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Proviso Probe

Saturday, February 10, 2007

PO-PO, ambulance with sirens in collision [NR]

Chicago Tribune (Jeremy Gorner):
[A] collision occurred around 8:45 a.m. at 26th Street and Westover Avenue in the near west suburb [of North Riverside] while the Stickney Fire Department ambulance, with its lights flashing, was transporting the patient to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, said North Riverside Police Sgt. Kerry Vuolo.

The ambulance personnel claim a woman in her 40s ran a red light.

I'm skeptical of the claim she ran a red light. I expect she had the light and was being inattentive about the emergency vehicle. The ambulance crew avoids any blame if she ran a red light and ignored the sirens.

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  • That intersection is equipped with the Opticomm feature which allows an emergency vehicle to change the stoplight to green so that they may proceed through. The other lights all change to red until the emergency vehicle passes through. You might notice a white flashing or white steady light at an intersection near the stoplights. if those are lit, that means the Opticomm feature is being activated.

    By Anonymous Public Safety, at 10:50 AM, February 10, 2007  

  • Good point, Public Safety. And what is it about you that you always have to assume that police (and in this case firefighters) are lying? Your obvious hatred of authority figures really takes away any credibility you might have otherwise had. Go see a shrink, Carl, the world is not as bad as you think.

    By Anonymous paranoid, at 1:29 PM, February 10, 2007  

  • I think the world would be shocked to know how much lying and deception goes on within fire and police departments. The same goes for politicians and the military.

    People are getting a taste, with the invention of the videocam. How many atrocities have been documented with outright lying, but for video evidence, the truth comes out.

    Rodney King was not the beginning either. The fire and police positions give men and women too much power, with little oversight, to not fall into becoming deceptive.

    If you doubt this Paranoid, pick up a paper or listen to the news.
    You might learn a thing or two.

    By Anonymous Candid Camera, at 10:39 AM, February 11, 2007  

  • Well you knew I had to chime in on this one. When an emergency vehicle is in an accident the driver has to go take the urine or blood test. Usually there is a complete investigation, etc. Especially if you’re transporting a patient. I know my department has such a policy. It doesn’t matter how minor the incident.
    Opticoms are great, they make traveling lights and sirens safer for everyone. The problem lies when an approaching motorist sees the light changes green and if they don’t look up in time to see it went back to red. No one expects the light to change to red 10 seconds after it goes green. Traffic light cycles like normal (yellow-red) but nobody expects it as quick as it comes. That’s where emergency driver training comes into play. Anyone operating an emergency vehicle should have to go through mandatory training. Even if you have a green light you should be slowing and covering the brake. Green light does not mean the intersection is clear. Some departments mandate even if you have the green light to come almost to a complete stop at intersections before proceeding. I am not going to try and guess what happened or why without an investigation or report.
    I will say the frustration level among emergency providers and the lack of public respect to pull over for sirens and lights is getting terrible. People either do not move over don’t see us or don’t care. Remember it may be you or a loved one waiting on the ambulance, fire engine or police car that you are not pulling over for today.
    On a side note: as an option, the opticom systems at intersections have a recorder in them to show when the receiver first saw the opticom, when the light went into cycle and changed, all down to the precise second. The problem is like anything else is cost money for this option and the state does not mandate or pay for it, this usually falls on the local municipality to pay for it and its maintenance costs.

    By Anonymous Firefighter for a long time, at 2:50 PM, February 13, 2007  

  • Some in the fire service see the problems across the country and are trying to address it. http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/

    By Anonymous Firefighter for a long time, at 3:02 PM, February 13, 2007  

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