A new Illinois law will ensure appropriate emergency personnel can respond quickly, and safely in an emergency situation.
House Bill 1876, sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) allows a qualified deputy or assistant fire chief to operate a vehicle with red or white oscillating, rotating, or flashing emergency lights. Under current law, only a fire chief may use such emergency lights.
“As legislators, one of our top priorities has to be providing for the safety of Illinois families. This new law accomplishes that goal,” said Plummer. “I was proud to sponsor legislation that ensures appropriate first responders can swiftly and safely respond in emergency situations.”
While Plummer’s legislation applies to all fire departments in Illinois, it is particularly helpful in smaller communities with volunteer fire departments where the fire chief may not always be able to respond to an emergency. In these situations, a deputy or assistant chief may be the one rushing to the scene to coordinate emergency response. Plummer’s legislation allows them to use emergency lights to get there safely.
"My uncle was a career firefighter and, later, the chief of a volunteer fire department in a very rural town. These small but meaningful changes to existing law help keep our families safe in small communities throughout Southern Illinois,” concluded Plummer.
The new law will take effect January 1, 2020.