putting agency owned lights in a pov

emt111

Junior Member
#1
So here's a question for you all, if you're agency offered to buy lights and other equipment to install in your pov, would you do it? I was recently elected 2nd Lieutenant of my ambulance corps (equivilant to 2nd assistant chief for most volunteer FDs) and I get to have red lights, siren, etc. My captain told me to go see our local dealer/installer and "get whatever I want." Part of me wants to get alot of cool stuff and get my car all outfitted. On the other hand though, I keep thinking about what happens when I finish being a line officer and the corps wants the lights back, do I want a vehicle that has extra holes and parts cut out from where the lights were? Now just to clarify, my agency has no term limits on positions, and I am the first new line officer in 12 years, so it is a possibility that I'll be a line officer for quite a while. I could always just pay for lights myself, but obviously I don't have as big a budget for that as my agency would. I will also add that both the Lieutenant above me and the captain both have take home command cars, which is something I will be pushing for myself in the future
 

Nolines

Established Member
#2
Well My opinion is No Hard Installed lights that arent in places that you want them, both of my units only have Hard installed lights in the tail lights and markers ( corners ) and Back up Lights all the rest are Removable interior lights ( All Strobes ) and 1 Traffic Director ( Led ) in the back deck... my Unmarked Has a Hard installed set of Rear Strobes on the Back deck but I can swap that out for my Single Dash Kings and a Halogen Traffic Director if I desire... I am Not a Fan of Having to Pull all that Wiring like I just did out of my old Unmarked Unit... But Your Choice Esp since its Your car and Their Lights...
 
#4
What is the vehicle and what year will it be when you leave the position. Maybe the holes won't matter at that point.
Other thought- I've had almost all my stuff hardwired and never had any problems pulling it to sell the vehicle. Other than a couple screw holes in a center console for a switch panel..there is a lot that can be done and torn out with nobody ever noticing it was there. Keep it to exterior lights if you want it to be not noticeable after you remove it. Light bar maybe, grille lights, wig-wags, hideaway LED heads and so forth. Can all be done and torn out easily.
Hope it helps.
 

Pete L.

Site Veteran
#5
I hate to be the downer on this conversation but what about insurance ??
I you run code in your pov, you're vehicle insurance co. will have much to say.
Is your dept. going to pick up your increased premium ??

Just asking . . . . . . .
 

Doyle257

Site Regular
#6
I hate to be the downer on this conversation but what about insurance ??
I you run code in your pov, you're vehicle insurance co. will have much to say.
Is your dept. going to pick up your increased premium ??

Just asking . . . . . . .
In Upstate NY prolly 50% of volunteer Fire Chiefs use their own vehicles. When I asked my Insurance Agent, he told me there would be no increase.
 
#7
I hate to be the downer on this conversation but what about insurance ??
I you run code in your pov, you're vehicle insurance co. will have much to say.
Is your dept. going to pick up your increased premium ??

Just asking . . . . . . .
Every department I've worked for has said I'm on their insurance when I am responding to a call, even if I wreck on the way to the station. This is Illinois and not a statistically relevant sample size, I am not a lawyer, and Your Mileage May Vary.
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Supporter
#8
If you wreck POV responding to a call and it's not your fault, dept insurance will likely cover it.....flip that around and good luck getting restitution for your vehicle and that of the other party you hit. Check your state's laws. Courtesy lights vs. Must move lights makes a difference too. I'm also in IL, POV courtesy only unless you're a vollie chief.

As far as putting dept equipment in your POV, if they are willing to replace it if damaged (or stops working) then I'd be ok with it. You likely have dept issued equipment in your car already (bunker gear, EMS bag, radio, etc) and they replace those if broken...
 
#9
If you wreck POV responding to a call and it's not your fault, dept insurance will likely cover it.....flip that around and good luck getting restitution for your vehicle and that of the other party you hit. Check your state's laws. Courtesy lights vs. Must move lights makes a difference too. I'm also in IL, POV courtesy only unless you're a vollie chief.
On what are you basing this "good luck getting restitution" if you're at fault? That is the purpose of insurance. If your insurance company won't pay a claim, you might as well not have insurance.

