Mich. volunteer rescuers may equip POVs with emergency lights

Volunteers must be certified in specialized discipline; Gov. Rick Snyder says change will help reduce response times, save lives

LANSING, Mich. — New legislation in Mich. will authorize volunteer members of specialized rescue teams to equip their POVs with flashing lights and sirens.

Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed the legislation Tuesday, said it will help reduce response times and help save lives.

Volunteer firefighters in the state are already allowed to equip their vehicles with emergency equipment.

But with this change, other volunteer rescuers with specialized training, such as water and ice water rescue, will be able to exceed the posted speed limit, disobey traffic signals and drive against traffic while responding to an emergency call "as long as this is done safely and with the proper emergency equipment activated," according to a news release.

To be authorized, volunteers must be certified in a specialized discipline, such as SCUBA underwater rescue, at a level higher than that of a medical first responder.

Volunteer rescuers must also have safe driver training or commensurate experience.

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