Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Blue lights on fire engines get the green light

By City of Calgary   

Headlines News Alberta Equipment fire department First Responders

Apr. 18, 2024, Calgary, Alta. – The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) has announced the launch of their pilot project featuring the use of blue lights on their fire apparatus, aimed at bolstering the safety of first responders and the public during emergency responses.

This initiative represents a significant step in the ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of first responders, victims of collisions and others at collision scenes while working on the side of busy roadways. Research has consistently shown that blue lights significantly enhance visibility in low-light environments, including adverse weather conditions.

The idea for incorporating blue lights into the fleet was supported by and suggested by a Senior Firefighter within the CFD. It has taken months of work from the CFD, supported by Councilor Wyness, to advocate for the need for blue lights.

The Province of Alberta recently granted approval for a trial period of one year. This one-year trial will see blue lights installed in 12 vehicles (11 engines and one rescue vehicle), with reporting protocols in place to track all incidents involving collisions or near misses for fire engines fitted with blue lights. This data will be important in assessing the impact of this initiative on overall safety outcomes.


The 12 vehicles that have been selected by the CFD are engines that respond to a high volume of motor vehicle collisions in high traffic areas, such as along Deerfoot Trail.

Blue lights will only be activated when the fire engine is parked. These lights will be installed on both the front and rear of the engines, enhancing visibility from all angles and alerting motorists to the presence of emergency responders on the road.

This initiative follows similar protocol that has recently been introduced for tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.

“The safety of our CFD personnel is paramount, and the addition of blue lights to our fleet is an important measure to enhance their visibility and safety while on duty. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of all involved in securing this approval and anticipate positive outcomes for our staff and community,” said Deputy Chief Pete Steenaerts.

Councillor Wyness expressed support, stating, “I am proud to have advocated for the CFD in securing approval for the use of blue lights on fire trucks. This initiative underscores our commitment to prioritizing safety and collaborating with the Calgary Police Service to implement solutions that benefit everyone on the road.”

The CFD remains committed to continuously improving the safety and effectiveness of their operations and asks for Calgarians’ help in keeping crews safe by slowing down and moving over when emergency vehicles are on the side of the road assisting others.

Print this page


Stories continue below