Side note, being a Chief does not change the fact that the flashing lights on his POV are courtesy lights. He is allowed to use red in addition to blue but it is still a courtesy light unless his vehicle has been designated an authorized emergency vehicle per state law. In which case it ought to have a siren and get inspected. That's where you're going to get a law suit.
 
#10
I have done plenty of full installs where the vehicle was either a lease or didn’t want to have a bunch of holes everywhere. Even in my dept chief trucks I have built which is a marked vehicle I still try to keep hole to a minimum. With exception of antenna mounts

Lmk what type of veg and what you were thinking and I’ll gladly help you out
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Supporter
#11
I speak from experience. Capt on pur dept running blues (courtesy only) stopped at a red, traffic yielded allowing him to proceed after stopping. One car turning right came up as he cleared the intersection tagged him. His insurance covered it but dept. would not. (Lights were all his, not dept owned).
 

Nolines

Established Member
#12
On what are you basing this "good luck getting restitution" if you're at fault? That is the purpose of insurance. If your insurance company won't pay a claim, you might as well not have insurance.
Well, I for one can Understand that statement, I got Screwed by My Insurance Company and the Lady who hit me's ( Not Her Vehicle, No American or any Drivers Lisc, Not from the U.S. or anywhere near by ) Relatives insurance Company, Both of them wanted to Total my car for a Lil Body damage ( $2900.00 and Change ) thinking that I had Frame Damage! Even had CoPart waiting to Take my vehicle as soon as I Signed over my Title! My Insurance Company wanted to give me 1200.00 for my car the other 2400.00 I told them Both to go to Hell and Have New Parts waiting to go on as soon as we can get the Paint to stick... thank you Ford for screwing up the Primer or whatever is making the Paint Peel off and Refuse to set Correctly!
 
#13
I speak from experience. Capt on pur dept running blues (courtesy only) stopped at a red, traffic yielded allowing him to proceed after stopping. One car turning right came up as he cleared the intersection tagged him. His insurance covered it but dept. would not. (Lights were all his, not dept owned).
So, he broke the law, namely disregarding a traffic control device, and didn't actually clear the intersection, and you're blaming the insurance company for not taking his side? Help me understand. If you got a beef with the policy language, switch policies..... if they didn't follow their policy language then you sue them and report them to your state's insurance commission, end of story.
 

Doyle257

Site Regular
#14
On what are you basing this "good luck getting restitution" if you're at fault? That is the purpose of insurance. If your insurance company won't pay a claim, you might as well not have insurance.

Side note, being a Chief does not change the fact that the flashing lights on his POV are courtesy lights. He is allowed to use red in addition to blue but it is still a courtesy light unless his vehicle has been designated an authorized emergency vehicle per state law. In which case it ought to have a siren and get inspected. That's where you're going to get a law suit.

USUALLY if a chief is using lights in their POV, their vehicle is either designated as an emergency vehicle, or their title allows any vehicle they are driving to be an emergency vehicle, so long as properly equipped.

I presently have Emergency Vehicle status for my job, but will not from my fire company until January 1, 2019, So i have red lights & a siren for work, and Blue lights for the FD.

Mind you, if someone is authorized to use red lights, and they do so without a siren, they probably wont be covered if they get in a wreck...
 
#15
USUALLY if a chief is using lights in their POV, their vehicle is either designated as an emergency vehicle, or their title allows any vehicle they are driving to be an emergency vehicle, so long as properly equipped.

I presently have Emergency Vehicle status for my job, but will not from my fire company until January 1, 2019, So i have red lights & a siren for work, and Blue lights for the FD.

