WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

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yorky
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WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by yorky » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:14 pm

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/wa-fi ... z3JaA1xFfv
WA firefighters have been banned from exceeding the speed limit by more than 20km/h, prompting concerns that lives and property will be put at greater risk.
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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Zebedee » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:44 pm

Yep. It's something that came out a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if it'll make that much difference in a practical sense.

Just my own gut feeling but I reckon exceeding the speed limit isn't the most important bit of driving lights and sirens. And I'm not sure I'd want to be going too fast in one anyway ;)

Curious to hear what others think about it - especially those with direct experience.
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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by LighteningCrashes » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:57 pm

Zebedee wrote:Yep. It's something that came out a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if it'll make that much difference in a practical sense.

Just my own gut feeling but I reckon exceeding the speed limit isn't the most important bit of driving lights and sirens. And I'm not sure I'd want to be going too fast in one anyway ;)

Curious to hear what others think about it - especially those with direct experience.
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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Screech » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:57 pm

I think that DFES should have a system similar to police and ambulance where they have different priorities for emergency driving (priority 1, priority 2 etc) rather than the current system of either "firecall" or "normal road. A pumper heading to a house fire with persons trapped needs to get to the job very quickly whereas a bushfire appliance going to a bushfire with no lives or property under direct threat probably don't need to be driving as quickly.

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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Zebedee » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:19 am

Screech wrote:I think that DFES should have a system similar to police and ambulance where they have different priorities for emergency driving (priority 1, priority 2 etc) rather than the current system of either "firecall" or "normal road. A pumper heading to a house fire with persons trapped needs to get to the job very quickly whereas a bushfire appliance going to a bushfire with no lives or property under direct threat probably don't need to be driving as quickly.
My understanding (and I'm happy to be corrected) is that the first appliance/s going to the bushfire would be going firecall conditions. Once they're there and have assessed the situation, if it's not that serious they'll ask for other responding appliances to drive at normal road.

I work in a building in the city and from what I've observed, if our fire alarm goes off then one appliance from Perth station will turn out firecall and a second will be sent as backup normal road. The first appliance might ask for the second one to be upgraded if they're turning up and seeing plumes of smoke coming from the building ;)

I agree that when going to fires where there's reports of lives in danger (or potentially in danger) then the responders need to get there as quickly, as efficiently and as safely as possible. But to me, the lights and sirens are there more to warn other motorists that an emergency vehicle is coming and to move out of their way. Plus it allows the emergency vehicle to do things they wouldn't normally do like perhaps cross to the wrong side of the road, go through intersections carefully against traffic lights, that kind of thing. My feeling is that these are the things that'll get them to the fire sooner rather than going warp factor 9, hehe.

That's just my take on it - I'm sure there's lots of other equally valid opinions out there too...
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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by AusRover » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:18 pm

I agree with the above wholeheartedly, the more people look at it realistically the better off we are. Lights and sirens are for warning other road users of an oncoming emergency appliance, not a licence to drive fast. In my experience the ability to travel without stopping for lights or heavy traffic is the key advantage. Skipping one traffic light stop will save you more time than travelling twice the speed limit over an average call out distance. For example my home station to anywhere in our call out area, maximum distance is about 6-7kms. Unless I have a rocket powered truck, I am only putting other road users and pedestrians at risk, not to mention myself and crew, doing 20+kms over. All to save perhaps 5 seconds. Doing over 20kms over the limit might just save you 15 seconds overall going from say Midland to Malaga, but one stop at Reid hwy lights will lose you over a minute. Even doing long distances such as Perth to Bunbury you save 12-15mins doing 130 instead of 110. All to sit at the control point for the next 45 minutes! Just my view from dozens of callouts! :)

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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Infernal » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:00 am

Its only the police that have different lights and sirens priorities.

Ambulance only priority 1 is lights and sirens all other priorities are normal road.

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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Groovy1 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:50 pm

As I've heard police say when talking about determining how to apply the law on 6PR radio,
Time,Place & Circumstance and the big caveat "If Safe To Do So"
I was a volly fire fighter for 5 minutes, and when I asked about priority road call out, you could contravene the road traffic act if you were authorized to use light and sirens and it was necessary and It Was Safe to Do So. If not and you had an accident it was your ass. So I guess if I was on Tonkin, Reid hwy or freeway and it was clear of traffic and the extra speed was within the vehicles capabilities stability wise I'd go the extra speed as soon as traffic started appearing I'd back off.
The big thing with any fire the longer you take to put it out the faster and more likely it is to get out of control and risk life and property. Think about any major bush fire and then imagen what the outcome would have been if A: first responders got there sooner eg got the call sooner by the public or by conditions of the roads,traffic or vehicle power and stability to reach speed quickly and stop quickly.
Just my 2 cents worth

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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by yorky » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:47 pm

Whilst things have changed a bit since the last posts in this thread it still comes down to crew and public safety.

Speeding to get somewhere will only save a couple of minutes over a fair distance. Red lights still have to be approached at a speed that you can stop before moving through. Traffic these days barely gets out of the way as it is.

DFES have mildly changed things so that if there is life endangerment then they can "drive faster" but again fire trucks are not built for high speed, and in the urban area with traffic you will rarely get the speed up.

Lights and sirens are more so to get a clearer path so you have a better average speed, not top speed.

In the current age the driver/crew is extremely accountable for actions they take, going lights and sirens is NOT a blanket "contravene of the road traffic act". ANY act of dangerous driving will be taken as such and the driver can be prosecuted. Whilst I won't go into detail, DFES can see speeds and certain actions taken by vehicles fitted with certain equipment. This makes the crew accountable for breaking policy and regulations.
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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by roland985 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:47 pm

Whilst I won't go into detail, DFES can see speeds and certain actions taken by vehicles fitted with certain equipment. This makes the crew accountable for breaking policy and regulations.
Given the fact that DFES have done a press release and it's been covered by news outlets, I think it's safe to say that yes, DFES can track all vehicles fitted with the new AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locator) equipment. They can see if the L&S are active, and they can see where and what you are doing at all times.

AVLs have been fitted to all CFRS, VFRS, BFB, and SES vehicles, as well as the DO/SI vehicles.

Someone has already been stood down within DFES for contravening the road rules when there was no need.

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Re: WA firefighters' emergency speed cap

Post by Zebedee » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:04 am

roland985 wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:47 pm
AVLs have been fitted to all CFRS, VFRS, BFB, and SES vehicles, as well as the DO/SI vehicles.
Not just those services, others too.
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