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    Question Drivers license for Fire Appratus

    OK I have searched this web site and didn't find anything. Please help, Rumor around the camp fire is that you don't need a special license ie. class b non cdl to drive fire appratus while in "EMERGENCY" mode in Illinois. Any feed back on this? Link to the law would really help if anyone has this information.

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    Yes you are right, although I can't point you to the letter of the law. The problem is with the insurance compaines, if you have a wreck and you do not have the right license, they will not cover it. However, it's my understanding, if you have driving program in place this will do. Point is, have everyone get the right license, and CYA.

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    No, Larry, that's not right. You must be licensed for the weight of the vehicle you are driving, period. I'll root around after lunch and find the motor vehicle code. You're right about the insurance end of it, though. FOr years we just taught our people to drive and didn't think twice about it.....
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    From the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code

    (625 ILCS 5/6‑104) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 6‑104)
    Sec. 6‑104. Classification of Driver ‑ Special Restrictions.
    (1)...
    (2)...
    No person shall operate a motor vehicle unless such person has a valid license with a proper classification to permit the operation of such vehicle, except that any person may operate a motorized pedalcycle if such person has a valid current Illinois driver's license, regardless of classification.
    I'm gonna keep searching in case there's an exemption somewheres that I don't know about....
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    I do believe there is an exemption there somewhere. I can try to find it also as our Chief of Police is also on our fire dept. Our dept tries to follow the rule that you must have a class b to drive. However there are times (short man power) we have to have guys drive. If i remember correctly, they may drive to the scene but not back to the station since the "emergency" is over.
    Lilyogi

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    There I go, assumeing again. I was told for years that we were exempt, but never followed up on it. 50% of my dept has CDL's. As you guy's are diggin for the right code, here's my ?, law say's class B non-CDL, what about air brakes? Most of todays trucks have em, can you take just the air brakes part of the CDL. Just for the record, my license is good for everything but a school bus, what sucks is it cost me $75. I'd feel better if we were still getting the Illinois first money.

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    I'll call the SOS tomorrow morning to get clarification, but I'm pretty sure there's no exemptioin. Besides, if the vehicle is being driven in an "emergency," that means that things are even worse than normal, i.e. short of help, gotta get the rigs out there, high pressure, go-go-go-go, that's all the more reason they should be properly trained and licensed.

    Don't have enough folks? Call mutual aid.

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    all the information I've seen has all said that you need a class B non-CDL to legally drive a fire truck. I haven't been able to find the actual law though. I do know that when I took the class B test last year another guy was looking at the CDL book at the DMV and it did state that you do not have to have a CDL for fire trucks, since you recieve extra training as a firefighter to drive fire trucks.

    But the big question that I have for Jay is:
    are all of your trucks equiped with one of those fancy GPS devices like what yogi sent for your car?
    bunnie

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    Okay, I knew when I took the FSVO class that there was an exemption. It was for ambulance and rescue vehicles. You do not need a special class license when operating an ambulance or rescue vehicle. However, you also cannot go more than 40 mph according to the vehicle code.

    625 ILCS 5/11‑1421) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑1421)

    Sec. 11‑1421. Conditions for operating ambulances and rescue vehicles.

    (a) No person shall operate an ambulance or rescue vehicle in a manner not conforming to the motor vehicle laws and regulations of this State or of any political subdivision of this State as such laws and regulations apply to motor vehicles in general, unless in compliance with the following conditions:

    1. The person operating the ambulance shall be
    either responding to a bona fide emergency call or specifically directed by a licensed physician to disregard traffic laws in operating the ambulance during and for the purpose of the specific trip or journey that is involved;

    2. The ambulance or rescue vehicle shall be
    equipped with a siren producing an audible signal of an intensity of 100 decibels at a distance of 50 feet from the siren, and with a lamp or lamps emitting an oscillating, rotating or flashing red beam directed in part toward the front of the vehicle, and these lamps shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight, and in addition to other lighting requirements, excluding those vehicles operated in counties with a population in excess of 2,000,000, may also operate with a lamp or lamps emitting an oscillating, rotating, or flashing green light;

