Author Archives: John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility)

About John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility)

John Killeen is an Intensive Care Paramedic who authors the Ambulance Visibility research website & blog

Endeavour Energy response vehicles adopt Hi-Vis markings and highly effective synchronised warning lights


Endeavour Energy has updated the markings and warning lights on its fleet of response vehicles. They now display Hi-Vis fluorescent markings and a fully synchronised pattern of amber warning lights that simultaneously flash through 360 degrees and are visible from any viewing angle around the vehicle. Ambulance Visibility was engaged by … Continue reading

Posted in Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Reflective, Research, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New high-visibility patrol cars for Western Australia Police


WA Police (WAPOL) recently announced the completion of a project to upgrade the markings, warning lights and sirens of not just the Highway Patrol cars, but all vehicles in the fleet. The project team reviewed current best worldwide practice and translated … Continue reading

Posted in Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Uncategorized, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conflicting emergency vehicle pattern markings merge to create camouflage effects


Many earlier posts have described the problems associated with affixing a range of different patterned markings (especially rear chevrons) onto emergency vehicles.                 The problem is made even worse when a number of local agencies independently decide to display different pattern styles to brand their vehicles in an … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fluorescent marking creep is slowly improving the conspicuity of Australia’s emergency vehicles


It has taken many years but fluorescent markings are finally beginning to appear on more and more police, fire and ambulance vehicles around the country. While the response vehicles of some emergency services still wear the traditional Sillitoe scheme or a stylised variation of the … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Motorcycles, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Perth County EMS Sprinter ambulances


Michael Crawley from Perth County, Ontario has sent me some photos of their new Sprinter ambulances with high-visibility fluorescent/reflective markings. “We now have 3 Mercedes sprinters in our fleet and have had numerous positive comments about the graphics. Just wanted to thank you … Continue reading

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Australia Post trades up to high conspicuity lime-green motorcycles


Australia Post recently announced that all new ‘Postie’ delivery motorcycles would be coloured lime green and white with fluorescent green mail panniers. The iconic ‘red rattler’ 90cc and later 110cc motorcycles were legendary for their toughness and durability with retired postie bikes always being hot items … Continue reading

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Get out of the way: An article on the history of ambulance warning lights


This article was published on Gizmodo Australia in early June and provides a brief history of warning lights before discussing the important research undertaken by Michael Flannagan and his associates at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. I have discussed Michael’s comprehensive work on emergency vehicle … Continue reading

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Portraits of Hope on Aspen emergency vehicles


Every now and again my friend and colleague Howard Paul at EMSAC sends me interesting links or photos from Colorado and these really brought a smile to my face. Portraits of Hope a national non-profit art and social service program founded by brothers Ed Massey … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Markings, Police, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

AV is back on the road!


Due to my heavy workload over the last few months the AV blog has endured a forced sabbatical. Although I am still quite busy the blog posts have returned…..

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MONOC – New siren safety video for emergency for Police, Fire, Ambulance/EMS responders


The Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) operating in New Jersey has released a short video that can be viewed and downloaded from their website. The video briefly summarises United States EMS crash statistics and goes on to discuss the … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ohio DOT add green warning lamps to snowploughs (snowplows) – HiVizTV


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NSW Police highway patrol cars sacrifice officer safety with billboard graphics


The October three-day weekend holiday in Australia has just passed and earlier in the week the New South Wales Police launched their “Operation Slowdown” safe driving campaign with a display of new vehicles and sobering interviews for the gathered media. This year the … Continue reading

Posted in AV Reference Library, Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Almost right ….. finally a NSW Police PR Porsche displays an effective conspicuity band-of-colour


The New South Wales Police Force have taken possession of a $200,000 Panamera Sedan on loan from Porsche Australia. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald describes how the Porsche will be used as a non-operational community relations vehicle. Despite all the entertaining comments printed under … Continue reading

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Ambulance crash in Victoria, Australia – HiVizTV


Two Ambulance Victoria paramedics thankfully suffered only minor injuries after hitting a street barrier while travelling to an emergency case under lights and sirens. Bystanders attempted to release the crew by breaking the windshield, however they crawled to the back of the ambulance and … Continue reading

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Law & Order – 2012 Police Vehicle Design Competition


The results of this year’s police vehicle marking design competition have been published by Law & Order magazine. I think this competition is a great idea and it brings together a wide cross-section of police vehicles from all over the United … Continue reading

Posted in Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, Motorcycles, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emergency Vehicle Markings Award of Excellence – Lethbridge Fire and EMS


Alberta, Canada Lethbridge Fire and EMS work in the City of Lethbridge which is about 220 kilometres south-east of Calgary. The latest markings on their ambulances display a fluorescent red waistline stripe with subordinate fluorescent yellow roofline and doorsill stripes. It can be challenging to design a … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency Vehicle Markings Award of Excellence, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A ten-point toolkit for more effective emergency vehicle warning lights


