In Connecticut regular (vs officer) volunteer firefighters can have blue lights, as many as they want, with a permit signed by their firechief and the list of vehicles sent to the DMV. This has to be renewed every year. Each department has their own rules about the blue lights - my department does not allow blue lights mounted outside the vehicle (like on the roof) or higher than the rear view mirror (again, like on the roof). Just a blue light is considered a "courtesy light", and does not mean traffic rules can be broken.
Officer (Chief, captain, lts, etc) volunteer firefighters can get a separate permit from the State DMV for "lights and siren", which is red and blue lights and a siren. This allows them to exceed traffic laws within reason, I believe this is the same as "with due regard" regulations.
With my department, most fire calls within town will have a few members respond to the firehouse to get trucks and the rest will respond to the scene. When the fire trucks arrive, people have usually done a size up of the situation and immediately get to work. We have a small department that covers a small town, and it works well for us.
If someone wants to wear FD t-shirts and have IAFF stickers all over their vehicle, that is their choice --- it is usually the guys who are paid firemen in surrounding towns/cities who also volunteer with us. Doesn't really bother me, except when I hear people talk about volunteer "whackers", because around me it is the paid guys who are the whackers. I don't like the term "whacker" at all, and I don't use it, because I don't really see the point in putting down someone who is active in fire/rescue services, volunteer or paid.
Just because it is a dumb, easily resolved issue, doesn't mean you should stop doing it.
Last edited by Tvov; 01-16-2013 at 14:34..