1. #1
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    Default We Need To Work On This Togther ALL of US

    This is a recent Email from the state Chief's Association. NYS changed the DMV Laws to where we will need CDL's to drive the apparatus on any activity that is not a emergency, contact your local senator to help get this changed.

    To: All Fire Service Personnel
    From: NYSAFC
    Date: 1/30/09
    RE: Commercial Driver’s License requirements for the Fire Service.

    In 2005 large sections of law were amended as part of a statewide bond act that had passed in New York State. State officials believed, at that time, that the then full exemption of CDL requirement for the fire service would make New York State non-compliant with federal highway safety standards, and therefore ineligible for millions of dollars in highway funds. Two of the laws changed, therefore, were sections 501 (2)(d)(i) and 501-a (4)(b)(iii) of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. To our knowledge this change went unnoticed by all state fire service organizations.

    In the Fall of 2008, at the request of local fire departments the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services contacted the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle to ask what impact the 2005 law had on CDL requirements for the fire service. The response from DMV to the Commissioner makes it clear; “During non-emergency operation however, the police or fire vehicle will be considered to be a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) if it falls within one or more of the definitions of CMV found in section 501-a(4)(a) and a CDL would be required to operate the vehicle.” Most engines, heavy rescue, and aerial apparatus would qualify as a CMV. Therefore, as of the passage of the law in 2005 CDL’s have been required for any fire apparatus that would meet the requirement of a CMV for parades, drills, building inspections, public education events, returning from calls or any other purpose except driving to an emergency. The problems this creates are too numerous to mention.

    The Association of Fire Districts, FASNY and NYSAFC have been working together on this issue. Through the efforts of Senator Charles Schumer’s office and the International Association of Fire Chiefs we have been able to provide clarification from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle that our previous full CDL exemption will NOT endanger any federal highway funding. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicle has since indicated that they are very interested and willing to assist in changing the law. In fact, there are provisions in Governor Paterson’s budget to change the law, but they would not provide the full CDL exemption, nor do we believe that resolution of this issue can await the passage of the budget.

    NYSAFC has been in discussion on this issue with Senator Brian Foley and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, both of Suffolk County. These legislators have taken the lead on this issue and should be introducing legislation shortly that the organizations have reviewed and believe will return full CDL exemption to all of the fire service of this state. Although every effort is being made to expedite the creation of the legislation and its passage a true time frame is virtually impossible to estimate as only items that legislators consider the highest priority are currently being considered.

    We highly encourage everyone to contact their legislator an inform them of your concerns on this general issue. We also suggest that you inform your legislators of Senator Foley’s and Assemblyman Sweeney’s interest and efforts on the creation of this legislation. You can find your State Senator and Assembly Member’s phone numbers in most local phone books or on www.senate.state.ny.us <http://www.senate.state.ny.us> and New York State Assembly <http://www.assembly.state.ny.us> and we ask that you share this information with others.

    NYSAFC is not in a position to give legal counsel to any local department. However we always encourage all departments to be in compliance with all pertinent laws, rules and regulations. Please remember that this CDL requirement for driving apparatus (except to an emergency) is not a suggested law, but is in fact the law in New York State.

    More information will be posted soon on the NYSAFC web site.
    --
    Thomas L. LaBelle
    Executive Director
    NYS Association of Fire Chiefs
    1670 Columbia Turnpike
    Castleton, NY 12033

    Phone: (518) 477-2631
    Fax: (518) 477-4430
    E-mail: tlabelle@nysfirechiefs.com

  2. #2
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    Default

    So this law changed in 2005, and it's now being noticed (in late 2008) by your states fire services?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Emergency vehicles had always been exempt under the old law it had been amended in 2005 but then in 2008 Suffolk county Fire asked DMV for clarification to which the reply was that the exemption was only for going to emergency runs a valid CDL driver would have to return the apparatus to quarters.

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    Default

    So you don't need a CDL to run lights and siren (when the additional driver training could come in handy) but you can't come home.

    I guess it's back to the old days of going home with secondary lights on.

