1. #1
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default Driving Emergency Vehicles

    Just did some research. In NYS you need a class C icense to drive a vehicle with a GWVR of 18,000 to 26,000 pounds. To drive a vehicle in excess of 26,000 pounds you need a CDL. Now the kicker, operators of Military and Emergency vehicles are exempt.

    Is it just me or does this seem crazy. Anyone 18 years of age or older can jump behind the wheel of a 30,000 pound truck and drive it, and en route to an emergency with lights and sirens, he/she is allowed to exceed the speed limit, run red lights, and essnetially violate all of the laws as long as they show due regard.

  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I certainly agree with your point that there is a problem with
    emergency vehicle drivers.
    But- I would point out that all the things you said a person could
    do (Exceed speed limit,run stop signs,etc.) THEY CAN STILL DO
    WITH A CDL.
    The problem is not the licensing issue, it is a training issue,
    AND an enforcement issue for the fire department. If a member
    has poor driving habits, disciplinary action has to be taken.
    The problem with poor emergency vehicle drivers is not a problem
    that the state has to fix-IT IS A PROBLEM THAT THE FIRE SERVICE
    HAS TO FIX!! Until we change our attitude about this problem,
    and quit ignoring it, it is going to haunt us. No matter how good
    a firefighter a person is, if they endanger the public with their
    driving habits they must be disciplined, and their behavior changed.
    Until we are ready to take this step the problem will continue.

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default

    "But- I would point out that all the things you said a person could
    do (Exceed speed limit,run stop signs,etc.) THEY CAN STILL DO
    WITH A CDL. "

    My point was that the driver hasn't even been qualified to drive this BIG RIG under normal conditions. And we turn them loose and allow them to create an even larger danger. I know some departments take care of this. What concerns me is how many Lardsvilles are there? How many accidents just waiting to happen? To me it would make sense for the department to set it's own SOP that the driver must have the CDL. That would help cover them in a wrongful death lawsuit. It also just makes good sense.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    StayBack500FT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,236

    Default

    Originally posted by cdevoe
    What concerns me is how many Lardsvilles are there?

    Are we talkin' safety or fitness here??.......I'm confused........

    I mean we like to eat and all.....but "Lardsville?" Isn't that a bit harsh???
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,685

    Default

    To me it would make sense for the department to set it's own SOP that the driver must have the CDL.
    You are on the right track. Get the departments to have SOP/SOG and follow them.

    StayBack500FT -
    "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?

  6. #6
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default

    Lardsville is a ficticious town, not to be confused with Lairdsville.

    "You are on the right track. Get the departments to have SOP/SOG and follow them. "

    And how do I get the department 50 miles from here to set an SOP/SOG? Through legislation.

  7. #7
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default

    P.S. I was laso wondering how many other States have the same laws. That is, no special license to drive an emergency vehicle even if it meets the requirements for a large truck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    90Truck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Newtown, PA
    Posts
    259

    Lightbulb yeah, but....

    i know a lot of great EV operators that DON'T hav a cdl. and to be perfectly honest, i don't know if that would make a difference. if a person gets overly excited or the edreneline starts to pump, they may drive unsafe. I have seen people with a cdl get into accidents with a fire truck. i do think it would be a good expirience to have a cdl b4 you get qualified to drive, but in some situations it won't help. if you're good, than you're good. if you drive unsafly, than a cdl isn't going to help much. but yes, i am taking my cdl with a rescue truck b/c it will help ME to be a better driver. it all comes down to training, the trainer, if you're comfortable driving, and if you can handle all that truck. regaurdless, mistakes will be made that are our fault and not our fault. as the term goes, sh-t happens!! lets just hope through training and keeping an eye out that it happens a lot less! peace
    Matt G. Warminster Fire Dept. Station 90
    IAFF Local F-106

  9. #9
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default

    So true 90 Truck. But it isn't much more dangerous whe nthe person who really shouldn't be driving the truck under normal conditions is now driving in an emrgency condition? Hell if I can't pass the test to drive "normally" then how can I possibly be expected to drive under emergency conditions?

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    CDl or no CDL, it is up to the department to ensure that the person can first operate the fire apparatus safely under normal conditions, in a controlled environment. Then, you ensure that the person can operate the fire apparatus safely under normal conditions, in an open environment. EVOC comes prior to all of this. Then, they are ready for emergency conditions - sometimes. Yes, it is this simple.

    Now, is this operating fire apparatus while you're fall down drunk - after only 3 or 4 beers - on stone cold sober?

    Stay Safe

  11. #11
    Permanently Removed

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Mayfield NY
    Posts
    378

    Default

    I for one, will not drive the trucks after I have had 1 drink.

