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  1. #1
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    Question Drivers license checks

    Hello everyone,
    I am a new user to the firehouse site. I am currently the asst. chief of a small town dept. in N.C. At the last chiefs meeting in a nearby city we discussed drivers license checks for all dept firefighters done by departments on a yearly basis.I was intreasted in how many departments have this policy and if so how do you deal with violations on a firefighters license.Any info you can give would be helpful.

    Thanks guys
    tbanks1401
    SMVFD NC


  2. #2
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    the only thing I think you should be doing for all members would be for past DUIs (and other criminal convictions).

    for those that drive the apparatus, a good driving record is neccessary. If you don't have one, you don't drive the apparatus
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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    It is part of our job requirement to have a valid driver's license. We have had three instances within my 23 year career where a firefighter lost his license to drive.

    One was an officer who lived within walking distance of the station (no, it wasn't me!). He was assigned to an engine company and did his time in limbo until he regained his license (it was suspened for 90 days). It was his first offense.

    Another firefighter got a "sunset license" issued by the court. It was his first offense and he was allowed to drive to and from work only between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

    The third firefighter lost his license due to numerous traffic violations but never said anything to the Chief. Since he was on his probationary period, he was terminated.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    How reliable is a check of driving records once a part of the department? Other then DUI's and Accidents with serious property damage or injury, I have found that cops almost always provide firefighters with "professional courtesy". Right or wrong, that kind of makes the checks worthless.
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    Our dept has even said that you have to have at least a class B truck liscence to drive apparatus. Those who don't can't drive anything. I think that it is important to run driving checks because they will be operating very expensive equipment and should be a good driver.
    Caleb WJ Sheets
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  6. #6
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    How reliable is a check of driving records once a part of the department? Other then DUI's and Accidents with serious property damage or injury, I have found that cops almost always provide firefighters with "professional courtesy". Right or wrong, that kind of makes the checks worthless.
    True, but what if your not a FF yet?

    We check licences, as part of our extensive background checks before your hired, or join the volunteers. And to remain on the paid staff, you have to have a valid license. If you loose it, your done. So while we dont check on a regular basis, we probably should.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    True, but what if your not a FF yet?

    We check licences, as part of our extensive background checks before your hired, or join the volunteers. And to remain on the paid staff, you have to have a valid license. If you loose it, your done. So while we dont check on a regular basis, we probably should.
    Yeah Dave, that is why I put in the "once a part of the department". I totally agree it should be done upon entering the department, just don't know if it is effective once a part of the department to do on the proposed yearly basis.
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    Due Diligence:

    What is meant by due diligence?

    Due diligence is the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances.

    Applied to occupational health and safety, due diligence means that employers shall take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. This duty also applies to situations that are not addressed elsewhere in the occupational health and safety legislation.

    To exercise due diligence, an employer must implement a plan to identify possible workplace hazards and carry out the appropriate corrective action to prevent accidents or injuries arising from these hazards. http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/diligence.html


    Of course it is an example of due diligence for an employer (FD) to require that an employee (fire fighter) have a valid driver's license. It is probably outside the realm of due diligence for an employer to conduct annual investigations into the driving habits of their employees other than obtaining a driver's license history abstract.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    Yeah Dave, that is why I put in the "once a part of the department". I totally agree it should be done upon entering the department, just don't know if it is effective once a part of the department to do on the proposed yearly basis.
    Well, you got me thinking. As I said, if a member looses (not a temporary suspenssion) their license they are terminated.

    The way it is now, admin expects the member to inform them. As that would mean they are out a job, what would stop someone from not telling admin and hopeing they dont find out?

    So yes, I think it would be effective, so perhaps we too need to start checking once a year...
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  10. #10
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    We are required by Department regulations to report any tickets to the Fire Chiefs Office within 24 hrs or the next business day. If you don't report it and they find out...you are screwed.

    edit- we are also required to maintain a class B liscense
    Last edited by SAFD46Truck; 05-02-2005 at 06:02 PM.

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    On the topic of driver licenses. Does anyone's insurance company require them to have a certain level of driver's licenses? Rumor is that our insurance company is making anyone that wants to drive a truck have a Class B CDL. I think it is only fair they pay for it if we HAVE to have it. It isnt a law in Illinois that firefighters have to have a CDL to drive apparatus. It is considered an "in house training issue".
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  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    All new members or should I say potential members are required to provide a copy of a current driving history with their application.

    All members are checked on an annual basis.
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    Thanks guys for the response and info. We will be looking at this issue at our next dept meeting.Thanks again
    tbanks1401
    SMVFD NC

  14. #14
    Forum Member allineedisu's Avatar
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    You must have a current driver license when you apply, interview and be hired. You must maintain a driver license for your entire employment.

    A drivers license check is conducted monthly and if for some reason you have lost it (the judge took it) charges will be prepared and you shall be dismissed by the appointing authority You signed the agreement knowing this when you were hired.

  15. #15
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Anyone who drives apparatus (other than the ambulance, utility and staff cars) has to have a Class B CDL (California offers a FF's Class B, but we require the full commercial). As a result, everyone with a CDL is in a DMV pull program (either 6 months or annually...can't remember which...plus after any "action" on your record) as well as a DOT random drug/alcohol testing program.

    Ambulance drivers have to have the state ambulance certificate, but there's no record check or drug testing required for that (unless you also have the Class B).
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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