1. #1
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    Default How old is too old?

    At what age, do we respectfully decline a members right to drive apparatus in either or, or both the regular driving (parades), and responding?

    I am currently seeking information through DOT, and NFPA.

    Has any VFDs had issues?

    What is the age of the oldest operator currently responding with fire apparatus?

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    FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Driving fire apparatus is not a right. I'm not even sure if "privilege" is the correct word to use.

    It is a job function just like that of any other on the fireground such as hoseman, truckman, what have you.

    When you can no longer see clearly, hear your officer or the radio while responding (or other members on the fireground), have trouble with mobility, or otherwise cannot perform the job function to the best of your ability- it might be time to pack it in. You should voluntarily remove yourself, if not for the safety of yourself then certainly for the safety of your crew. If you fail a DOT physical, then you should be automatically disqualified.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Ageless

    I just went to a Funeral of a dear friend who was an Engineer. The Engine that pulled up had a crew on it with a combined age of.....wait for it....313 years and they did great. Granted they do not respond to fires anymore but they run the Fire Museum and drive the Engine to all Funerals. Thanks Guy's.....
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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    Our insurance company requires us to pull driving privleges at age 67.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Driving fire apparatus is not a right. I'm not even sure if "privilege" is the correct word to use.

    It is a job function just like that of any other on the fireground such as hoseman, truckman, what have you.

    When you can no longer see clearly, hear your officer or the radio while responding (or other members on the fireground), have trouble with mobility, or otherwise cannot perform the job function to the best of your ability- it might be time to pack it in. You should voluntarily remove yourself, if not for the safety of yourself then certainly for the safety of your crew. If you fail a DOT physical, then you should be automatically disqualified.
    Well said.

    I would only add that most professionals quietly approach superiors when they think impairment might become a problem. Also, good officers notice the warning signs. There are probably a few anecdotal situations where age was a factor but it is hard to recall any of significance. All in all, the fire service seems to be pretty good at self control (paid and vollie.)

    On this issue, any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Driving fire apparatus is not a right. I'm not even sure if "privilege" is the correct word to use.

    It is a job function just like that of any other on the fireground such as hoseman, truckman, what have you.

    When you can no longer see clearly, hear your officer or the radio while responding (or other members on the fireground), have trouble with mobility, or otherwise cannot perform the job function to the best of your ability- it might be time to pack it in. You should voluntarily remove yourself, if not for the safety of yourself then certainly for the safety of your crew. If you fail a DOT physical, then you should be automatically disqualified.
    Have to agree with buff here. We have one gentleman who I believe is over 70 and drives regularly, and does great at it. Just passed a physical with flying colors. The age is not the determining factor, the physical ability to do the job is the issue.

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    We find tanker driver a ideal job for retired truck driver. Has more experience than anyone else. The gray hair may preclude SCBA but the maturity is a good thing in what is one of the higher risk activities.

    Shortage of willing volunteers means finding jobs/tasks that suit the cababilites of the people you have. Best qualified if you don't have enough fully qualified.

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    This research on older commercial truck drivers (probably as close to a study of fire truck drivers as we're likely to get) suggests that age in and of itself isn't that big a factor:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...69814197000103

    Can't seem to find a free online version of the report, so can't tell exactly how old the older drivers were in the research.

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    Thumbs up

    When people get old (per the insurance stats/data), they need to be cut loose from certain duties/functions...that they once performed for the safety of the public, and themselves.
    Last edited by 1OLDTIMER; 10-29-2011 at 08:34 AM.
    "Take care of yourself first. Life is too short and you never know what tomorrow or for that matter...what the next few seconds is going to bring."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I just went to a Funeral of a dear friend who was an Engineer. The Engine that pulled up had a crew on it with a combined age of.....wait for it....313 years and they did great. Granted they do not respond to fires anymore but they run the Fire Museum and drive the Engine to all Funerals. Thanks Guy's.....
    We had a 313-year-old engine crew once, and it was just two guys!
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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