This is the final part of three articles written for the Colorado EMSAC Star. This article discusses ten vital elements in a tool-kit that provides the basis for an effective warning light layout suitable for use on any emergency vehicle. The first article in the EMSAC … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, HiViz-TV, Police, Reflective, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three new features coming to the AV Blog


Over the next few days you will see three new icons and categories appearing between the usual blog posts. There are a great number research papers, video clips and successful emergency vehicle marking layouts that deserve to be recognised even though they do not make it into … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Chevrons, Emergency Vehicle Markings Award of Excellence, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, HiViz-TV, Markings, Police, Reflective, Rescue, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized, Warning Lights, Weekly Research Spot | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

University of Ohio Driver Safety and First Responder Research – HiViz TV


The Russ College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Ohio is using a new driving simulator featuring the front half of a Ford Focus to study the most effective combination of colors, reflective stripes, lights and logos for emergency vehicles. … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, HiViz-TV, Markings, Police, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evaluating new trends in emergency vehicle markings


This is the second part of three articles written for the Colorado EMSAC Star. The first article in the series discussed the Ambulance Visibility ten-point toolkit for applying markings to emergency vehicles. This second article looks at advertising agency visibility, Battenburg … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Bronto Skylift fire trucks and Battenburg markings don’t mix!


How do you make sure that large or oversize emergency vehicles are easily seen and quickly recognised? The answer is simple and straight forward – you paint the vehicle in a single colour and avoid using any complex marking patterns thus ensuring … Continue reading

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Emergency Vehicles – Do not rely on sirens for an effective warning


When the Ambulance Visibility website was in its infancy over ten years ago one of the first webpages to be written was concerned with the inadequacies of sirens as an effective  warning for fire, police and ambulance vehicles. Stephen Solomon, David Green and De … Continue reading

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Confusing high-visibility conspicuity pattern launched for motorways around Zurich


Earlier this year Leonardo Ferrazzi from Italy sent me this booklet titled Road Safety Inspectorate Signage. It outlines the details of a new conspicuity pattern now being used on the German high-speed motorways around Zurich. The booklet describes how the Canton of Zurich engineering department designed … Continue reading

Posted in Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, PPE, Reflective, Rescue, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ambulance Visibility Marking Toolkit for Emergency Vehicles


After presenting at the Colorado 3rd Annual EMS Summit in 2010 I was asked to write several articles for the Colorado EMSAC Star. The first article in the series discussed the Ambulance Visibility ten-point toolkit for applying markings to emergency vehicles. The article should be read … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, PPE, Reflective, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warning light guidelines for Fire, Police and EMS ambulance vehicles


After reading through a post on Elightbars about the excessive use of LED’s and viewing a video (embedded below), I thought it might be the right time to have another look at the warning light guidelines from Ambulance Visibility. Here is a brief summary of the eleven-point … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Police, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Off topic – EMS Week and the dark-side FDNY EMS poster


While I am in an off-topic mood, let’s go a bit further and have a look at the latest Fire Department of New York EMS Week poster. The poster for 2012 has produced mixed reviews about the impression it presents of EMS, especially around … Continue reading

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Off-topic – Rare interview with Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong


I tend not to stray far from the conspicuity and visibility topic very often   But… if you are one of the baby-boomers like me, you would have lived through the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space missions in the years leading up to … Continue reading

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A quick comparison of fluorescent reflective prismatic and engineering grade markings for EMS, police and fire vehicles


Have you ever thought about upgrading to fluorescent/reflective markings for your vehicle fleet? Most signwriters supply engineering grade reflective material unless you specify fluorescent/reflective grades that are manufactured with a layer of micro-prism reflectors. The well-known brands are 3M Diamond Grade, Reflexite Daybright, Avery Dennison MVP/prismatic grades and Nikkalite Crystal sheeting. The table below shows the difference in … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Police, Reflective, SES | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why your paediatric [pediatric] ambulance transports deserve high-conspicuity safety!


I have a suggestion – go to Google images and type in pediatric ambulance (not paediatric ambulance for those of us outside the US that are using ‘proper English’).     Look at the images; you can count on one hand the number … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The difference between Battenburg high-visibility markings and Sillitoe chequers on Police, Fire & Ambulance vehicles


Almost every passing week sees another police, fire or EMS agency boasting  at a vehicle launch that their response vehicles are now displaying a new world’s best practise Battenburg high-visibility markings. The agency chief always adds that the latest change to the HiVis markings has only taken place after a lengthy consultation period with … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Police, Reflective, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ACT Ambulance reflective conspicuity markings in new medical EMS textbook


A quick post with just a bit of exciting news!  Several years after designing the ACT Ambulance reflective markings I was approached by Cengage Delmar Learning publishing in the United States about supplying images for a new textbook. The authors, Richard Beebe and … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The pink steamroller vs emergency vehicle colour and markings


A few days ago the morning started out normally. I was up early so while I ate breakfast I quickly browsed through the electronic version of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper (SMH). One story with the headline The Pink Wash – Pink Ribbon Inc grabbed my attention. The … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Conspicuity for emergency motorcycles – Battenburg vs Fluorescent markings


One of the first posts written in the early days of the AV blog was about the effectiveness of motorcycle conspicuity and markings during emergency response. A major part of that discussion was concerned with a growing trend in the UK to affix a modified pattern of Battenburg markings onto Police motorcycles … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Battenburg, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A conference, two papers and retroreflective conspicuity at night.


