WHAT IS YOUR DEPARTMENTS GUIDELINES ON BEING PROMOTED TO A DRIVER OR VEHICLE OPERATOR? DO THEY INCLUDE AFTER BECOMING AN OPERATOR, EXTRA HOURS OF IN SERVICE TRAINING? IF SO, DO YOU BELIEVE THIS SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED? (P S) THE ATTACHMENT IN NO WAY IS TO LAY BLAME ON ANYONE IN THIS ACCIDENT. IT IS MERELY MEANT TO SHOW SOMETIMES WE MAY GET TUNNEL VISION WHEN OUR ADRENELIN IS PUMPED UP. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS ESPECIALLY COMING TO A STOP SIGN OR LIGHT.
We have a very good drivers program in place. There is a minimum set number of hours of drive time, (day and night) AND operations time that gets accumulated before you take the "road and operations" test with one of our Captains.
Once a year we hold the VFIS training class and have a qualifying driving operations test. (written and over the road)
If a pattern of bad driving (hitting things, complaints) occurs, retesting and potentially loss of driving occurs.
When you have a piece of apparatus valued between 200k-1.5 million under your rear end, you can't be too careful.
In Oregon you can drive emergency vehicles without any special licensing. However, within our Departments we train our people to be certified as Apparatus Operators and Pump Operators. Then each Department also implements in house raining and policy to further insure these folks are competent and skilled to do the job. You just dont put someone behind the wheel without them going through adequate training.
In Ohio there is a serious push to have everyone who drives take the EVOC. My department seems to think everyone can drive and certain officers try to get the newbies behind the wheel before they finish their rookie packet. I on the other hand feel that you need to at least have your rookie packet done and understand the basics of being a firefighter before you start to worry about driving. One department in the area you do not start driver training till you have been on a year. I think that may be a bit much for some, if you have years of experience and drove at another department you might be ready to start driver training before 1 year. My department requires no extra training since they require everyone to do driver's training once a year. I can honestly say that I have the backing of the guys in my station (well maybe not all the rookies) that you need to know the job of a grunt firefighter before you start driving.