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    Default Cdl

    thats why most departments have a SOP that no matter what the call is you are running lights and sirens. I know that we have a couple of line officers that dont like to do that so it is a completely different issue all in one i think that this is just a way to covers the state.
    Quint 320 Yeah

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    Default CDL Not The Only Threat To Volunteer Fire Service

    Besides the ridiculous requirement that the driver of a fire truck be required to have a CDL to drive it in a parade or return to quarters is not the only item that volunteer departments should be concerned about. Another is the way the Federal Government has been heaping training requirements on top of training requirements, in what, to me, seems to be a blatant attempt to not only destroy the volunteer fire service but to force, even the poorest rural areas to go to a paid fire department. In my town, Perry, NY, what had been a volunteer ambulance corps has been virtually ruined in this manner, no thanks to the peabrained morons in Albany who only know how to handle a liquor bottle and little else as does Congress, Instead of a cadre of about 100 volunteers to run the ambulance service, the ambulance service has been effectively reduced to five drivers and four EMT's. It is time for our legislators to get it through their, often liquor fogged, brains, that a fire truck is NOT a commercial vehicle nor intended for such use. How the heck else is the crew to return to quarters after battling a fire for who knows how long? This proposed CDL requirement and who knows what other training requirements are very dangerous threats to the volunteer fire service and I strongly believe that such training and operational requirements should be up to the Fire Chiefs and their officers and the firefighters themselves, and NOT a bunch of drunken politicians who pass them selves off as our representatives when, all too often, they represent themselves and whoever 's pocket they are in. Let's make these pathetic excuses of people's representatives leave the fire ops to the experts and not a bunch of know it all amateurs who really know nothing about the nature of the beast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangerjim93 View Post
    Besides the ridiculous requirement that the driver of a fire truck be required to have a CDL to drive it in a parade or return to quarters is not the only item that volunteer departments should be concerned about. Another is the way the Federal Government has been heaping training requirements on top of training requirements, in what, to me, seems to be a blatant attempt to not only destroy the volunteer fire service but to force, even the poorest rural areas to go to a paid fire department. In my town, Perry, NY, what had been a volunteer ambulance corps has been virtually ruined in this manner, no thanks to the peabrained morons in Albany who only know how to handle a liquor bottle and little else as does Congress, Instead of a cadre of about 100 volunteers to run the ambulance service, the ambulance service has been effectively reduced to five drivers and four EMT's. It is time for our legislators to get it through their, often liquor fogged, brains, that a fire truck is NOT a commercial vehicle nor intended for such use. How the heck else is the crew to return to quarters after battling a fire for who knows how long? This proposed CDL requirement and who knows what other training requirements are very dangerous threats to the volunteer fire service and I strongly believe that such training and operational requirements should be up to the Fire Chiefs and their officers and the firefighters themselves, and NOT a bunch of drunken politicians who pass them selves off as our representatives when, all too often, they represent themselves and whoever 's pocket they are in. Let's make these pathetic excuses of people's representatives leave the fire ops to the experts and not a bunch of know it all amateurs who really know nothing about the nature of the beast.
    Perhaps the best answer is to allow the drunken politicians to pass off the responsibility to the drunken firemen?

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    Here is the requirements for a cdl exemption in Illinois http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/pu...dsd_x14210.pdf
    Try using it in your argument.

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    Default Whats the problem?

    I guess I don't understand the problem.

    Does being a firefighter make you a more skilled driver?

    If we are driving a Class B vehicle why not require a Class B CDL? It seems to me to be especially important when driving emergent, a condition that increases the risks to everyone on the road.

    I just got my CDL because my department requires it. It did not take long and I did not find it difficult. If you do find it difficult then you need to practice a lot more before you drive me and the rest of my crew to a call.

    We should be setting the example, not asking our lawmakers to give us exceptions to make our lives easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lump532 View Post
    I guess I don't understand the problem.

    Does being a firefighter make you a more skilled driver?

    If we are driving a Class B vehicle why not require a Class B CDL? It seems to me to be especially important when driving emergent, a condition that increases the risks to everyone on the road.

    I just got my CDL because my department requires it. It did not take long and I did not find it difficult. If you do find it difficult then you need to practice a lot more before you drive me and the rest of my crew to a call.

    We should be setting the example, not asking our lawmakers to give us exceptions to make our lives easier.
    And as a CDL driver, do you perform your vehicle safety check before driving the fire truck out of the fire station?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsinger View Post
    And as a CDL driver, do you perform your vehicle safety check before driving the fire truck out of the fire station?
    A full check at the beginning of every shift and a walk around before leaving.

    I was expecting that.

    There are some things we can't do anything about, like the feasibility of doing a full pre-trip inspection before leaving on a run. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to be as well trained and prepared as possible before the call comes in.

    What if your in an on call type situation and cannot do a full pre-trip before you leave? You should still feel comfortable knowing that the guy or girl behind the wheel is physically and mentally qualified to be driving.

    These are big, potentially dangerous vehicles and I think we owe it to ourselves and the public to operate them in the safest, most responsible manor.
    Last edited by Lump532; 02-21-2009 at 10:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lump532 View Post
    A full check at the beginning of every shift and a walk around before leaving.

