Can Firefighters Pull You Over or Give You a Ticket? (2022)

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Firefighters are sworn public servants, similar to Police Officers. Because of this, people want to know if they have the same kind of authority and powers as cops. You may be curious if firefighters are able to pull you over on the road or arrest you.

In general, firefighters are not authorized to pull cars over while on the road. There have been a few rare cases of this happening, but it is not common at all. They can issue citations for certain infractions, but they are not usually related to driving violations.

Firefighters and cops have different responsibilities and different powers given to them to carry out their jobs. Let’s talk more about what exactly firefighters are allowed to do. Can they arrest you? Let’s find out.

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Also read: Firefighter or Cop: Which Is a Better Job?

Table of Contents

  • Can Firefighters Pull You Over?
  • Can Fire Marshalls Pull You Over?
  • Can Firefighters/Fire Marshals Give Tickets?
  • Is it Illegal to Pass a Fire Truck with its Lights on?
  • Can Firefighters Arrest You?
  • Conclusion
  • Related Articles

Can Firefighters Pull You Over?

When driving on the road, you are expected to obey the laws that apply in your area. People that don’t obey these laws can be “pulled over” by law enforcement and given tickets or citations. Firefighters have different responsibilities for the most part.

(Video) CHP officer handcuffs Chula Vista Firefighter caught on camera by CBS 8

When most people use the term “getting pulled over”, they are referring to a traffic stop. This is where police officers use their lights and sirens to signal you to move to the side of the road and stop. They will then talk with you about whatever law they think you broke. They may even give you a ticket.

Firefighters are not responsible and will almost never perform a traffic stop the way a cop will. This is not something they have the authority to do.

However, they may force you to pull over to the side of the road and stop, as they approach with lights and siren. This is to allow them to respond quickly to an emergency and is not because you broke any laws.

In most areas, you are legally required to pull over for firefighters and other emergency vehicles when they have their lights and sirens on.

Tip: An emergency vehicle with it’s lights and sirens on is called “Code 3”. “Code 2” is when they are responding to a call, but without lights and sirens.

So, while firefighters may force you to pull over to the side of the road, they will not perform a traffic stop when you break the rules of the road. Except in very rare circumstances.

Also read: Can Firefighters Carry Guns? Should They?

Can Fire Marshalls Pull You Over?

A Fire Marshal is different than other firefighters. They are usually focused less on the fire suppression and emergency response side of things and more on the fire prevention side.

The exact duties of a fire marshal will vary by state. Here is an idea of what they do:

“Fire marshals’ duties vary but usually includefire codeenforcement or investigating fires for origin and cause. Fire marshals may be sworn law-enforcement officers and are often experiencedfirefighters.”

(Video) VIDEO: BTPD officer fired after pulling over Sen. Jon Lundberg's daughter

This video will give you a better idea of what a fire marshal job is like:

Unlike other firefighters, fire marshals can be sworn law enforcement officers. This gives them the same authority as other police officers to issue citations, close businesses, and even make arrests.

That being said, their priorities are very different than other law enforcement. So, while fire marshals technically have the authority to pull you over and make a traffic stop, they almost never will. This is not their area of expertise and responsibility.

Fire marshals can make arrests related to arson offenses and issue tickets or citations for breaches of the fire code. This even gives them the ability to shut down a business if it has safety related violations of the fire code.

Also read: Can Firefighters Have Tattoos? It Depends…

Can Firefighters/Fire Marshals Give Tickets?

For the most part, firefighters don’t write tickets. That is a police responsibility in most areas.

As a firefighter, I’ll be honest, when we see someone driving recklessly, not respecting others on the road, or totally ignoring the emergency vehicles around them, I wish we could pull them over and give them a ticket.

However, that is not our job. If it’s bad enough we will let dispatch know to send a police officer out and they can give them a ticket.

There are examples of firefighters doing exactly that, but it seems like the tickets could be easily fought, as firefighters aren’t trained to make stops and give tickets.

(Video) Cop Pulls over Judge, Judge uses is position of power to get off quickly.

This article talks about a firefighter in Sacramento pulling someone over for swerving. This is rare and advised against because firefighters don’t have the proper training and it could be very dangerous.

