USFA Initiates Second
Phase of Study of Emergency Vehicle Warning Lighting Systems with Society
of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Michael D. Brown, Under
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness
and Response, announced today the United States Fire Administration (USFA),
has started a follow-on study of Emergency Warning Lighting Systems with
the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that will continue the work of
the original research project initiated in 2003. This second phase
of the project will continue to research how to effectively mitigate the
disorientation of motorists caused by the day and nighttime use of emergency
warning lights, through design, technology, and operating practices.
"An unacceptable number of firefighters
and other emergency responders have died in the line of duty from vehicle
crashes and being struck by vehicles while they are operating at emergencies,"
said Brown. "This partnership underscores the commitment of
President Bush and Secretary Chertoff to protect this nation’s emergency
The second phase of this effort will include
issues of lighting color and emergency vehicle visibility. This issue
of color will include the red and white color lighting traditionally used
by the fire service and EMS, but will also include the use of other colors
such as yellow typically used for construction and tow vehicle warning,
as well as blue and other colors. The issue of lighting and vehicle
visibility will also be studied to include how warning lights work with
retro-reflective striping, chevrons, high-visibility paint colors, and
"I am pleased the USFA is continuing its
work with the SAE to study impacts of emergency lighting on the safety
of firefighters responding to or returning from emergencies, as well as
those men and women operating on the nation’s roadways," said R. David
Paulison, U.S. Fire Administrator. “This partnership effort also supports
the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Firefighter Life Safety Initiative
to further prevent on-duty firefighter fatalities."
All emergency lighting systems will be
examined in this study - including incandescent, halogen, strobe, and light-emitting
diode (LED) systems. Research findings from this project will be
shared with national-level consensus standards organizations such as the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and others in the development
of relevant/related standards. The SAE and their Emergency Warning Lighting
and Devices Standards Committee may use the findings in the development
of their own standards.
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"SAE is proud to continue this important
research in support of the safety of firefighters and other emergency responders,"
said SAE President J.E. “Ted” Robertson. "This project emphasizes SAE’s
long-term commitment to enhancing vehicle and roadway safety through local,
national, and international research and awareness programs."
Further information about this research
initiative as well as other USFA emergency vehicle project efforts may
be found on the USFA Web site at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/research/safety/vehicle.shtm.
To learn more about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)
Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, go to www.fireheroes.org.