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Old 08 September 2011, 15:03   #1
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They don't got the Blues

Foyle S&R have "lost" the right to use their blues when responding to a call out.

See the BBC report here.

The suicide/jumper rate is very high in Derry and these volunteers use a couple of Redbay jet driven RIBs to fish 'em back out.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:18   #2
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First thoughts - how ridiculous but then I guess with the greater public safety in mind if these volunteers are not trained in fast driving techniques........
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Courageous View Post
... if these volunteers are not trained in fast driving techniques........
Good point, but even rank teenagers from Derry get very good training in "fast driving techniques", generally with oversight from the Constabulary.

Sometimes they even catch them....

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Old 08 September 2011, 15:29   #4
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Got to practice my fence sitting, I can see both sides of this, and I do not know how to get off the damned fence
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:30   #5
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Same for any LB crew in private vehicles......Even if the launch /station LR has a blue /two tone, it can only be used on the beach /not on the road......i.e not even if taking the ILB to launch close to an incident, which seems a bit daft tbh.....notwithstanding all the issues around 'blue light training'

Pretty frustrating getting to a shout at times, esp in holiday season.....you'd be amazed how many people actively try to block /stop a car who obviously needs to get somewhere (and that doesn't neccesarily mean speeding).

Theres been a FB group calling for LB crew to have blues for a while, but I just can't see it happening on private vehicles.....my thoughts are that it would be great if more people looked in their rear view mirror once in a while
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:34   #6
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Quote:
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Got to practice my fence sitting, I can see both sides of this, and I do not know how to get off the damned fence
Is your arse sore yet?

In this country, volunteer firefighters are given lights to respond appropriately when suddenly called "to duty". Since government agencies like fire districts are self-insured here, its not really an expense to cover their personal autos at that time.
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:36   #7
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A while back, it was reported in the press that Lymington RNLI lifeboat was prosecuted for exceeding the Lymington river 6 knot speed limit, while they were responding to a real "life threatening" shout. How mad is that? I will try and find the article and post it here.......

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Old 08 September 2011, 15:44   #8
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That IS insane crusher!
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Old 08 September 2011, 15:52   #9
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As I understand it the vehicle lighting regs are reasonably clear on this (compared to some Laws anyway!) but not sure if this applies to NI.

Any driver can drive using blue lights without needing any higher qualification other than a driving licence. (Although most agencies do insist on a higher level of training)

While using blue lights, drivers are exempt from a number of motoring regulations, including
treating a red traffic light as a give way sign
passing to the wrong side of a keep left bollard
driving on a motorway hard shoulder (even against the direction of traffic)

but disobeying the speed limit is only applicable to police, fire and ambulance. So even with blue lights this team were potentially breaking the law.
(NB there are some technicalities around this eg mountain rescue - an MR ambulance (ie used for transporting sick / injured people) is exempt from speed limits but an MR vehicle used to transport personnel / equipment is not)

Blue lights can be used on an "emergency vehicle" when responding to an emergency.

An "Emergency Vehicle" is classed as a vehicle used:
for police purposes (but not necessarily a police vehicle)
for fire brigade purposes (but not necessarily a fire brigade vehicle)
for ambulance purposes (but not necessarily an ambulance vehicle)
as an ambulance for moving sick, injured or disabled people
by a specialist company for fire salvage work
by the Forestry Commission for fire fighting
by local councils for fire fighting
for bomb disposal
for nuclear accidents
by the RAF mountain rescue
by the National Blood Service
by HM Coastguard
for mine rescue
by the RNLI for launching lifeboats
for moving around human organs
by Revenue and Customs for serious crime
for mountain rescue purposes
by the military special forces (e.g. The SAS) for a national security emergency

Technically the private vehicles in the article do not fit into any of these categories. The same issue also impacts retained fire fighters who are also not allowed to use blues on private vehicles (but they can be used if the vehicle is a company car provided by the Fire Service).

I vaguely recollect GAFIRS getting permission from their local Police District Commissioner or someone similar to use blues at some time in the past but not sure if this is still the case.

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Old 08 September 2011, 16:01   #10
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"Any driver can drive using blue lights without needing any higher qualification other than a driving licence. (Although most agencies do insist on a higher level of training)"

So can I do it then when I'm on me way home and me ice cream's meltin'?
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