(press release via City of Ottawa)
The City of Ottawa would like to remind motorists that vehicles with green flashing lights are being driven by volunteer firefighters who are responding to a call. As a courtesy, all road users are asked to allow these vehicles to pass quickly and safely.
Ottawa’s rural communities are served by 470 volunteer firefighters. Through the Green Light program, volunteer firefighters are equipped with green flashing lights for their personal vehicles. When you see a green light flashing from a driver’s vehicle, it means the driver is a volunteer firefighter responding to an emergency.
Drivers are asked, to please yield the road to these vehicles with green flashing lights. This may mean pulling over, if it is safe to do so, to allow the vehicle to pass.
Volunteer firefighters responding to an emergency typically need to drive their personal vehicles to a nearby fire station where they can transfer into a fire vehicle before responding to the scene of an incident. Pulling over when you see a firefighter’s green light can have a big impact because every second counts.
Volunteer firefighters are also expected to follow the same rules of the road as all other drivers. The Highway Traffic Act allows volunteer firefighters to display a flashing green light when responding to emergencies. The use of the flashing green light on or in vehicles is restricted to fire services.
To increase awareness of the Green Light program, the City launched an awareness campaign today. Drivers in rural areas may notice additional road signs and billboards reminding them of the program. An instructive Green Light Awareness Campaign video is also available on the City’s website, ottawa.ca.
This program has existed in rural Ottawa for several years and similar programs exist across North America in communities that are served by volunteer firefighters.