Thread: Engineers

  1. #1
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    Default Engineers

    I'm curious what other departments do to train personnel to drive and operate their departments apparatus?

    Do you do a formal qualification process?

    Do you teach them hydraulics?

    What types of training do you do for your drivers?

    Thanks

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    1. In house training starts with familiarization of the apparatus. (Basic) overview of the Engines, Transmission, x-fer case, pump, drive axle.....Checking fluids, belts, hoses, etc etc etc. Tires, wheels, then the rest of the rig. Then go over the pump with a qualified D/O. (By the way you can do any of this with any of our D/O's who have IFSAC/ProBoard D/O certification, who may also sign off on your checklist.)

    Road time consists of enough time so that you are familiar with the rig. Same thing with pump time, until you have the basics down. This qualifies you as a NON EMERGENCY driver. You may now drive the rig, but not pump by yourself. Take an EVOC class.

    Now comes a formal pump school- Any of a number of agencies in SE Pa are ok with us, we have even used MFRI. Once you complete formal class, get some more time on the pumps, when the engineers will toss you some more complicated scenerios. Pumping hydrants, multiple handlines while at draft, multiple handlines with a deluge set in operation, drafting with no primer....etc etc...

    When the bosses feel you are ready, and have Pump I and EVOC, you are blessed. All of our members are STRONGLY encouraged to obtain IFSAC/ProBoard Cert for D/O Pumpers.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    First step is getting a Class B driver's license. In the past, this has been an optional step for those who want to move up to Engineer, but the Chief has recently issued a new policy requiring all members to get at least the learner's permit for a Class B.

    California requires a Class B for, among other things, any vehicle with a GVWR of greater than 26,000 pounds. California does offer a Class B Fire Fighter License which limits you to fire apparatus, but our department has chosen to require the full Class B CDL since we already have to have the CDL medical clearance for our ambulance licenses and because of some questions about the validity of the Fire Fighter License in other states (we occasionally respond on out-of-state wildfire responses). In addition to the license, we also have to get the Air Brake and Tank Vehicle endorsements.

    We used to have an in-house DMV examiner (one of the senior Engineers), but recently lost that authorization. When we did have him, potential Engineers had to accumulate 20 hours of driving time before being allowed to take the three manipulative tests. When testing through the DMV, there's no specific hour limit. The three tests are the Pre-Trip, a Skills Test (which includes parallel parking, an "alley dock", a straight-line backing and a measured right turn) and a road test.

    Generally, once a prospective Engineer gets his/her CDL learner's permit, they start doing the checkout of an engine (basically the pre-trip plus some FD-specific checks like exercising valves, operating the pump, etc.) on our weekly station maintenance. At first, this is done with the guidence of an experienced Engineer until the candidate is comfortable with the rig. The candidate will usually do a specific engine a couple of weeks, then rotate to another rig to learn all of them (we have an E-One, two Mack CFs and an HME). The candidate will also drive the rigs for drills and will schedule additional driver training sessions with an Engineer. Once the candidate is comfortable, they can schedule the DMV manipulative tests and an Engineer will go with them to the DMV office in one of the rigs for the test.

    On the firematic side, we have been doing an in-house Operator 1A and 1B course based on the State Fire Marshal's guidelines. We recently began a new contracted training program with a local fire academy which will take over this aspect, and will also give us access to their driver training apparatus and facilities.

    Engineer is a seperate rank in our structure (between Firefighter and Captain I). A Firefighter can theoretically be qualified as an Engineer, but not hold the rank, though generally, once a candidate finishes the requirements, he/she will be promoted.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    We run them through a "basic" pump operators course. Since it's hard for our vollies to attend a complete 40 hour course, we developed a 16 hour basic. consists of legal, driving, pump operations, maintenance/checks, and hydraulics. We don't get too far into detail on hydraulics. Basically explaining what elevation and friction loss are, then concentrate on showing them how to operate off of a pump chart that's laminated and attached to the pump panels.

    The chart has FL for all the hose sized we carry, nozzle pressures on all of the nozzles, monitors, and eductors. It's also got "reminders" for elevation loss and FL on standpipes and stuff. Mainly a cheat sheet.

    This is all coupled with an EVOC course we do seperately and road time with an officer under non-emergency situations to make sure they know how to drive.

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    - Possesses a New Jersey Firefighter Level 1 Certificate.
    - Serve at least six (6) months as an active member.
    - Attend and successfully complete the Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO) – Fire class.
    - Must have a valid New Jersey Driver’s License, with three years of driving experience.
    - Must satisfy all requirements imposed under New Jersey State law and the municipal insurance provider.
    - Attend and pass an approved Pump Operations Class.
    - Complete ten (10) hours behind the wheel training, with an approved operator for the apparatus.
    - Successfully complete an Operator skill test.
    - Must be approved by any two qualified operators, who must be either a Line Officer, an Engineer or certified Firefighter Instructor, with final approval, by the Company Captain.
    "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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