The Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) would like to remind motorists that volunteers’ use of 4-way flashers is merely an identifier and a request to move past when traveling to meet the truck at the hall when there is a call.
The public is under no obligation to move over, the 4-way flashers are merely an identifier and a request to move past.
“This is very different than emergency lights and sirens on emergency vehicles that carry a legal obligation for the public to pull over and stop,” Dan Heney Regional Fire Chief of the BRFA said.
Volunteer firefighters in Bonnyville have been using 4-way flashers for decades to identify themselves as responding to the Firehall for an emergency.
“As they must follow all rules of the road even with their 4-way flashers on, volunteers are at the mercy of the public when it comes to moving through traffic,” Heney said. “The BRFA is promoting 4-way flashers as a public education piece so that the public understands what is going on when they are approached by a vehicle with its 4-way flashers on. Further, we want the public to be aligned with what we do and most importantly why we do what we do.”
The longest portion of response times for volunteer departments is the time it takes for members to reach the hall.
“If we can get them there faster, while following the rules of the road, and keeping everyone safe then we are reducing the portion of response time we have the least control over,” Heney said. “Ultimately, the safety of the public and our members is the highest priority. Saving a couple of seconds but ending up with someone injured is not an acceptable trade-off.”
Four-way flashers are meant to be used as a warning and are used to draw attention, If you see a vehicle behind you using them, please keep in mind they could be a BRFA member on the way to a call.