Fire marshals, on the other hand, can be sworn law enforcement officers, so they can definitely issue tickets or citations. However, they usually only do this in relation to fire safety and the fire code. They will leave traffic violations to the police.

Firefighters can also sometimes issue fire safety citations, but they have no real authority to enforce it. They can give you a fine, but if someone does not comply, they will get the fire marshal or police involved to enforce the violation.

Is it Illegal to Pass a Fire Truck with its Lights on?

In the US, you are required by law (in most areas) to yield to any emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on. This generally means pulling over to the side of the road and coming to a complete stop.

However, the exact laws and how they are enforced will vary from one state to the next.

For example, in Oregon, the law says:

“Oregon Revised Statute No. 811.145 is the “failure to yield to emergency vehicle or ambulance” statute, and it pretty clearly states motorists must yield to an emergency vehicle with its lights and/or siren on. Failure to do so is a Class B violation that carries a $250 fine, according to statutes.”

In California, (where I’m from), the law states:

“State law requires drivers to slow down and vacate the lane closest to a stationary emergency response vehicle flashing emergency lights if safe to do so. This includes tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles if displaying flashing amber warning lights, as well as waste service vehicles.”

Whether or not passing an emergency vehicle (like a fire truck) is preventing it from responding is kind of a gray area, but many police say they will ticket people for doing that. In general, you should not pass an emergency vehicle with its lights on.


Here is a list of specific laws by state, from the DMV, regarding yielding to emergency vehicles. Check your state laws so that you know how to obey the rules of the road in your area.

Can Firefighters Arrest You?

Can Firefighters Pull You Over or Give You a Ticket? (1)

Most firefighters do not have the authority and training necessary to make an arrest. This is not in their job description and they will leave it to the police.

There have been incidents when firefighters arrested someone that they saw committing a crime, but there is a question of whether that will hold up in court.

In STATE of North Carolina v. Dorothy Hoogland VERKERK, the supreme court found her guilty of driving under the influence, even after she tried to get evidence thrown out based on the fact that it was firefighters who pulled her over.

So, firefighters will almost never arrest someone. Fire marshals though, do have the power to make arrests as they can be sworn law enforcement officers. They will do so, but usually only in incidents involving arson or other fire safety issues.


Firefighters are usually public employees, but they have very different priorities and responsibilities than police officers. As we have seen through this article, with the exception of fire marshal, firefighters generally aren’t going to make traffic stops, give tickets or make arrests.

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What powers do firefighters have? ›

Roles and responsibilities of fire & rescue authorities
  • extinguishing fires in their area.
  • protecting life and property in the event of fires in their area.
  • rescuing and protecting people in the event of a road traffic collision, and.
  • rescuing and protecting people in the event of other emergencies.

Can Cal Fire pull you over for speeding? ›

In general, firefighters are not authorized to pull cars over while on the road. There have been a few rare cases of this happening, but it is not common at all. They can issue citations for certain infractions, but they are not usually related to driving violations.

Can firefighters have beards? ›

So, can firefighters have beards? Generally, no, you will not be allowed to have a beard and will most likely be required to be clean shaven all times while on duty. There's a variety of reasons for this, but there have also been some exceptions and even some legal battles.

What is Pennsylvania fire police? ›

Fire Police in Pennsylvania are Volunteer Fire Company members, sworn in by the Mayor or Borough Council President, Township supervisor or the local District Justice of the Peace. They come under direct control of the Local Police or State Police (if no local dept is available).

Can a fire officer issue a fine? ›

Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic premises other than some specifically listed exemptions. The duties on the responsible person will be extended to any person who has, to any extent, control of the premises.

What can be issued by a fire officer? ›

Fire safety officers should help you understand the rules and comply with them. They can also take action if they think your fire safety measures are not adequate. For example, they might issue an informal notice suggesting safety measures. They could also give you a formal fire safety notice.

What does a fire marshal do? ›

A fire marshal is responsible for guiding people out of a building safely when it is on fire and for helping to minimise the risk of a fire occurring in the first place.

