Volunteer Firefighter’s Flashing Green Light means pull over

Fortunately the first time I encountered this I had a passenger in the car with me that knew what the flashing green light was about and told me to pull over. I ‘borrowed’ the following wording from a source.

All drivers in Ontario are familiar with the emergency red flashing lights and sirens on police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, and know that they are required by law to pull to the right and stop when they see or hear them coming. But not everyone is aware of the Volunteer Firefighter’s Green Flashing Light.

For those of us in rural and smaller urban areas, we receive our fire protection from volunteers, who often respond to emergencies in their own private vehicles. These vehicles are not equipped with red lights or sirens that make them stand out from any other vehicle on the road.

When the call for help comes in, our personnel may be at their regular job, at the beach with the family or sleeping in the middle of the night. They drop what they are doing and immediately respond to the fire hall to drive the fire trucks to the emergency scene. Once the trucks have responded, firefighters and first responders that did not make it to the hall will continue to the emergency in their personal vehicle.

The Green Light gives the firefighters no special privileges when responding to an emergency. It is used only as an identifier to the drivers of other vehicles so that they may give up their right-of-way and allow the firefighter to get to the emergency unimpeded. The use of the light is controlled by the Fire Chief, who has the authority to allow or terminate the firefighter’s use of the light.

The problem previously existed that regular traffic did not know that an emergency exists and unknowingly held up firefighters hurrying to the call or to the hall to get the fire trucks on the way. To help the public identify these firefighters responding in their own vehicles, the Ministry of Transportation amended the Highway Traffic Act to allow volunteer firefighters responding to emergencies to use a light that flashed green.

2 thoughts on “Volunteer Firefighter’s Flashing Green Light means pull over

  1. We have a volunteer fire fighter that lives here in Huron Woods. If you see him responding to a call he will be trying very hard to follow traffic rules in the process. 😉

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