    I was expecting that.

    There are some things we can't do anything about, like the feasibility of doing a full pre-trip inspection before leaving on a run. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to be as well trained and prepared as possible before the call comes in.

    What if your in an on call type situation and cannot do a full pre-trip before you leave? You should still feel comfortable knowing that the guy or girl behind the wheel is physically and mentally qualified to be driving.

    These are big, potentially dangerous vehicles and I think we owe it to ourselves and the public to operate them in the safest, most responsible manor.
    What about a volunteer house where there is no "beginning of shift"? In an emergency situation the 15 minute plus pre trip inspection would be excessive to say the least.

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    I get the argument being presented about how the extra training requirements is detrimental to volunteer companies that are already stressed for time, but arguing about a volly doing a 15 min pre trip is a bit excessive.

    Does that same volly do all the extensive inspections required by NFPA and other such applicable agencies before using EVERY other piece of equipment and recording such inspection? No. You do the weekly or monthly "admin" inspection along with the post use inspection before returning it to service.

    If you're so worried about an inspection, do the full post trip after the call when time is plentiful. Not much is going to break that will affect the safety of the vehicle while the truck is sitting doing nothing waiting for it's next use. Only a negligent driver will try to say otherwise.

    The CDL training teaches you about the larger vehicle that you are not used to driving, in addition to training you how to drive it safely and effectively. Why is this a bad thing?

    The fire apparatus is the one piece of equipment we use on every call. It costs the most of any equipment, and it can kill the most people very effectively. And yet WE TRAIN WITH IT THE LEAST.

    To call your politicians amateurs and rant and rave just shows you do not know what the hell you are talking about. While I'm NOT in the habit of defending politicians, who here is acting like an amateur?

    Do you have a CDL? It may not be the be-all end-all of driver training as the performance of many truck drivers very well shows, but can you offer an alternative accredited and qualified training that the DOT will recognize to assure them that a rank amature isn't going to get behind the wheel of a class 8 truck and create a bigger emergency than the one they are already responding to?
    Last edited by DFDMAXX; 02-22-2009 at 12:09 PM.

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    Most departments have internal driver training programs that are more intensive than the requirements behind the CDL. The insurance companies demand it. NY State and insurance company sponsored Emergency Vehicle Operation Courses are also required. The driver age limit is also higher than the state mandated for CDL. I would also ask that if CDL is a requirement, who pays for the cost of the CDL? Also, if I am required to have a CDL to drive a fire apparatus, why can't I use that same fire apparatus to take my CDL road test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsinger View Post
    Most departments have internal driver training programs that are more intensive than the requirements behind the CDL. The insurance companies demand it. NY State and insurance company sponsored Emergency Vehicle Operation Courses are also required. The driver age limit is also higher than the state mandated for CDL. I would also ask that if CDL is a requirement, who pays for the cost of the CDL? Also, if I am required to have a CDL to drive a fire apparatus, why can't I use that same fire apparatus to take my CDL road test?
    All good questions. It may be that the state just doesn't recognize your driver training programs for any number of reasons, good or bad. This may be one area to pursue. Of course, your post says "most" departments. This may be the only way they can mandate ALL departments in state have an acceptable level of training.

    As for your other questions, what my brain says and what a politician says may be two different things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsinger View Post
    What about a volunteer house where there is no "beginning of shift"? In an emergency situation the 15 minute plus pre trip inspection would be excessive to say the least.
    Didn't I already say that?

    I also feel the need to point out that many volunteer departments do have shifts.

    The volunteers at my combo, but mostly volunteer (3 paid 30 volunteer) department do shifts and the volunteer CDL driver is expected to do a pre-trip at the beginning of the shift while the others take care of other station duties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsinger View Post
    Most departments have internal driver training programs that are more intensive than the requirements behind the CDL. The insurance companies demand it. NY State and insurance company sponsored Emergency Vehicle Operation Courses are also required. The driver age limit is also higher than the state mandated for CDL. I would also ask that if CDL is a requirement, who pays for the cost of the CDL? Also, if I am required to have a CDL to drive a fire apparatus, why can't I use that same fire apparatus to take my CDL road test?
    Does your training program include a medical and vision screening?

    I can think of at least one person who is physically fit to be a firefighter and has a normal driver license. He cannot get a CDL because he does not have vision in one eye. Sounds like a good reason for him not to drive to me.

    I am not sure what sate you live in, but in both New York and Colorado (my former and current residence) you absolutely can use the fire apparatus for your test.