    3. The aforesaid siren and lamp or lamps shall be in
    operation at all times when it is reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach thereof during such trip or journey;

    4. Whenever the ambulance or rescue vehicle is
    operated at a speed in excess of 40 miles per hour, the ambulance or rescue vehicle shall be operated in complete conformance with every other motor vehicle law and regulation of this State and of the political subdivision in which the ambulance or rescue vehicle is operated, relating to the operation of motor vehicles, as such provision applies to motor vehicles in general, except laws and regulations pertaining to compliance with official traffic‑control devices or to vehicular operation upon the right half of the roadway; and

    5. The ambulance shall display registration plates
    identifying the vehicle as an ambulance.

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    If you're going to take the time to train people to drive emergency vehicles, then why get them properly licensed in the process?
    Especially, the large tankers that are becoming more and more popular around here.
    I would want anyone driving big rigs to be properly classed on their licenses...just in case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnie62
    all the information I've seen has all said that you need a class B non-CDL to legally drive a fire truck. I haven't been able to find the actual law though. I do know that when I took the class B test last year another guy was looking at the CDL book at the DMV and it did state that you do not have to have a CDL for fire trucks, since you recieve extra training as a firefighter to drive fire trucks.

    But the big question that I have for Jay is:
    are all of your trucks equiped with one of those fancy GPS devices like what yogi sent for your car?
    Only the good ones!
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    Hey Jay, I thought of you the other evening, I was driving around Iowa City with my girlfriend looking for a pet store, we had just bought our new puppy, anyway all I could think was if I had one of those fancy GPS units like Jay had I would be there by now! Ha ha ha We did find it finally.
    Lilyogi

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyogi
    Hey Jay, I thought of you the other evening, I was driving around Iowa City with my girlfriend looking for a pet store, we had just bought our new puppy, anyway all I could think was if I had one of those fancy GPS units like Jay had I would be there by now! Ha ha ha We did find it finally.
    I don't need to spend money on a fancy GPS system.
    I have my wife. She is always telling me where to go!
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    The funny thing is that ambulances above 40 miles per hour to to (as it states above) obey all traffic regulations including speed limits. Thus saying you can not speed above 40 miles per hour. Its actually interesting what the law says and hardly anyone follows it. We have an SOS police officer (actually 2) on our department and he read the law to the department and some of the things were really interesting.

    Also you may drive an emergency vehicle to a seen with out a license, but with the discresion of the chief. You are SOL to return it back to the fire house.
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    Default My $0.02

    I used to have a job that required a CDL-B w/ air brakes. The company paid for the license. I left that job to take another that does not involve driving. I went to renew my license and asked the guy at the Driver's License place this same question. He stated that I just needed a Non-CDL B for the firetrucks. I asked about an air brake certification, and he said there were no endorsements on the Non-CDL, so no, I didn't need one. Another FF on our department was told the same thing on a different visit.

    I was always of the understanding that the CDL is a "Commercial" driver's license, or more simply, you get paid to drive someone else's vehicle, or your vehicle is "for hire". If you owned your own truck, and drove for your own purpose, like farmers, you did not need a CDL, but did have to have the proper weight classification. CDL rules also apply to the other classes of licenses besides trucks.

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    You need a class b, IL waives air brakes for emergency appartus as of now.
    Last edited by cdemarse; 06-22-2006 at 05:08 PM.
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    I have a Class B CDL, airbrakes are REQUIRED now on any CDL its not an endorsement. As far as the license we have to have to operate apparatus, our insurance company requires Class B non-CDL licenses to even drive "emergency" and non-emergency. If someone gets in an accident that doesnt have this license the insurance co. wont cover it.
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