In a hamlet such as ours, emergency vehicles are manned by volunteers who use the red lights and sirens to get through traffic to the scene of an emergency quickly. Seconds count in a fire or rescue situation, and time lost in order to reroute from traffic congestion can make all the difference between life and death, or the loss of private property. For those of us in rural and smaller urban areas, we receive our fire protection from volunteers who respond to emergencies in their own private vehicles. These vehicles are not equipped with red lights or sirens that make them stand out from any other vehicle on the road.
When the call for help comes in, our personnel may be at their regular job, at the beach with the family, or sleeping in the middle of the night. They drop what they are doing and immediately respond to the Fire Station to man and drive the fire trucks or ambulances to the emergency scene. Once the trucks have rolled out of the station, those that did not make it to the Fire Station in time to get on a truck will continue to the emergency scene or Fire Station in their personal vehicle. The problem previously existed that regular traffic did not know that an emergency existed up ahead or elsewhere and unknowingly held up firefighters hurrying to the call or to the station to get the fire trucks on the way.