Community Lights and Sirens Vehicle Operation Survey
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) vehicle operations using lights and siren pose a significant risk to both EMS practitioners and the public. In 2009, there were 1,579 ambulance crash injuries, and most EMS vehicle crashes occur when operating with lights and siren.
Emergency medical vehicle crashes occur more often at intersections, more often at traffic signals, and more often with multiple injuries, including 84% involving three or more people. Over a dozen studies show that the average time saved with lights and siren response or transport ranges from 42 seconds to 3.8 minutes. Lights and siren response increases the chance of an EMS vehicle crash by 50% and almost triples the chance of crash during patient transport.
In February 2022, 14 national EMS and Fire associations published a joint statement encouraging agencies to reduce lights and siren responses. To help make responses safer for the community, and our personnel, Williamson County EMS is participating with 50 other EMS agencies across the country in a quality improvement project to evaluate processes to reduce the number of calls we respond to using lights and siren, limiting those types of response to truly time-critical medical responses, such as heart attacks, serious breathing problems, and serious trauma.
Part of that evaluation is assessing public perception of lights and siren operation and your response to this quick survey is a crucial part of that evaluation. We encourage our community to take 3 minutes to answer a few questions regarding their perspectives on lights and siren EMS vehicle operation.