Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Lights and Sirens; aka "Code-3"

It has been a while since we ran a tip on the topic of what to do when driving and you encounter an emergency vehicle rolling with lights and sirens, or in police/fire lingo, "Code-3." Move to the Right for Sirens and Lights is a saying that is recognized throughout the industry and the best advice anyone can give. When you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind you, or coming in the opposite direction, pull safely toward the right curb. Don't panic. Don't simply come to a stop in the middle of the lane, move to the right. If the emergency vehicle is approaching from a cross street or intersection, do stop and allow them to cross. Refer to the link above for some additional tips.

This topic came up again through a question posted in a "Just Ask" reply. Rolling "Code-3" is a high liability area for Law Enforcement and every agency has policies that govern emergency driving. In basic terms, our Officers roll "Code-3" to incidents that are life threatening or of an emergency nature. Those calls can range from serious medical calls, injury collisions, "help" calls from another Officer, violent crimes in progress, and other calls that either an Officer deems necessary. Our Watch Commanders and Field Supervisors monitor all calls where personnel are responding "Code-3" and use discretion in determining if the emergency response is required. Every call is different. Our personnel take into account such factors like the nature of the call, the severity of the call, proximity and response time, what resources are required etc.

So, when you see a police unit, an ambulance, paramedics, a fire engine, a forestry truck, or any emergency vehicle that is rolling "Code-3", please Move to the Right for Sirens and Lights!

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