Keep Back 150 Meters from Fire Apparatus
Fire apparatus have a special privilege granted to no other emergency vehicle in British Columbia. You must not follow them within 150 meters or 500 feet unless you are also driving an emergency vehicle. Having never been a firefighter I was curious and thought that I would ask the experts and find out why this rule exists.
Fire apparatus is not always as nimble as the vehicles most people drive so they may not be able to easily pull away from traffic. Following at the proper distance leaves room for sudden stops, turns and unexpected lane changes. Following too closely could cause a collision that would prevent the fire truck from reaching the emergency and have significant consequences in both locations.
As a follower, you don't know what sort of emergency the fire truck is responding to. It may be a situation that you don't want to become involved in such as an explosion or building collapse. Proper following distance will keep you from becoming trapped in the situation.
Finally, hydrants are usually located at street corners in the city. Keeping back allows firefighters to lay hose in safety and you to turn off to an alternate route. Fire equipment and personnel effectively prohibit you from driving or parking in the block that they are on when responding to a fire alarm.