South Peace News
Firefighters in Big Lakes County can now use their flashing green lights on their way to a call – legally.
At its regular meeting May 26, council adopted a bylaw that authorizes firefighters in Big Lakes County Fire Services to use the special flashing green lights on their private vehicles.
“I know this has been discussed once before,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.
The Traffic Safety Act states that a municipality must adopt a bylaw to authorize firefighters to use the green lights, fire chief Jason Cottingham writes in a report to council.
“We need a bylaw to allow firefighters to use the lights,” he adds.
Council bought the first green lights in 2016.
However, the fire chief at the time did not inform council that a bylaw was needed to permit the firefighters to use the lights designed for private vehicles.
Since then, two other fire chiefs have worked for the County and didn’t bring up the issue.
When firefighters drive their private vehicles to a scene or fire hall, the LED lights are placed in the bottom right-hand side of the inside dash.
“The intent of the flashing green light is to make the community aware of firefighters responding to an incident or fire hall,” Cottingham says.
“Under provisions of the Act, firefighters cannot break the law under any circumstances.”
Signs were also posted in communities in 2016 to advise motorists of the green lights.
The Town of High Prairie also bought green lights for High Prairie Fire Department in 2016. Town council immediately passed a bylaw July 12, 2016 to authorize firefighters to use the green lights in their private vehicles.