Is Cal fire a police? ›

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is California's fire department and resource management agency. The organization is comprised of nearly 8,000 permanent and seasonal employees.

Who enforce the law? ›

Most law enforcement is conducted by some type of law enforcement agency, with the most typical agency fulfilling this role being a police force.

Can firefighters smoke cigarettes? ›

Can Firefighters Smoke Cigarettes or Cigars? Firefighters are able to smoke tobacco in some areas, however, many states and fire departments have put no tobacco policies in place. This means that firefighters at these employers are not allowed to use any tobacco products (on or off duty) while they are employed.

What's a group of firefighters called? ›

Fire Crew. An organized group of firefighters under the leadership of a crew leader or other designated official. Fire Front. The part of a fire within which continuous flaming combustion is taking place.

Do I need to cut my hair to be a firefighter? ›

Hair must be worn in conformance with departmental standards during business hours and at all times when responding to fires or emergencies. Hair will be in accordance with the following criteria: Neat, clean, trimmed, and present a groomed appearance.

What are firefighters and Police called? ›

What does first responder mean? A first responder is a real-life superhero. They're someone whose job is to respond immediately (first) when there is an accident or emergency. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, firefighters, and police officers are all considered first responders.

What is fire police NY? ›

- New York State fire police provide room for apparatus, emergency vehicles, service vehicles, and firefighters' vehicles to, among other things, park, operate, turn around, perform tanker operations, and lay hose lines for firefighters. To protect the equipment of a fire company.

How do I become a fire police officer in NJ? ›

Certification Requirements - Fire Police Officer

A: Be at least 18 years of age. B: Provide proof that you are a member of a duly organized volunteer fire company. C: Successfully complete the NJ adopted Fire Police Officer instructional program and final written exam.

What does peep stand for? ›

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

Can you fail a fire risk assessment? ›

All organisations with 5 or more employees must ensure that a fire risk assessment is completed by a competent person every year. Failure to do so could put your business, employees, and premises at greater risk, as well as leaving you vulnerable to fines and prosecution.

What happens if you remove the fire blanket too soon? ›

In order for a fire to burn heat, fuel and oxygen must be present. This is known as the fire Triangle. If you remove any one element of the Triangle the fire will extinguish.

What is fire class F? ›

What is a Class F fire? Class F fires are fires which involve cooking oil or fat. Though technically a sub-class of fires caused by flammable liquids or gases, they differ from conventional fires due to the extremely high temperatures involved.

What is a Class C fire? ›

Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment. Extinguishers with a C rating are designed for use with fires involving energized electrical equipment.

Can you lock fire exit? ›

Fire exit doors must open in the direction of escape and sliding or revolving doors must not be used for exits specifically intended as emergency exits. Fire exit doors must not be locked or fastened in a way that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person in an emergency situation.

What is the busiest fire department in the US? ›

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Nashville fire station was named the busiest in the country by Firehouse Magazine.

What is classed as a Class A fire? ›

Class A: Ordinary solid combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth and some plastics. Class B: Flammable liquids such as alcohol, ether, oil, gasoline and grease, which are best extinguished by smothering.

When must a fire marshal wear their vest? ›

All buildings - On hearing the evacuation signal (bell, sounder or announcement), you should act as necessary depending on the type or announcement of the alarm. Fire marshals should wear their high visibility vest as soon as it is evident that an evacuation will take place.

How much does a CAL FIRE captain make? ›

The base salary for Fire Captain in companies like Cal Fire range from $79,033 to $100,292 with the average base salary of $85,548. The total cash compensation, which includes bonus, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $79,033 to $100,292 with the average total cash compensation of $85,548.

How long does it take to become a firefighter? ›

All new firefighters are required to undergo extensive training that normally lasts between 12 and 16 weeks. Even firefighters who have been doing the job for a number of years are required to do ongoing training to ensure they're at the top of their game.

How much does a CAL FIRE helicopter pilot make? ›

As of Sep 22, 2022, the average annual pay for a Fire Pilot in California is $59,844 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $28.77 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,150/week or $4,987/month.

What are the Miranda rights? ›

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” These are the rights any suspect being put under arrest in the United States is entitled to.

