Move to the Right for Sirens & Lights!

If you or someone you love needs emergency help, you would probably want help to get there as fast as possible. The best way to assist someone in need to receive emergency help is to Move to the Right for Sirens & Lights!

Some people might panic when an emergency vehicle approaches.  Please yield to emergency vehicles by pulling over (in a safe place) or stopping to allow emergency vehicles to safely negotiate  around you. Failure to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle delays in emergency responses by ambulances, fire engines and fire trucks arriving at the scene of an emergency.

Firefighters with WPFD are volunteers that respond from their home areas in a moments notice.  We only use our flashing lights when dispatched to an emergency scene and the situation is critical. You are asked to allow us to pass you SAFELY when driving marked fire vehicles and personnal vehicles that display flashing emergency RED lighting and/or sirens.  Sometimes we go directly to the emergency scene (if close by) or directly to our local stations to retrieve emergency vehicles. Your help is appreciated to help us get where we are needed in a quick and safe manner.

Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. However, the cooperation of ALL vehicles on the roadway is essential.

Please review some of the simple rules listed below for when you encounter an emergency vehicle:

Things you can do:

  • Stay calm. We are watching your movements carefully and waiting on your action or indication that you see us also.
  • Pull to the right and come to a complete stop if room on the shoulder permits.
  • Stop where you are ONLY in good visibility areas. Avoid your stop on hills or curves where site is restricted. We cannot pass you on a blind curve or obstructed view roadway (hill).
  • If you’re traveling on a high-speed road or if there is no room to stop, slow down as much as possible.
  • If you are in the left lane, pull over into the right lane as traffic in the lane to your right moves over.
  • If you cannot move to the right because of another vehicle or obstacle, just stop where you are if it is safe. Your action will let the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where and how to drive around you.
  • When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind while you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are unless you can pull to the right. We will negotiate slowly around you once all traffic has stopped to allow our passage.
  • On a 4-lane highway or street without barriers, both sides of traffic should pull to the right.
  • Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working.  We may not see you traveling around us as we are busy working in this area. DRIVE EXTREMELY SLOW (no faster than 5 miles per hour).
  • Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles until motioned by a traffic person to allow you to travel around the emergency scene.  The road may be blocked and/or on-coming traffic may be headed straight for you. Don’t create another emergency!

Things that you should not do:

  • Please do not panic when you see us arrive in your rear-view mirror.
  • Don’t stop in the middle lane when there is room to pull futher to the far right lane or shoulder of the road.
  • Don’t pull to the left in the center lane or left turn lane, we might need this as an emergency lane.
  • Don’t speed ahead of our emergency vehicle to make the green light or turn to an intersection ahead of our emergency vehicle.  You probably don’t know where we are going and might cause a problem for access if the road itself is blocked ahead.
  • Don’t drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind. We don’t want you to pursue a dangerous action in an effort to get out of our way.
  • Don’t disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.

Please drive safely. Thank you for helping us help others in a quick and safe manner.