"Watertown Fire and Rescue (WFR) is a career fire department located in northeastern South Dakota. The department is responsible for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) to the residents of the City of Watertown, as well as EMS response for 717 square miles of the encompassing Codington County. Emergency response modes to 911 calls within this jurisdiction are currently unregulated, as the department has no formal policies. The problem was that the civilian drivers of Watertown are put at potentially significant risk whenever a WFR unit responds to an emergency call. The purpose of this research was to identify methods that will reduce risk to all civilian drivers on the roads of Watertown when fire department units respond to emergencies. Descriptive research was used to answer the following questions: (a) What dangers and liabilities does the fire department face by responding to all calls with red lights and siren? (b) What impact will changing the emergency response policies have on response times given the rural nature of Watertown? (c) What policies or procedures have other fire departments enacted to address the issue of emergent response? (d) What resistance or support might be expected from firefighters and the citizens of Watertown if the department changes the emergency response policies?"
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/