What is the difference between law enforcement and policing? ›

Law enforcement it is an effective way to maintain public order and focuses on requiring compliance with the community members. As for good policing by using physical force is last resort, to protect and serve the public, and providing services.

What is it called when a law is not enforced? ›

An unenforced law (also symbolic law, dead letter law) is a law which is formally in effect (de jure), but is usually (de facto) not penalized by a jurisdiction. Such laws are usually ignored by law enforcement, and therefore there are few or no practical consequences for breaking them.

Can firefighters have long hair? ›

There are currently no federal guidelines that say that firefighters can't have long hair. National firefighter guidelines only restrict certain types of facial hair (this is to ensure firefighter SCBA masks get a good seal to protect your lungs).

How do firefighters see in smoke? ›

Thermal imaging technology uses infrared waves to detect heat, and then presents that information visually. These graphics make it possible to see exactly where the fire is moving, which areas are the hottest, and how much is actually burning.

Why do firemen smoke cigars? ›

Only wealthy, powerful men like bankers, land owners, and politicians smoked cigars at one time, so perhaps getting to smoke a good Cuban made police officers and firemen feel rich. That said, smoking cigars is a way of bonding, and the bonds between first responders don't get much tighter.

What does KD mean fire? ›

Modified 03 May 2022. The K/D ratio, or kill-death ratio, plays an important role in Free Fire. Based on these statistics, a player's ability in combat can be judged and testified. If the kill rate is found to be higher than the death rate, they are considered to be good players.

What is the Charlie side? ›

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta – these terms are used to designate the sides of a structure. Generally speaking, the “alpha” side is the front of the structure, the “bravo” side is the left side of the structure, “charlie” is the back of the structure and “delta” is the right side of the structure.

Why is a firefighter called a Jake? ›

Being a "Good J-Key" probably meant a fireman who was cool under the pressure and could send clear Morse code. "J-Key" was eventually shortened to "Jake", and when spread to the public, "Jake" came to be a common term for firemen in general.

Can you have colored hair as a firefighter? ›

Regulations don't prohibit firefighters from coloring their hair, said department spokesman Robin Gutmann and city personnel director Herb Chernov. ″If they want to make themselves look ridiculous, there's nothing we can do to stop it,″ Chernov said.

Can firefighter wear makeup? ›

Female firefighters can wear some make-up and keep their long hair in the fire service. However, there may be limits on how much make-up is acceptable based on their exact jobs in the fire service.

What are the odds of becoming a firefighter? ›

The average odds of getting hired as a firefighter on any one test are about 1-in-100 or 1% chance. Even though those are still some tough odds, it is very doable. Those are the odds for one test, but most people apply quite a few times before they get hired.

Which is harder police or firefighter? ›

An average police academy is closer to six months, where a fire academy is more like 3-4 months. Though the training for both doesn't end after the academy is done. There is much more to be learned on the job for either profession.

What are the 6 first responders? ›

Fire fighters, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel, utility workers and public health professionals are examples of first responder professionals. Three sub-groups of responders include local and state police, EMTs and fire fighters. Your duties depend on the nature of an emergency.

How do firefighters get paid? ›

As a Trainee Firefighter you'll earn a salary of £27,750 pa including London Weighting. Once fully qualified, your salary will increase to £37,032 p.a. Firefighters also receive great benefits including a pension scheme, childcare support, interest-free loans, training opportunities and a flexible working arrangement.

What powers do fire police have? ›

Although they have no authority to make arrests, they do have the right to detain someone, within reason. They have earned the right to wear their 'badge of authority. Fire Police will control the flow of traffic to ensure emergency vehicles have a quick, safe entrance and egress to the incident.

What is the fire policy? ›

A fire safety policy is a document shared with all employees, and anyone else working for you, to outline potential dangers, how to avoid risks, and what to do if a fire breaks out.

Are police emergency services? ›

Emergency services and important phone numbers

Call 112 or 999 for police, fire and ambulance in London.

