Does your department require you to complete Emergency Vehicle Operations Course in order to start driving? I have been hearing as of late that not every department does. What are your thoughts about this and how do you feel about the EVOC course? What needs to be improved with it, where does it stive?

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It is manditory in our company and i will go and redo it every three years. we have our people go threw evoc for every truck they want to drive from our brush truck up to our engine that way not only do they get experience driving but have the paper work saying they have trained in that truck incase we need it for some reason.
EVOC is not mandatory here but it was at my old job, Evoc is a good toll but it does not mean someone is trained to drive any truck, like Ed said you can't go from a car to a truck and all is fine. EVOC doesnt do that as well wheel time is what is needed most, stupid little things going to fuel a truck let a new driver do it, Make them back the rig in a few dozen times but don't let them pull it out and in drive around the block and approach. If its a ladder let them learn how to position it. Wheel time is more important then EVOC but its a start.
Like was said before EVOC is a good start, but a continuing program has to implemented with it. The last Company I was with made it mandatory. But you also had to drive for 6 months after that "non-emergency" with a mentor,to get seat time. Nothing like going around a corner in a 2000 gal. Tanker and suddenly learn it's top heavy!!! Not a thing to learn running RLS.
Great input, I absolutely agree with each point most of you have hit on. In the department I work for, they do not require you to take an evoc class before driving the Utility vehicle, however, once you move up to the Brush Truck or Ambulance, that is when the department steps in and requires you to become EVOC certified. I don't completely agree with this and have voiced my opinion regarding this. My personal belief is that if you are going to operate an emergency vehicle, in emergency conditions, it should be a manditory course across the board. It is with Police Officers, and it should be with Fire as well. My personal feelings regarding this is that the EVOC class should also include more of a "real life" practical assessment of the drivers skills. Right now, at least in Maryland, the students take the course, drive through the obsticle course, take a quiz after watching a few outdated movies and wallah!! They are certified to operate a heavy vehicle under emergency conditions. I see a lot of safety being preeched in my department, but, total safety isn't always practiced. Would like to see it jump in to the 21st century.
Ed, loved the reference to driving a toyota corrolla! I got a kick out of that, simply because one of our members wants to drive equipment, but constantly gets in to accidents in his corrolla!
IT is mandatory in my must have EVOC.we have 3 evoc inst. in my dept.and i am 1 of them.the course is alright,but the course is no susatute for on the road driving.drivers must be made to take a refreshers course atleast every 2 years.that is just to keep them up to date.
Ed I am living busy and more busy. Life has a way of sneaking up on you and letting you know you don't have control.

Did you come away with anything from the course or was it just a basic drivers course that covers most of what is covered in a new drivers program? I have heard many things from around the country....Some courses are really indepth, some, new drivers orientation.....What do you think could have been added to the classroom sessions that could have improved the course? I am trying to gain as much insite as possible before I head up to the training board with my complaints about the course.

I took it many years ago and it was a joke back then, however, the refreshers keep adding new things in that I was not informed of to begin with.

Your thoughts
Steve, if you can contact the agency that is giving the EVOC course and ask them for the curriculum. That should tell you what they are going to teach, it should have a didactic section(classroom), test, and hands-on(driving course), with follow up instruction at the unit level. If you want to fuss about what they have go in with a solution to the issue. Just bitchin' will only leave it to them to come up with something that may be the same or worse or just flat ignore you. A good place to look is, look up Drivers training, they have an excellent set up for a driving course and plus the curric for the classroom section, or look up the National Safety Council's drivers course for emergency vehicle operators. American Ambulance Assn. also has one. Remember the most will be learned from the old hands out on the streets. Nothing can replace experience as some of the "perfumed princes" at the top seem to forget or disregard.
Well, for starters, my department DOES NOT require EVOC. About 3 years ago, we at least started doing some "so-called" apparatus operations through cones. The course is somewhat similar to EVOC, but not the same, nor was there any "standardized" written exam. You only needed to drive the apparatus you showed up with, not other rigs such as ladder trucks. It is a start. I think that we have finally put some energetic individuals in the academy who want to try and implement change. It still boggles my mind that we are the 2nd largest dept in the state and some of the traning is sub-standard. I am sure that we will get there someday.
I think that EVOC should be mandatory for all career departments and highly encouraged for volunteer departments. Individuals need to be familiar and COMPETENT with all forms of vehicles that they will be expected to operate in the course of their duties. It's just that simple. Along with learning about the different vehicles, lets learn what the laws of driving are for the particular state and have a complete understanding of what "due regard for the safety of others" really means. Oh another thing. Most FD's are exempt from requiring their operators to have a CDL. At least with a CDL you get certified training about larger vehicles, air brakes, etc. I had a CDL a long time ago. I wouldn't mind having to go through it again to keep my job.
The South Carolina Fire Academy Emergency Vehicle Drivers Training (EVDT) course is required for all personnel here, career and volunteer, before driving any of our apparatus emergency.
I think the EVOC course is important. I know that we are required to take the courses before we can drive any of our vehicals. It teaches you the laws that you are governed by when behind the wheel of an emergance vehical. There is alote more involved in driving an emergance vehical, than just getting behind the wheel, and going. You are not only responsible for those on the unit, but the public as well, and driver's need to learn and understand this. EVOC teach's you alote, but it is also up to your departments to fine tune you as a driver.

Just my 2 cents.
Regrettably we don't require EVOC even though there are regular classes. Although we require people to drive with an engineer and log some hours, learn how to use the pump, etc. Although we strongly encourage them to take the classes asap.

You know though I'm also a believer that engineers should also have a CDL, there's things that you need to know about using trucks that isn't covered in an EVOC course.

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