Conferences are a great opportunity to attend presentations discussing the latest research, to see the newest products and meet with colleagues. At the trade exhibits we are bombarded with sales pitches and a gambit of differing viewpoints. As a matter of course we tend to filter out all the sales talk and seek out the more reliable information … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Markings, Police, PPE, Reflective, Research, SES, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emergency workers and HiVis clothing – our perception of safety may be dangerously flawed!


Just how how safe are we as emergency workers at an incident scene when stepping out onto the road ? Our on-road activities are an integral part of life in an ambulance/EMS, police, fire or rescue response. We pull-on a ‘safety’ vest or fluorescent jacket over our uniforms and then start work, trusting … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Battenburg, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Police, PPE, Reflective, Rescue, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ultrabright warning lights – never a brilliant idea for safety!


Last week I received an email from David Green urging me to read a new post from the Police Inspector Blog. The posts are written by the popular and accomplished book author  who writes in the UK under the Inspector Gadget nom-de-plume.  The blog … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Police, Rescue, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Denver Paramedics add enhanced ambulance markings


Immediately after the 3rd Annual EMS Safety Summit held in Denver CO, Denver Paramedics retro-fitted enhanced reflective markings to their ambulance fleet. White vertical and baseline contour striping were added to the patient care compartment to clearly outline the ambulance body at night. … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ambulance Visibility website and AV Blog statistics for 2011


The yearly visitor statistics are in for 2011, They show that both the Ambulance Visibility website and the AV Blog have received over 50,000 visits between them during the 12 months. Much of the credit must go to the new AV Reference Library that for the first time … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Rescue, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Warning Lights | Leave a comment

Announcing the new Ambulance Visibility Reference Library


  It has always been exceptionally difficult to find accurate research without spending hours searching the internet.   The new Ambulance Visibility Reference Library brings visibility and conspicuity research documents and information together in the one place for the first time. The AV Reference … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, AV Reference Library, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Rescue, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chevron enquiry from Pikesville Fire Department


In late November 2010, I received a blog comment from Capt. John Berryman from Pikesville Fire Department asking the following question about using upright chevrons on the rear of fire appliances rather than the inverted-V pattern. John also forwarded a photo of a … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fire Rescue News – 70s throwback: Lime-yellow fire trucks fade out


Pinellas Park Fire Department has decided to change vehicle colour from yellow-green to deep red according to an article written by Anne Lindberg in The St Petersburg Times and reflects the personal view of at least 60% of the department’s firefighter’s. Subsequently, a … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Reflective, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Emergency vehicle chevrons – the AV Blog series Part 2


Welcome back to Part 2 of the Chevron Blog.  This part will discuss the following topics: Chevrons on current and future vehicle fleets Current fleet markings with chevrons on different vehicle styles Differing expectations of Police, Fire & Ambulance Battenburg and … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Rescue, Research, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Emergency vehicle chevrons – the blog series Part 1


Chevrons have become the latest new look in safety markings on emergency vehicles. Regardless of whether you love chevrons or hate them, the inverted-V markings will be displayed on even more Police, Fire and Ambulance vehicles every day. The numbers will increase regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Rescue, Research, SES, Significant & Important Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Enhancing motorcycle conspicuity – emergency response & at the roadside.


Last week, I was at an intersection in Sydney waiting for a red light to change. Off to the left and without warning, a white blur appeared in the corner of my eye.  It took several seconds to recognize what was … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Battenburg, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Significant & Important Blogs, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chevron markings on Emergency Vehicles – the blog series


Have you ever wondered why inverted V chevron markings are appearing on emergency vehicles?  Is there any science behind the coloured patterns? These questions and many more will be answered in a series of blogs covering all facets of chevron markings; The series begins on Tuesday 1 … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Chevrons, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police, Research, Significant & Important Blogs | Leave a comment

Lets clear up the confusion about reflectivity and vehicle waistlines!


The last few months have seen me answering  questions (more than a few times) about one of the recommendations listed as an opportunity in the FEMA Emergency vehicle visibility and conspicuity study. This one statement about reflective material has caused as much … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Emergency vehicles, EMS, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, Police | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Link to an inspiring book written by Dr Stephen Solomon


  Here is a really good read especially if you seek top-class information on emergency vehicle visibility and safety and it’s now free. When I was working on my first research report in the late 1990’s this was often quoted as … Continue reading

Posted in Ambulance, Fire, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Police, Rescue, Research, Significant & Important Blogs, Warning Lights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the brand new AV Blog


The Ambulance Visibility Blog will give up-to-date news and information on emergency vehicle visibility and conspicuity as soon as it becomes available. Unlike the news page on the ambulancevisibility.com website this blog will include comments, photos and videos from John Killeen … Continue reading

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