Our state carries the clause, that you do not need a CDL while enroute to the emergency, but you do on the way back to the station. I know that makes absolutly no sense, but niether does not requireing us to be liscenced. Most departments down here require a CDL regardless of wether you are a volunteer or not. In the long run it protects you and your department some what from litigation. We consider ourselves professionals, we require professional drivers to have a CDL. Stop fighting the law and just go get your CDL, I am sure everybody is getting tired of this topic.
In the State of Illinois, drivers of fire apparatus are exempt from the CDL requirement, since we have very stringent fire apparatus driver training here. So instead of a class B CDL, we have to have a class B non-CDL. Although many FF's go and get a CDL anyway because then you can get a side job driving a straight truck.
My department requires a Class B CDL to drive an appatatus along with a TCFP Driver/Operator Certification. We take a CEVO class every two years and have to complete a driving course every year. I only think that having a CDL makes you more aware and responsible for the vehicle you are charged with operating. In Texas, it make a $12.00 difference when you renew your driver's lisence, so the cost is nothing to worry about. They are a good idea if you don't have one.
Here in South Carolina, you need to first take a written test, and then a
road test for a Class E drivers lic. A class E lic. is for Non-Comm. vehicles
that weigh over 26,000 Lbs. After you receive your Class E drivers Lic.
Then you need to take the course required by the Fire Services.
EVDT, Emerg. Vehicle Driver Training ( 40 Hrs. )
Pump. Opps. 1 & 2 ( 60 Hrs. )
Ladder Opp's if you will be operating a Ladder Truck (20 Hrs.)
All courses have a physical test, as well a written test in order to qualify
as a Driver/Engeneer.
Adam, Yesterday our County Fire Coordinators office sent us all an email announcing Gov. Patterson just signed into law that fire dept apparatus operators are NOT REQUIRED to have CDLs. Guess the debate is over here in New York. So, yes there is the same huge training responsibility there has always been but we wont have to shut down our service or hire a carrier driver. Those are good things.