Report Number: 07-0000806
Report Date: 03/19/2007
We responded to a fire alarm, 1st engine emergency, other companies non-emergency, chief officers discretionary based on location. As my engine company approached the tee intersection, another engine company responding from the station also approached, but was not visible in my approach. I was traveling along the stem of the tee responding in an emergency vehicle, emergency mode from my residence, the engine approached from the left since they left the station. Approximately 100 yards from the intersection, my light turned green and 1 car from the left turn lane cleared the intersection as well as 1 car from right turn lane. As I navigated around other car in right turn lane that had yielded right of way, the engine company approaching did not stop at the light, rolling through the intersection, and forcing me to stop. The driver stated that he was doing what his officer told him, to "Go", contrary to department policies/procedures, against a red light which had been red long enough for 2 cars to clear the intersection. He did not yield right of way to another emergency vehicle who rightfully possessed same.
Always use caution when approaching intersections, and stop when all approaches are not visible from your direction of travel. Follow all motor vehicle laws and departmental SOPs. Just because an officer issues an order, doesn't make it right, and failure to issue orders in accordance with accepted practices can cause property damage or loss of life. Drivers of apparatus must be held accountable for their actions if they fail to follow departmental directives, and officers must be held accountable for their decisions to order actions contrary to policy. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and the potential for opposing emergency vehicles at intersections.
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