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Thread: Driving

  1. #1
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    Default Driving

    What are your thoughts on Under 21 over 18 Driving an department vehicle. This wouldnt be allowed to just anyone, there would be a strict selection process and along with that a specific training program. Im just looking for your guy's thougth, right now my department requires EVOC, and 21. Any thoughts please express them, I need some feedback on how to go about getting our policies re looked at.

    Thanks
    Varga


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    Forum Member tbonetrexler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VargaM1 View Post
    What are your thoughts on Under 21 over 18 Driving an department vehicle. This wouldnt be allowed to just anyone, there would be a strict selection process and along with that a specific training program. Im just looking for your guy's thougth, right now my department requires EVOC, and 21. Any thoughts please express them, I need some feedback on how to go about getting our policies re looked at.

    Thanks
    Varga
    It really depends on what your insurance provider requires. My volunteer company has a 21 year old requirement, as per the insurance company. Other departments have providers that allow 18 year olds to drive.
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    Personal opinion, you should be 21 before you can drive. Driving fire apparatus is a huge responsibility. Something you have to look at when determining a drving age is maturity levels and previous driving experience. An 18 year old is less likely to be mature enough to handle that responsibility as opposed to a 21 year old. I'm not sure about other states, but in Virginia you can start driving a POV at age 16 and change. This goes without saying, but going from a car to a fire truck is a huge adjustment. Are you sure you want someone with two years of behind the wheel experience driving a 20+ ton fire apparatus?

    Its too easy to seriously injure or kill someone with a fire truck. That responsibility should not be taken lightly, and at 18 years old most people still think they are invincible (sp?). Just my two cents.

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    Why not. Besides everybody should be subject to a strict selection process and training requirements be they 18 or 58. If they can meet the requirements then they should be allowed to drive. Unless your dept. insurance says otherwise.
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    I think 18 is just to young to operate a piece of fire apparatus. Trainings, returning from calls maybe. Remember at 18 they have 3 maybe 4 years of total driving experience. (Yes, there are some very mature 18 year olds.)

    A driver should also be able to lead a crew. As they are usually (or should be IMO) the second most experienced member of the crew next to the officer.
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    We have 18-21 year olds in the military that are given far greater responsibility in handling equipment then they are given in the FD. If they can do it by proving themselves in the military, If they can prove themselves in the fire service let them do it.

    Look at some of the farm communities some of those guys have a lot more experience operating equipment then do FF's.

    Ya, there is a difference between operating a hay baler or a corn processor in the middle of a field compared to operating a piece of fire apparatus at a busy intersection ... Take it on a case by case basis. Train - Certify etc...
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    well i have proven myself in the military, its funny you say that, but not all of those that we are trying to allow drive are in the military so we cant rely on just that anyways. All good ideas, keep them coming, i am prepared for this to get shot down right away, but I cant say i didn't try and I wont stop until something gets done about it, whether other people start actually running calls and driving for us or we will have to. Either way I see it, the calls have to get answered.

    Varga

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    In my department as well as others, the main factor is the insurance carrier. Even with this, every driver needs an EVOC course and a lot of hours behind the wheel (of each vehicle) in non-emergency driving before being allowed to be a "Driver".
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    Our department allows driving at 18 per insurance.

    But while on probation they train, train .............and train.
    Per department S.O.G. all new firefighters start with the brush trucks in vehicle operations then advance to the other trucks. Part of the training is EVOC and pumping operations. If they do not know how to operate (pump) the truck properly then they are not cleared to drive it. So they may drive at 18 by the time they complete training most are 19 or close to it.

    T.J.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    No one should be driving until the Chief or Supervisor signs off that they are mature and experianced enough to be driving. There are 18 year olds that fit the discription and 45 year olds who do not.
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    While in a blanket sentiment, persons of the age of 18 or above should be allowed to drive a fire apparatus.

    The responsibility has been given to them, in the right of licenses, CDL or regular class. Other responsibilities have been bestowed onto them that are far more a danger (Not saying that this isn't a danger.) then driving an apparatus. A persons of the age of 18 or greater should have that right.

    Now, take off that blanket, and realize that not every 18 year old, nor every 30 year old is capable, or responsible of driving. The right is there, but with the right training, the right guidance, and the right procedures, they should be allowed to drive.

    Unless like I said, there are those that warrant some special circumstances, but that's a debate in itself, especially when you consider there role in the fire service in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonetrexler View Post
    It really depends on what your insurance provider requires. My volunteer company has a 21 year old requirement, as per the insurance company. Other departments have providers that allow 18 year olds to drive.
    Our insurance allows those 18 and over with a valid drivers license, to operate the vehicles. EVOC is not mandated at the this time in our dept but it is my opinion that it should be. In the end, the training officer must sign off on the training/approval for the operator. A lot of it is their judgement on your qualities as an operator -

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    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    We can drive at 18; if, we do all required training. By the time we learn the basics of firefighting and start to learn how to drive and pump, we are usualy 19 or very close. I will be able to drive in emergency situations right before my 19th birthday.

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    Interesting. Age to drive lights and sirens (called Code 1 here, I think code 3 in the USA?) here is 21, SOP requirement. Mind you, you can't get a licence to drive a car until 18 either. No insurance company problems, the organisation self-covers.

    My own thoughts are that most 18 yo's are too 'young' to go lights and sirens. To train them and certify them (easy done and easy passed) and then say that some are OK and others aren't? That would cause problems I think.

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