Most Alberta drivers are familiar with the flashing red emergency lights and sirens on ambulances, police cars and fire trucks, and the law states that they are required to pull to the right and stop when they see or hear them coming. But not everyone knows about the volunteer Firefighter’s flashing green light.
In large cities, emergency vehicles are driven by full-time personnel who use red lights and sirens to get to the emergency scene quickly. For smaller communities and in rural areas, fire protection is provided by volunteers, who most often respond to emergencies in their own private vehicle. These vehicles do not have red lights or sirens to make them stand out from any other car or truck.
When a call comes in, a firefighter may be at his or her regular job, out with the family or sleeping in the middle of the night. They must drop everything and immediately respond to the fire hall to drive the fire trucks to the scene.
The flashing green light, usually mounted near the rear-view mirror, is used as an identifier to the drivers of other vehicles so they may, as a courtesy, give up their right-of-way and allow the firefighter to get to the fire hall unhampered.
If you see a vehicle with a flashing green light, please let them by as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember, the life or property they are trying to save may be that of a friend, a neighbour or even your own!