Firefighters warn drivers to watch for signals


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Firefighters want to remind you to keep a closer eye out for fire trucks. You may have seen emergency signals around the city, but firefighter say, sometimes people get too used to seeing them.

They’re just like normal traffic lights. The difference is they only turn on when a fire truck is coming or leaving. That’s why many of us pass by them and never have to stop, which can make them easy to miss.

Firefighter Randy Smith with the Building Safety Division says they want to spread the word so people can keep their eye out. Something as simple as giving fire trucks room may help them get to the scene a few minutes quicker, which could make a huge difference in emergencies.

“If somebody buzzes around the edge of the truck, I may completely not know that they’re there and there’s been times where you miss it and all you hear is the breeze coming beside you as it stirs that breeze up off the semi. It’s unnerving. Same thing when we’re in town with these signals. It helps keep that traffic back and controls the force,” said Smith.

The lights are activated by the touch of a button. Drivers can turn them on through a remote on the driver’s side of the truck. Every fire station is different. Some of them have flashing yellow lights and others have these regular lights. It depends on how visible the station is.

Just because there isn’t a light at a certain station now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. It depends on how that area develops over time.

There are rare times when firefighters might not hit a button that activates these lights. That means, even if you don’t see a red light near a fire station, you should still keep an eye out.

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