As the name suggests, first responders are the personnel that are first to reach an emergency situation, whether it is a fire, an accident, a natural disaster or any other emergency. The first responders reach the place of the emergency and take charge of the situation whether it is to vacate the area or help those trapped in the situation. It is therefore, important that the vehicles of the first responders and other official vehicles have the proper emergency lights that enable to be visible from a distance. Emergency lights flashing can give an indication to the people in the neighborhood that an emergency has occurred and that they may keep a safe distance from the situation.
Emergency lights should always be very bright and should be visible from a distance. These lights need to be mounted prominently atop the vehicles of the first responders and other official vehicles so that they are visible to all even from a far away location. Additionally, the emergency lights on the official and first responder vehicles should be appropriately colored to provide an idea of the type of emergency vehicle being used:
Emergency Light Colors for First Responders and Other Official Vehicles:
The most commonly used emergency color for emergency vehicles is red. It is used to convey the message that an emergency has occurred and is mostly mounted on police vehicles, fire trucks and rescue squad vehicles.
Law enforcement vehicles and police vehicles often blue colored emergency lights in combination with red colored lights. The same is seen with rescue squad vehicles and volunteer firefighter vehicles. Some states also allow blue colored emergency lights to be used by private vehicles if they are deployed as a part of a squad in an emergency.
Green colored emergency lights are used in some states as a way to indicate the vehicle of a fire chief, a mobile command post or the vehicles of volunteer firefighters.
Amber or Yellow:
Amber or yellow colored emergency lights are used by construction vehicles to signify caution. This is usually so because the construction vehicles, if deployed in an area can block the traffic. These vehicles are prone to move slowly when they are fully loaded. Security patrols and tow-trucks also use amber lights in their vehicles. Amber emergency lights are also used by snow plows and other service vehicles of the municipal corporation of a city. Sometimes a combination of yellow and red is used by rescue squad vehicles to signify an emergency. Amber and red lights are also used in combination by school buses to notify the approaching traffic that the bus is slowing or stopping to unload or load children.
Types of Emergency Lights for Vehicles:
There can be several types of emergency lights for vehicles, whether official or first responder vehicles. These emergency lights include LED lights, rotating lights or strobe lights. Mostly, the emergency lights are mounted atop the vehicles so that they are clearly visible from a distance but they can also be flush mounted inside the windshield of the vehicle, on the front and back bumpers and on the back window enclosure on the top or the bottom. The idea of putting up emergency lights in such a way is to make them visible and caution the onlookers of an emergency.
Most first responder and official vehicles are mounted with LED emergency lights, these days. There are various benefits of LED lights as compared to the other lights. Some of these benefits are listed below:
Benefits of LED Emergency Lights:
- The LED lights are very bright and have an intense color. This is so because rather than the color being on the lens, the bulb itself is colored making the light glow brightly. For this reason they are stealth mounted atop vehicles used in law enforcement.
- The LED lights are much smaller in size when compared to the lights used in the earlier times, like the halogen and incandescent lights. The small lights offer smaller wind resistance surface, which saves fuel costs when driving.
- The life of LED lights is much longer than the other types of lights.
- There is virtually no maintenance of the LED lights, which makes them the popular choice for emergency vehicles that need to respond instantly to an emergency.
- When first responder or official vehicles use LED emergency lights, they save on the battery life as LED lights use a very small amount of energy.
- The LED lights can have a number of patterns and colors programmed in them. This enables those in the control room to use an appropriate pattern in different emergency situations.
- LED lights are very reliable as there are no wire filaments that may snap loose or break.
It is important that the responder vehicles are fitted with the most appropriately colored emergency lights to keep the general public and the first responder personnel safe during an emergency.