Oh we’ll be quiet all right

Once in a while we’re dispatched to a call that ends with, “RP is requesting silent approach.”

One partner I worked with liked to deliberately leave the sirens fully wailing all the way until she was in park in front of the address whenever we got this request. Yes, this partner.

This is obviously some strange concern about privacy and discretion. We never got this request in poor neighborhoods; I surmised that it was a “you’re our servants” mentality. Clearly someone is not really having that big of an emergency.

As if no one is going to notice the fire engine and the ambulance. Or the diesel engines and the jake brakes.

As if we don’t shut sirens down in residential areas anyway as a matter of routine and courtesy. Not to mention how tired we are of the sirens.

As if there aren’t policies and vehicles codes that specifically address the use of sirens as necessary. As if there isn’t a bus that we get thrown under if we wreck and the other party uses the words, “didn’t,” “hear,” and “sirens” in the same sentence.

I hear taxis don’t have sirens.

2 thoughts on “Oh we’ll be quiet all right”

  1. Well, maybe if the MPDS system wasn’t so easily gamed into making an individual with a cold or a hangnail into a red lights and sirens response then maybe this wouldn’t be a deal. That and if we were allowed to do a PSA explaining to people that even if you call for an ambulance and arrive at the ER via that conveyance you still won’t necessarily go to the head of the line then maybe a very few of these that also often suffer from NIMBY would stop calling us for such stupidity. But then again, maybe I’m being too hopeful again.

  2. What Toasted said. The last couple of years I worked, routinely violated department policy on the use of L&S. As in I’d only turn them on during transport if the patient was unstable. I generally stopped at all red lights and waited for them to turn green. I didn’t much care if the dispatcher wanted to know if “I’d reached the hospital yet?” I’m on hourly, not piece work.

    I used lights for the reasons you mentioned, but the siren only sparingly on responses.

    My response when chastised was “What are you going to do, make me retire with a full pension?”

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