Emergency Vehicle Driver Training: More Important Than Ever

Firefighters don't spend nearly as much time learning emergency vehicle response procedures - despite the fact that emergency vehicles are used much more frequently on calls than any other aspect of our work.


  1. True. Whenever possible avoid backing, which is especially hazardous because the driver cannot see where he/she intends to go. Have trained spotters in place and check all around your vehicle to make sure all equipment is in place and all doors are securely closed.
  2. False. The old adage "Better to arrive late than never" is absolutely true.
  3. False. Warning devices and state laws do not guarantee right of way. It isn't realistic or practical to expect the general public to properly react every time they encounter an emergency vehicle.
  4. False. This formula is 4 seconds for each 10 feet at length for speeds under 40 mph. Maintaining a cushion of safety on all sides of the vehicle is essential to safe operations.
  5. False. That is no longer true. Ask those who are now serving time for causing deadly accidents.
  6. False. There is a significant difference in handling characteristics between driving a 3200 lb. passenger car and a 32,000-pound pumper. Actions that can cause you to lose control include going too fast for weather/road conditions, accelerating too quickly, braking inappropriately, changing direction too abruptly and tracking a curve at too high a speed.
  7. True. Knowing --and understanding -- state motor vehicle laws is important for emergency vehicle operators.
  8. False. Check your state motor vehicle code. Using "courtesy lights" on your personal car or truck does not make it an emergency vehicle. Therefore you must obey all applicable motor vehicle laws. Basically, courtesy lights are a request for other drivers to let you pass them. They are not a demand for right-of-way, nor can you illegally pass or speed up to overtake another vehicle.
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