(The Ottawa Fire Station 81 Tanker, displaying the first of many public awareness signage campaigns. Photo: courtesy of Thomas Miller, Sector Chief, District 8)
You may have noticed new signage on the Stittsville Station 81 Tanker truck. Station 81, on Stittsville Main Street, is participating in a cross-Ottawa unique campaign that shares fire safety and program awareness with the public through signage.
The first sign launched brings attention to the purpose of the ‘flashing green light’ seen in vehicles of volunteer firefighters heading to the station for a reported incident that requires their quick response.
Green Light Awareness signs are also strategically placed in areas of the City where a particular locale is covered by volunteer firefighters. The signs were installed with the hope of making more residents aware of the green lights in a private vehicle and the purpose they serve. Now these signs will appear on fire apparatus itself bringing the awareness to a higher and more noticeable level.
Although, green lights do not allow any deviation from the Highway Traffic Act the hope is that residents will provide the right of way in an effort to allow our Rural and Urban Volunteer Firefighters the opportunity to arrive at their respective stations in a safe and timely fashion.
Typically the same message applies for green lights as it would for other emergency vehicles lights which is: Slow Down. Move Over.
In a conversation with Tom Miller, Sector Chief for District 8 at Ottawa Fire Station 81, he told Stittsville Central, “The sign campaign is a fantastic way to educate our community on what we do and also to help increase community safety and awareness, especially during COVID lockdowns when the public don’t have access to the station. Getting the message out is important“.
The signs are being installed on Ottawa Fire tankers to start, the first being displayed by the Navan station, with Stittsville, Carp and Manotick following closely thereafter. Soon other fire apparatus – pump tankers – will be outfitted with various messaging.
With more signs in the works – such as the importance of keeping smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in working order; open air fire permits; recruitment programs – the messaging will be swapped out quarterly and as it evolves, the public will see even more types of awareness messaging being added.
Please heed this important information from the District 8 Sector Chief Thomas Miller and give the right of way to a flashing green light — the person in the vehicle trying to get through traffic could be on the way to save your residence from fire or someone you know who may be in an emergency situation.
(Editor’s Note: I want to thank Sector Chief Thomas Miller for ongoing contact with us to share these important messages and photos from Ottawa Fire Station 81 and to Lt. Josh Guibeault who has been instrumental in sharing his photos and comments, especially during the COVID-19 health situation.)