The Iowa House has voted unanimously to let the drivers of “rescue vehicles” speed and run stop lights and stop signs, just as police cars, ambulances and fire trucks may in response to an emergency.
So what is a rescue vehicle? According to Iowa law, it’s a motor vehicle equipped with rescue, fire or life-support equipment used to assist or rescue people in emergencies. The Iowa DOT requires the drivers of rescue vehicles to go through the same training as ambulance drivers and fire truck operators.
Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, says when it’s a “matter of life and death” — rescue vehicles play an important role.
“This is a good bill that will assist in getting life support equipment to where it is needed in as rapid time as is safely possible,” Salmon says.
The bill, which passed the House this morning, now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Iowa DOT is the agency that determines if a vehicle can be licensed as a rescue vehicle. To qualify, a vehicle must have at least $7,500 of equipment that would be exclusively used for rescues and emergencies.