    Again, it is up to the Department. Great, so I am on trip to Rinky Dink in PA. I have to assume that the department is smart enough to have qualified drivers. And heck, you get up into them hills they got there and you git some strange folk. Can you say deliverance??? Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    90Truck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Newtown, PA
    Posts
    259

    Exclamation cdevoe...

    in answer to your question, in my department if someone wishes to drive, they spend several hours spread out over a few weeks with a very qualified driver in non-emergency conditions. so, in theory, you WOULD or at least should know ahead of time something about the persons driving abilities. i should hope that nobody allows a person to drive with out any expirience behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle before taking THEM for a test drive. hope this helps, lata!
    Matt G. Warminster Fire Dept. Station 90
    IAFF Local F-106

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    shammrock54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Here's the real kicker guys- You are covered to drive the vehicle to the incident/emergent situation, BUT technically speaking (and our insurance guy warned us of this) you are not covered to drive the vehicle back and are certainly not covered to drive the vehicle during parades,training, or even to get gas w/o a CDL. While most of the time not an issue if you crack something up the sharks could have a field day ,be safe!
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  14. #14
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    28

    Default

    . Anyone 18 years of age or older can jump behind the wheel of a 30,000 pound truck and drive it, and en route to an emergency with lights and sirens, he/she is allowed to exceed the speed limit, run red lights, and essnetially violate all of the laws as long as they show due regard.
    Ok, now I don't know about any of the other states, but Ohio says that you MUST STOP for all red lights even though some one maybe giving you the right of way. We CANNOT run red lights! Exceeding the speed limit is another thing. Yes it's good for us to go faster to get there, but not always...especially if you have someone that doesn't exactly know how to handle the truck. But my dept. has a policy that you MUST be on the dept. at least a year, approved by their luetinant, approved by the training officer, and approved by the chief before they are aloud to run lights and sirens. So around here, we (I think) are safer than a lot of other depts. b/c we don't let just anyone drive. That would be something they might want to start doing! But I'm not an expert or anything.
    fireman_1

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Posts
    245

    Default

    Just because an individual has a CDL, I wouldn't recomend him/her having free reign on driving. I've seen people with CDL's that I wouldn't let behind the wheel of one of my rigs.

    I highly recomend that each dept establish a set of SOP's regarding driving.

    Here, to must be at least 21 years of age and completed defensive driving before you can even get behind the wheel of one of our vehicles.

    -Before you get qualified to drive on your own you must complete either the state or insurance company's EVOC course. Our state recognises our insurance company's course as compatible to theirs.

    -To be able to qualify on any vehicle you must have a minimum of 20 hours driving time with an officer of the vehicle.

    -To qualify on ta vehicle you must be checked out with a lieutenant, then captain, then chief. Only the chief's can sign off on someone.

    I would also recomend that certain calls run without lights and sirens. Examples: AFA with call back, CO alarm w/o symptoms plus others.

    -The candadite must also demonstrate his/her knowledge of our driving SOP's. These include not exceding 10 MPH over the posted speed limit. When driving in the opposite lane of traffic you must not excede 20 MPH. You must stop at EVERY red light and stop sign.


    -All drivers must "requalify" every five years on the vehicles they drive. Members driving privliges can be suspended at any time by any officer of the deptartment.
    Last edited by SFDchief; 10-03-2002 at 06:32 AM.

  16. #16
    IACOJ BOD
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,757

    Default

    Many bleems ago in New Zealand there used to be a little glitch in our road laws.

    To have all the criteria to apply as an EMT and drive an ambulance, you had to have the Ambulance Drivers License.

    The only way to get that was to be accepted and pass the complete course as an EMT.

    BUT, you needed the license BEFORE you could apply.

    Common sense prevailed and the law was blindly ignored as a stupid one.

    One day America might just get a common law across all of the states regarding issues such as the one being discussed here.

    Just a silly question but what the heck do you do if you are in a state that allows you to drive at 18. You get a Mutaul Aid call down the road, but damn it, you have to cross into the next state to respond?

    Do you
    A. Break the law and keep driving.
    B. Stop at the state line and change drivers.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  17. #17
    Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    South Central, PA, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default

    This has been a big debate nationwide for years and will continue to be for many more.

    I have been in the Fire Service for over 27 years and also involved in accidents involving FDs.

    I can tell you the problem is NOT due to the drivers being CDL trained.

    The problem is due to the following;
    1. Dept not having a Drivers Training SOP.
    2. Dept not adhering to their SOP.
    3. The we gotta get their before the next due mentality.

    The dept has to have a Drivers Training SOP in place and FOLLOW IT. The drivers then need to drive with due regard.

    A generic SOP for drivers training;

    1. Interview of driver trainee candidate to determine character.
    2. Obtain a certified copy of drivers record. Any reckless driving, DUI-DWI type offenses within 3-5 years should bar them from being a driver.
    3. 15 hours actual driving time with a Senior Operator for EACH unit.
    4. 15 hours hands on pump operations training.
    5. State certified hydraulics course completion prior to becoming a driver.
    6. Written testing of driving/ pumps knowledge.
    7. Intensive, hands on testing of driving and pump operations skills.

    As far as driving after consuming ANY amount of alcohol, well that's self expanitory, I hope.

    As far as the hills of PA, well I been to NY and they're ain't much difference. LOL
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register