Mind you, if someone is authorized to use red lights, and they do so without a siren, they probably wont be covered if they get in a wreck...
I am quite sure there is no provision in Illinois state law for a "person" to carry emergency vehicle status with them from vehicle to vehicle. The "authorized emergency vehicle" is an authorization to the vehicle, not the person. It might be possible to word an authorization letter differently and have it accepted by Joe Officer, but it would not meet the letter of the law. If you disagree please provide a pointer to the relevant line in the vehicle code and the loophole you see.

As far as any prognostications as to what would or wouldn't be covered, I'm assuming you're not a lawyer or a licensed insurance agent in the state of Illinois. Otherwise, making a statement like you just did, you might want to put a disclaimer so that folks understand you are just talking anecdotally, not speaking based on any particular state law, case history, insurance policy wording, or other demonstrable facts. Your statement, distilled to its essence, says that a vehicle with a red light on and no siren >50% chance will be abandoned by their insurance carrier after an accident. You've omitted so many necessary facts that it's not possible to rely on this as anything other than speculation. If it was the case, it would be tantamount to malpractice for the insurance company. Who was at cause in this pretend wreck? Was the siren being off a cause of the accident? A proximate cause? What percentage of the cause of the accident can be attributed to the driver's non-use of the siren? (Was the siren even REQUIRED for the driving situation the vehicle operator was in at the time of the accident?) Even the word "covered" requires a definition. Let's end this speculation. If people want legal advice they need to go to a lawyer.
 

Tony P

Moderator
Support Staff
#17
And THAT is the end of your insurance discussion. The OP was simply asking if you would allow your agency to equip your ride or if you would just do it yourself. Stay on topic to that discussion. Thanks
 

Doyle257

Site Regular
#18
And THAT is the end of your insurance discussion. The OP was simply asking if you would allow your agency to equip your ride or if you would just do it yourself. Stay on topic to that discussion. Thanks
Tony, Bear with me for 1 second, and then no more insurance talk.


I am quite sure there is no provision in Illinois state law for a "person" to carry emergency vehicle status with them from vehicle to vehicle. The "authorized emergency vehicle" is an authorization to the vehicle, not the person. It might be possible to word an authorization letter differently and have it accepted by Joe Officer, but it would not meet the letter of the law. If you disagree please provide a pointer to the relevant line in the vehicle code and the loophole you see.

As far as any prognostications as to what would or wouldn't be covered, I'm assuming you're not a lawyer or a licensed insurance agent in the state of Illinois. Otherwise, making a statement like you just did, you might want to put a disclaimer so that folks understand you are just talking anecdotally, not speaking based on any particular state law, case history, insurance policy wording, or other demonstrable facts. Your statement, distilled to its essence, says that a vehicle with a red light on and no siren >50% chance will be abandoned by their insurance carrier after an accident. You've omitted so many necessary facts that it's not possible to rely on this as anything other than speculation. If it was the case, it would be tantamount to malpractice for the insurance company. Who was at cause in this pretend wreck? Was the siren being off a cause of the accident? A proximate cause? What percentage of the cause of the accident can be attributed to the driver's non-use of the siren? (Was the siren even REQUIRED for the driving situation the vehicle operator was in at the time of the accident?) Even the word "covered" requires a definition. Let's end this speculation. If people want legal advice they need to go to a lawyer.
The OP is from New York, So your comments, and Illinois laws have no bearing on the matter, or on how we do things in The State of New York.

Pete L. has asked the following:
I hate to be the downer on this conversation but what about insurance ??
I you run code in your pov, you're vehicle insurance co. will have much to say.
Is your dept. going to pick up your increased premium ??

Just asking . . . . . . .
As a resident, and POV emergency vehicle operator within the state, I have had these conversations with Multiple insurance agents. My apologies for dumbing down the response I got from all of them which was:
"If you are using emergency lighting and siren, contrary to your departments SOP/SOG/Best Practices, there is a good chance we will deny your claim"

Your utterly demeaning diatribe was quite unnecessary.