What towns pay firefighters in NJ? ›

Hispanic Living
  • High salaries.
  • Trend across U.S.
  • Combining forces.
  • At-a-glance.
  • Monmouth County towns with paid firefighters: Asbury Park, Deal, Howell, Long Branch, Millstone, Neptune, Ocean Grove, Upper Freehold, Wall.
  • Ocean County towns with paid firefighters: Jackson, Lakewood, Plumsted.
3 Jun 2014

What is the cut off age for firefighter in NJ? ›

Candidates must not be one day past the date of their 35th birthday on the announced closing date of the examination. Those candidates meeting the age requirements at that time will be considered as having met the age maximum requirement for the duration of the list promulgated as a result of such examination.

Do firefighters get paid in NJ? ›

The average salary for a firefighter in New Jersey is $75,500 per year. Firefighter salaries in New Jersey can vary between $34,500 to $145,000 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

What do firefighters do other than fighting fires? ›

In addition to fighting fires, Firefighters also treat sick or injured people, report to car accidents, extricate people from damaged motor vehicles, and assist at hazardous materials spills.

What's the difference between firefighter and Fireman? ›

The word fireman is older than firefighter, which first appeared in the late 19th century, and for a long time it was much more commonly used. These days, it's more accurate to use firefighter, since men and women both work for fire departments battling fires.

What are some fun facts about firefighters? ›

A firefighter needs 100 hours of training before legally being allowed to enter the interior of a burning building. How long do you think firefighters have to get dressed? Less than two minutes! This includes all of their gear, which can weigh from eighty to one hundred twenty pounds.

Why firefighters are heroes? ›

Firefighters consider themselves humble public servants, but they are, in fact, heroes for their work to rescue citizens from burning buildings, pull them from wreckage, and place their own lives at risk in order to protect their brother and sister firefighters and the public at large.

What do firefighters call each other? ›

Firefighters call each other 'brother,' 'sister' but don't mean it.

Do firefighters make good money? ›

Before you decide if becoming a firefighter is the right career move for you, you need to know what kind of income you can expect. As a general rule, average median pay for firefighters is $52,500 a year or $25.24 an hour.

How often do firemen get called out? ›

An on-call firefighter could be called out two or three times a week, for a few hours at a time.

What do you call a girl firefighter? ›

Definition of firewoman

: a female firefighter a volunteer firewoman.

What do firemen call themselves? ›

Male firefighters are sometimes referred to as firemen (and, less commonly, a female firefighter as firewoman). The fire service, also known in some countries as the fire brigade or fire department, is one of the three main emergency services.

What is a Type 2 firefighter? ›

The “Firefighter Type 2 (Crewmember)” forms the backbone of our efforts to manage or suppress wildland fire. These entry-level positions frequently work long days in hot, smoky conditions to build fire lines across rugged terrain with hand tools and chainsaws.

How fast do firefighters have to get dressed? ›

To conclude, firefighters are only given a short time to get ready as they need to get dressed in 2 minutes or under. This helps them to rush to the scene of an emergency to help those involved in a fire. Taking longer to get dressed could cause the fire to worsen, so they must get ready in this short time.

What are firefighters kids? ›

The people who put out fires are called firefighters. Firefighters also work to prevent fires and teach fire safety. A fire must have fuel, oxygen, and heat in order to burn. Firefighters put out fires by removing at least one of those three ingredients.

How is math used in firefighting? ›

Firefighters need to use mental math when choosing how to attack a fire safely and avoid damaging the integrity of a building. Our degree program also trains firefighters to use a method called the Fire Flow Formula to determine how much water they will require to suppress a fire.

What is the fireman's motto? ›

Our fire engine has a secret message.

Do people respect firefighters? ›

Firefighters in America are widely respected, with over 80% of Americans considering firefighting to be a prestigious occupation, in 2018.

Who is the most famous firefighter? ›

Smith served for 18 years as a New York City firefighter, from 1963 to 1981, and is the most well-known advocate for firefighters in the United States.
Dennis Smith (firefighter)
Dennis Smith
BornSeptember 9, 1940 Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
DiedJanuary 21, 2022 (aged 81) Venice, Florida, U.S.
OccupationFDNY Firefighter, writer
3 more rows


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