I need some HELP!!!
I am in dire need of some help. My cousin is 17. He's been a junior with his local fire dept. for the last 3 years. He's done well with. Now he has moved more into the EMS and Rescue side of the house. He's an explorer with the county EMS and junior with his local rescue squad. The EMS guys have talked him into going to get his EMT-B. That's great except for the fact he won't graduate high school for another 2 years. He's also convinced that a GED is the same as a high school diploma. So he is looking to quit school and go that route. But the tip of the ice berg is the rescue squad has him driving the truck. To him it's an honor but when something goes wrong he's gonna be up the creek.
I guess what I'm here for is some help on what I can say to him to get him to reconsider all of what's going on. If he was to have a wreck in the truck, I'm pretty sure the insurance company isn't going to be much help. Also, I hate to see him quit school just to get his EMT. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know what state your cousin lives in but I noticed that you are from North Carolina and alot of what I'm going to say is based on NC laws/ regulations. Lets start w/ the EMT-B... He can take his EMT before he turns 18, but to take the class, he either has to have a high school diploma or GED or he will have to take a reading test that proves he can read and comprehend at a 10th grade level... If he meets the entrance requirements and takes the class and passes, the state will hold his certification until he is 18.
As for driving the units... North Carolina does not consider you a senior fire fighter or rescue person unless you are 18 years old. You can not become state certified to drive or fight fire until you are 18 years old. Since he is only 17, if he is involved in an accident, it will be very hard for him to defend himself if it comes down to court proceedings because the recommended standard from both NC Dept of Insurance (Fire and Rescue Commission) and NFPA 1002 standard for Emergency Vehicle Driver recommend that the driver be at least 18. You may also want to remind him that there is some contraversy in whether line of duty death benefits should be paid to junior or explorer personnel (if he is tragically killed while operating or riding on the unit)
Also, he may want to check with the Department and their insurance company... I bet the insurance company doesn't want him driving until he is at least 18 and in some cases 21.
Encourage him to stay in school because alot of paid jobs in Fire/EMS/Rescue are looking for individuals that have some college education in emergency services.
I'd say anything up to a 1/2 ton vehicle should be 18+ y/o.
Apparatus drivers should use a SOP that follows DOT regulations.
You have to be 21 to get a CDL, and that's a good lower age for fire trucks.
It would also be interesting to know if you are talking about an Ambulance.
If so, I don't know of ANY place that hires/allows under 18 to drive.
Your department, the Chief, and your friends' parental units will ALL be liable if he has a boo boo and the age criteria hasn't been met.
Some states allow a CDL at age 18. That's when I got mine. The only catch is that you cannot drive a commercial vehicle outside the state until your 21.