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    Default cdl's

    as for the drivers road test as its called can be taken on fire apparatus. we have taken the road test on our apparatus recently ( summer of 2008) other depts in counties around us have inquired about it and have been told u can not take it fire apparatus. albany vs utica's office of dmv.
    as for the physical requirement for a cdl we have a few cdl drivers by trade that said the physicals given to all our fire personnel is more complete than that given by thier employer's doctor. stay safe

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    Default It is a poorly written law - that is it -

    Folks -

    I talked to some LOB staffers - here is what happened - the law was updated and the person that did it got a little sloppy. It is normal that you reference earlier parts of the law if you do not a long law gets even longer. In this case, the exemptions from the need to have a CDL for fire trucks refrenced the part of the law that allows for the technology to turn a red traffic light green. So the law basically says since you can only use traffic light switching technology on the way to an emergency and those are the same situation that you do not need to have a CDL to drive a fire truck... (I hope my explaination is clear).

    The bottom line is that this was a long law, someone who wrote it made an error (there are lots of errors made in each law making body each year - they always have bills to clean up the mistakes from prior bills). This was never noticed until someone raised a question and it was researched by the agency... so this is where we are.

    The legislative intention was never to require fire truck drivers to have a CDL.

    The question is now that we know that there is a problem, how many days will it take NYS to fix the problem....

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    Quote Originally Posted by quaker49 View Post
    The question is now that we know that there is a problem, how many days will it take NYS to fix the problem....
    Are you referring to the fact that you do not need a CDL to drive a large, potentially dangerous vehicle down the road with the legal ability to drive faster the speed limit and proceed through stop signs and red lights?

    What makes a fire department more qualified to train its own drivers than a trash collection company?

    I understand there is an inconsistency and the law needs to be changed. Maybe we should consider changing it the other way?

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    I may be alone on this but most depts I have come in contact throughout the state have a fairly decent driver training program in place, I fee that DMV should amend the law to allow the exemption for responding to and from emergencies.

    Then require a CDL all other times this will allow us to continue to operate and get those current and upcoming drivers the training needed. From what I have read we qualify under the SAFER Grant for Recruitment & Retention to cover the cost of licensing those interested.

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    Default cdl training

    I'm from a small NY town and this is the first time I've heard about this law. I agree that something needs to be done not only locally, but statewide. In my department we have only one truck that i cannot drive. When I first joined my chief asked me if I had ever drove a truck with air-brakes. When I told that I had'nt he told not to drive our '91 Pierce International, but go ahead and drive any of the other trucks and our ambulance. Since joining we've had two in house EVOC classes. As most NY members know this is a "one and done" course, we were told that once we took the course we would not have to take it again. I think that the EVOC course needs to be a more practical driving course. As teenagers we have to taking driver's ed. Why not have something similar for fire trucks. Any member that takes this training would then have an endorsement put on his license similar to CDL or motorcycle. Not everyone who drives a large fire truck also drives a commercial rig as well. I think that this topic is going to be talked about for a long time. I've read some pretty interesting comments here and all of them are good ideas. Let's keep talking here and to our chiefs and politicians to find a reasonalble solution to this dilemma.

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    ok..for one there is no such thing as a one time class, your required to take a refresher..at least every two to three years, however this is just driveing on the course, so i could understand why you would say it was a one time class. and far as the EVOC, the driver course, if y'all do it the same is more advanced as a high school drivers ed course, you have 8 different stations that have just enough room to take the vehicle through. but far as the air brakes if your using that safer thing or VFIS you DO NOT have to have a CDL to Drive a fire Truck in Florida For sure but i think it applies every where. so deparments require it just as a little CYRE policy.

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    In NY most of the Fire training courses are "once and done". EVOC is one of them. Once you take the EVOC course you don't have to take it or any refresher for it again. Most departments at least have mandated yearly driver training where you actually DRIVE the vehicles you will be using around and get used to them. For instance in my department you do not get certified to drive any apparatus until you know all the equipment and gear on board AND am capable of demonstrating all of that to the Chief or the training officer.

    The only big thing NY has done with training is to date line it. It used to be that you could take courses in whatever order you could find them. So you may have taken Pump operator and then Firefighter Essentials and then Tanker ops, Now they have to be taken in a set order. Just another thing making it more difficult to attract members.

    As for using a fire vehicle for the road test. That depends on your departments procedures and status. In NY at least, volunteer apparatus is not required to be registered or inspected. However the vehicle you take the road test on MUST have current registration, inspection and insurance. That stops many vehicles from being used.

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