Frequently Asked Question

Why do fire trucks sometimes turn off their lights and sirens after going through an intersection?

Fire trucks and ambulances use lights and sirens to warn the public and clear traffic while en route to an emergency call.

There is an element of risk every time a fire truck or ambulance drives through town with their lights and sirens on. Accidents while going to and from emergency calls are the second leading cause of death for firefighters. When a fire department representative arrives on the scene and finds the situation is not as serious as they led to believe, they will "downgrade" or cancel the rest of the fire department response. "Downgrade" means to have them continue without their lights and sirens, reducing the risk of firefighters and the public. This also reduces the disruption to normal traffic flow.