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  1. #1
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    Default CDL Required or Health Card

    Just curious what various departments around are doing. Do you require a CDL to drive your trucks? If not do you require a health card to drive the vehicals? Just curious as to what liability it leaves the department open to if an accident were to happen. Are there any laws that cover departments in a court of law? It is my belief that with the right lawyer if in volved with an accident returning from a call the department may be open to liability if a CDL driver is not in the seat.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamelfire View Post
    Just curious what various departments around are doing. Do you require a CDL to drive your trucks? If not do you require a health card to drive the vehicals? Just curious as to what liability it leaves the department open to if an accident were to happen. Are there any laws that cover departments in a court of law? It is my belief that with the right lawyer if in volved with an accident returning from a call the department may be open to liability if a CDL driver is not in the seat.
    Here ya go striaght out of the MN Drivers Manual:

    "Class D License
    This is the most common license for Minnesota drivers. If you have
    a class D driverʼs license, you may operate:
    • Authorized emergency vehicles, whether or not in excess of 26,000
    pounds gross vehicle weight."
    http://www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs/DLTra...nual%20Web.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamelfire View Post
    Just curious what various departments around are doing. Do you require a CDL to drive your trucks? If not do you require a health card to drive the vehicals? Just curious as to what liability it leaves the department open to if an accident were to happen. Are there any laws that cover departments in a court of law? It is my belief that with the right lawyer if in volved with an accident returning from a call the department may be open to liability if a CDL driver is not in the seat.
    The answer to this question depends on your state laws. The state of Maryland does not require a CDL in order to drive emergency vehicles, if the department has a documented training program in place. Most if not all of the drivers in my department have their CDL anyway.

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    PA requires a Card signed by your Chief saying that you can drive. and you MUST have it on you when you drive, Or the chief has to type what the card says onto Company letter head and list every driver for each unit and sign the letter, then that letter has to be in the unit for wich it has the list of drivers.
    There has been talk for years about making vollies get their CDL, but due to cost the state can't come to an agreement on how/who should pay for it. One sugestion was to make liscense renual cost $5 for vollies including the CDL.
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    No CDL required in Iowa at any time. We recently started paying cost for FF to get his Class B if he is interested in doing.

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    No Cdl required in Wisconsin for response, return, or "routine performance of other duties" per Statute 343.055, paragraph B.

    Now, that doesn't mean you don't have to be trained. My dept in in the process of requiring CDL's for drivers, or at the very least giving CDL holders preference over all others.

    One of the main reasons is in case something bad happens ( and bad things do happen, that's why we're here ) and questions of driver qualifications arise, the driver has met a common standard recognized by the state and federal government. It is also well known to the public as well.

    Our CDL drivers must still be trained in the specific apparatus they drive, and receive emergency driver training.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Personally, it should be a requirement to operate an apparatus
    Buck
    Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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    I believe NY is back to not requiring CDLs, they fixed in error in previous legislation that would have required it.


    I think the CDL has good info in it, but it is really lazy on our part as a profession to just depend on the CDL to teach our drivers. We should have an apparatus operators class similar to other state fire classes that goes over fire service vehicle operation.

    Fire trucks are different than commercial trucks and driven under much different conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I believe NY is back to not requiring CDLs, they fixed in error in previous legislation that would have required it.
    Yep that's correct. They had a law that stated under non emergency conditions the firefighter had to have a CDL. Well, that changed when firefighters started driving to the scene and leaving the app there because no one had a CDL to bring it back. The fire department wouldn't pay the $$$ to get people the license so the law in NY was changed.

    In KY, you do not need a CDL. But if any FD anywhere has received a DHS grant for an apparatus they are required to have a certified drivers training course yearly for the drivers and no one other than those people are suppose to be driving the apps.

    It is different for private FDs though. They are required to have a CDL License. I think that is a nationwide thing.

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    My dept (GA) requires a Class B non commercial. I never knew there was such a thing. I've had a CDL since back when they were called 'chauffer's license'. No health card though. I agree that CDL & health card should be required but the Dept should have to foot the bill. Face it, you're driving what is really nothing more than a commercial straight truck with lights and a siren. All the components are the same as on a comercial truck, even the custom chassis use the same engines, trannys, axles, brakes, etc... as a commercial truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaEVT View Post
    Face it, you're driving what is really nothing more than a commercial straight truck with lights and a siren. All the components are the same as on a comercial truck, even the custom chassis use the same engines, trannys, axles, brakes, etc... as a commercial truck.
    Plus you can drive the wrong way on one way streets, drive in oncoming lanes, exceed the speed limit, etc. All good reason for requiring a high quality river training program. But... As I said here before, taking a truck driving course and getting a CDL does not make you a good driver. Experience on the road under similar conditions (big truck) will make you more aware of what to expect. It's like sending someone to the Firefighter 1+2 Academy and expecting them to be good firefighters when they graduate, not quite enough.

    Rules and regulations, policies with the disciplinary process to back it up are the foundations to build from. Add in quality training, ongoing evaluation and remedial training and you are getting somewhere. Add in years of all the above and you might have a decent driver or firefighter or whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02
    exceed the speed limit, etc.
    Actually, that is a false statement in red, concerning the ability to "exceed the speed limit", in alot of states. Whether your police or fire, there are some states that do not allow you by law to exceed the posted speed limit while running an emergency response/call.

    EXAMPLE:

    Sec. 24-7. Special provisions for authorized emergency vehicles.



    (a) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions stated in this chapter.



    (b) The driver of such emergency vehicle may stop, park, or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this chapter and disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.



    (c) The driver of such emergency vehicle, except wreckers towing disabled vehicles, and highway maintenance vehicles and equipment may also:



    (1) Proceed past a steady red signal, a flashing red signal, or a stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation; and

    (d) Except for such emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle, the exemptions granted in this section to such emergency vehicle shall apply only when the driver of such vehicle, while in motion, sounds an audible signal by bell, siren, or exhaust whistle as may be reasonably necessary, and when such vehicle is equipped with at least one (1) lighted lamp displaying a red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the front of such vehicle. This statute omits this with the Fire Dept.



    (e) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of such emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect such driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    FM1
    Last edited by FIREMECH1; 09-09-2009 at 03:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Actually, that is a false statement in red, concerning the ability to "exceed the speed limit", in alot of states. Whether your police or fire, there are some states that do not allow you by law to exceed the posted speed limit while running an emergency response/call.

    FM1
    I'm not seeing where your example excludes the fire dept. or any emergency the ability to exceed the speed limit. I guess by omission of stating the right, it has not been granted. It would seem your example could not be complete or followed by L.E.? No vehicle pursuits period? While most states have tightened the rules of high speed pursuits, I've not heard of any banning all?

    I know in many(Most?) states they do allow authorized emergency vehicles to exceed the posted speed limit when using lights and sirens (some have exceptions to the sirens for LEO's and transporting ambulances). All I've ever read or heard of make the provision "with due regard for the safety of the public" or some close wording therein.

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