess a flashing yellow light, signs on your car, and the bunch of antennas might help you be noticed.

Posts: 286

« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2004, 01:06:53 PM »

by WB4QNG on August 8, 2004
"Don't know where you guys live but when there is emergency


You can't have sirenes so I take my Beagle. He sticks his head out  ...  "

I have to tell you.   I was doing ok, reading along with your post.   You draw a mental picture quite well, by the way.  I managed to keep it down to an amused snicker.
But I hit the part about the dog, that did it!   I had to laugh out loud.

A very amusing post, with tremendous sarcastic meaning behind it.   Food for thought.



Posts: 536


« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2004, 05:23:12 PM »

>>Also, I have been informed (possibly wrongly) that green lights in Massachusetts are reserved for law enforcement personnel other than police and sheriff vehicles.

Not sure about Massachussets, but typically one  green rotating light is used at a disaster to indicate where the incident command post is located.  If you've been to a response at night with all of those rotating lights, you can see why having one green one for that purpose helps!

In any event, the color of rotating lights for ARES/RACES members is normally none.


Gary, K2GW
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 12 Next   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!