Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

To be a Whacker, or not to be a Whacker...

Now now now...  Dirty thoughts out of your head please.  A 'Whacker' is defined as someone unofficial who places emergency lights on their personal vehicle for various purposes.  Many of my friends are or have been whackers at some point, including myself.  While I did try to help out as much as possible at traffic accidents, and fires, I was still very much unofficial.  That being said, I never used my lights in an improper manner...  Okay well there was that ONE time...  But sometimes temptation gets the best of all of us. Regardless, dispite anyones excuses, having emergency lights, and even sirens on personal vehicles labels you as a whacker.  There is no need for it... Especially in a city with fully equipted full time police force, and full time paid firefighters and ambulance service.  This is where RESPOND comes in.  RESPOND in Mississauga is a team of wanna-bes who patrol the streets of Peel and York region looking for action.  They also do work on the provincial 400 series highways. I say wanna-bes because they all generally drive cars which look exactly the same as police cars.  Some have actual Ford Police Interceptors, and others have Impalas, and still others have Dodge Chargers.  They are mostly done up with undercover lighting and dark tinted windows so they are very hard to distinguish from a regular police car. Now when I used to do similar stuff, we did things a little differently.  Sure people (like the RESPOND crew) would laugh at us...  We would be driving around in vans and SUV's (purposely avoiding looking anything remotely like a police car), carrying tons of gear including upwards of 40 to 50 traffic cones per vehicle,  temporary stop signs and various other equipment which can't fit in your standard cop car.  That is why we were there...  We carried that equipment, when the cops couldn't.  In this way we were helpful and useful.  If you look at react, few of their vehicles actually have any more safety equipment then the standard cop car.  They have no official real powers unless a cop is on scene.  So you have to question, how useful are these people? Now now, I am sure that these RESPOND people will try to justify their purpose and use, and lean on their agreement with the city of Mississauga to justify what they do.  It is great that a city is promoting volunteers yes,  but why not run it themselves?  You can usually tell a person is a full on whacker, when they deny that they are a whacker.  They will fumble for reasons as to why they have lights on their vehicle.  The may also whine and bitch about the name calling.  It will sometimes hurt their feelings (read egos). Having grown up myself, I realize how silly what we did was sometimes.  But other times I know I did help, and I could very well have saved someones life.  This is sometimes the problem in urban centers.  You get people who WANT to help, but there is no outlet for them to help.  All the emergency services are paid staff only, and outside towns generally will not take in outsiders on their volunteer roster. I am lucky enough to be getting into the fire services soon.  My jeep has no flashing lights on it yet, but when I do get into the service I will ensure I have enough lights to ensure my safety if I ever had to stop for an accident / respond to a call.

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