Back to the topic at hand.
So here's a question for you all, if you're agency offered to buy lights and other equipment to install in your pov, would you do it? I was recently elected 2nd Lieutenant of my ambulance corps (equivilant to 2nd assistant chief for most volunteer FDs) and I get to have red lights, siren, etc. My captain told me to go see our local dealer/installer and "get whatever I want." Part of me wants to get alot of cool stuff and get my car all outfitted. On the other hand though, I keep thinking about what happens when I finish being a line officer and the corps wants the lights back, do I want a vehicle that has extra holes and parts cut out from where the lights were? Now just to clarify, my agency has no term limits on positions, and I am the first new line officer in 12 years, so it is a possibility that I'll be a line officer for quite a while. I could always just pay for lights myself, but obviously I don't have as big a budget for that as my agency would. I will also add that both the Lieutenant above me and the captain both have take home command cars, which is something I will be pushing for myself in the future
You are quite fortunate that they will buy you whatever you want. Presently, I am having a used 47' Sounoff Signal Pinnacle Bar, and Older style Soundoff controller forced on me by my Fire district, but I am required to provide any other lighting. So Ive spent close to $1k on additional lighting to supplement their choice in Bar and controller

Down to the matter, how often do you get a new vehicle? Ive never owned one longer than 5 years. If you have a bunch of holes cut and drilled, it may effect your trade-in value, unless the lighting remains in place.
 
Last edited:

CHIEFOPS

Senior Member
#19
Tony, Bear with me for 1 second, and then no more insurance talk.




The OP is from New York, So your comments, and Illinois laws have no bearing on the matter, or on how we do things in The State of New York.

Pete L. has asked the following:

As a resident, and POV emergency vehicle operator within the state, I have had these conversations with Multiple insurance agents. My apologies for dumbing down the response I got from all of them which was:
"If you are using emergency lighting and siren, contrary to your departments SOP/SOG/Best Practices, there is a good chance we will deny your claim"
To clarify that, most insurance companies cover their policy holders to run lights & siren for legitimate law enforcement, vol fire/ems/rescue in their POV as long as the vehicle is not a full time emergency vehicle, they will not deny a claim if as Doyle stated the vehicle was within agency policy
 

Bvfa23

Junior Member
#20
I am quite sure there is no provision in Illinois state law for a "person" to carry emergency vehicle status with them from vehicle to vehicle. The "authorized emergency vehicle" is an authorization to the vehicle, not the person. It might be possible to word an authorization letter differently and have it accepted by Joe Officer, but it would not meet the letter of the law. If you disagree please provide a pointer to the relevant line in the vehicle code and the loophole you see.

As far as any prognostications as to what would or wouldn't be covered, I'm assuming you're not a lawyer or a licensed insurance agent in the state of Illinois. Otherwise, making a statement like you just did, you might want to put a disclaimer so that folks understand you are just talking anecdotally, not speaking based on any particular state law, case history, insurance policy wording, or other demonstrable facts. Your statement, distilled to its essence, says that a vehicle with a red light on and no siren >50% chance will be abandoned by their insurance carrier after an accident. You've omitted so many necessary facts that it's not possible to rely on this as anything other than speculation. If it was the case, it would be tantamount to malpractice for the insurance company. Who was at cause in this pretend wreck? Was the siren being off a cause of the accident? A proximate cause? What percentage of the cause of the accident can be attributed to the driver's non-use of the siren? (Was the siren even REQUIRED for the driving situation the vehicle operator was in at the time of the accident?) Even the word "covered" requires a definition. Let's end this speculation. If people want legal advice they need to go to a lawyer.

FYI
In NY V&T Law any Emengency Vehicle that IS NOT Police MUST have their siren activated when their lights are activated and the vehicle is in motion.

OP

If it were me, I would find the least intrusive ways to accomplish what you want, there are a million ways to upfit vehicles so some more info regarding your year make model would help and what you personally want. There are a lot of options out there to keep holes to a minimum.
 

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