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Queens Firefighters Told To Slow Down

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A fire engine collided with a tractor trailer in Queens, injuring eight people, including six firefighters, on January 17, 2008. (credit: CBS 2 Viewer Eric Brown)

A fire engine collided with a tractor trailer in Queens, injuring eight people, including six firefighters, on January 17, 2008. (credit: CBS 2 Viewer Eric Brown)

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS/ AP) – New York City’s fire department says fire trucks will no longer speed to non-emergency calls with lights and sirens on.

The three-month pilot program in Queens is designed to reduce the number of accidents involving fire trucks responding to certain calls. In 2009, there were 148 accidents involving fire trucks rushing to calls for such things as water and gas leaks, fallen trees, false alarms and foul odors.

“When people see lights and hear sirens, they’re trying to pull over and trying to get out of the way and I believe that causes accidents and that’s why we’re doing this,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano told 1010 WINS.

In October, a ladder truck flipped and hit a tree after colliding with an engine truck rushing to the same non-fire emergency.

The test program begins Monday.

All-out emergency runs will continue for fires and medical calls.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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