Mountain View County Council has green-lit, in the figurative and literal sense, the decision for the county's volunteer firefighters to utilize green lights.

According to the county's website, volunteer firefighters responding to emergencies are now authorized to use flashing green lights on their vehicles when heading to the Fire Hall.

Christofer Atchison, Director of Legislative, Community and Agricultural Service with MVC explained that the initiative was requested by a few of the fire departments within the county.

"A couple of them [fire departments] have begun using green flashing lights as a way to denote when volunteers are travelling towards the fire hall, in an effort to try and get there in a more expedient manner," he said. "Council reviewed the request from the Sundre Fire Department specifically and has agreed to allow for green flashing lights throughout Mountain View County's jurisdiction for any of our fire departments that wish to use them."

MVC is reminding both residents and first responders that it is a signal and not a speed pass.

"While some departments use green lights to alert traffic, our firefighters are reminded: no breaking traffic rules. Speed limits and signals still apply. Motorists, please give our volunteers the right of way when safe to do so. Remember, quick response times start from their homes, so a clear road can make all the difference," the county stated on its website.

"It's not necessarily an added safety measure, more so of a public awareness campaign. All of our fire departments are staffed with valued volunteers, paid on-call firefighters; who are travelling from their residences and trying to get to the fire hall, which at times can be quite a lengthy travel time," Atchison added. "Any effort that we can have to reduce response rates, is appreciated by our residents."

MVC also underlined to motorists that if they spot a vehicle with green lights, while it's not mandatory to pull over, the motorists' courtesy can significantly impact an emergency’s response time.

"All traffic measures still have to be followed; it just allows for other motorists on the roadway to know what is going on and to facilitate that efficient response wherever possible."

Mountain View County encompasses the Carstairs Fire Department, the Didsbury Fire Department, the Olds Fire Department, The Sundre Fire Department, as well as the Cremona and District Fire Departments. 

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