I am looking for some input from person's outside my company on the Driver Training SOP that I am proposing to the body for adoption in two weeks. Please keep in mind that the current Driver Training Program is over ten years old, vague, and at most not even worth the paper it is printed on.
Some within the Company claim that SOP's like the one I am proposing will leave us with no drivers and eventually no volunteers at all. Regardless of what happens on the adoption of this or any future SOP I will firmly stand my ground and continue to try and bring my company out of the 1980's & and 90's.
The attached SOP is roughly six pages so if you have a few minutes please check it out and give me some input good or bad or even any questions. I have pretty much started from scratch on this one. From my stand point the days of joining and automatically the first thing you can do is drive are long gone.

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We do yearly test on driving and I think it should be twice a year, just look at the news on how many ff's are wrecking firetrucks because they drive like kids!
21 has been the age for as far back as anyone in the company can remember, so I left it at that. I put the Utility at 18 just to try and give some of the younger guys the ability to step up a little sooner. The Utility is just a standard 1500 series Chevy pick-up, used for med asst calls and manpower asst. calls.
Thats great than, I think it looks really good. Go with it and good luck :)
Just a couple of points. 1. If your personnel really want to be a part of the organization then they will want to train and certify. (I believe now more than ever we really should have CDL's to operate) In the old days most everyone who became volunteers worked with heavy equipment and drove larger vehicles, now days we get young people who have never driven anything but small car with an automatic tranny, they don't know how to drive heavy units. 2. When you write the SOG, think liability, think what impact your policy will have if something goes to lidigation. (Maybe consult a Lawyer) If you have a good guideline and a few good policies and you stick to it then your liability as an organization are at minimum and the responsibility and liability is placed on the driver. (I know this sounds mean, but it is about personal responsibility for ones own actions) 3. Make sure that all of your personnel use good judgement when operating a vahicle, look at how they drive their own vehicle and how they obey traffic laws. This will give you an idea of how they will drive an emergency vehicle. 4. Always teach "You can't help anyone unless you get to the scene" "SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS" Good luck and be safe
I have to actually sit down and go through files at home to pull up some of my old drivers training stuff. Couple of points I wanted to hit quickly though....

1. A CDL isn't always necessary, however, I would suggest that the prospective (future) operators obtain at least a class B non CDL license. This is a requirement in most of the departments I have worked for, with, or done training with as well. Expecially when driving anything 26,000 lbs. This can be grandfathered in for currently certified drivers.

2. Keep a good record of all training conducted for each individual on each apparattus. This can probably best be done using a 4 or 6 part folder as part of their training file. I kept copies of certification on one tab with a worksheet on the 2nd tab to track their overall certifications and check rides.

3. ANY citation recieved, regardless of on/off duty status must be reported within 24 hours of issuance, if recieved out of jurisdiction (on vacation etc) I would extend it to 24 hours after returning to district, AND, said operator should not operate a department vehicle in an Emergency response until such citation is reviewed and driving privelages are reinstated by a Chief officer.

4. Operating in Emegency mode. I know several states where state law requires an operator to be at least 21years old to drive in emergency mode. If that isn't the case there, yet you require 21+ to drive all other apparatus, I would suggest making the standard the same for all vehicles across the board. 21 and up for emergency, 18+ when accompanied by a certified operator for that vehicle in non-emergency mode only (ie details, fuel stops, truck wash, training etc.)

5. Regardless of experiance, all transfering drivers should present proof of qualification, experiance, and current licensure to operate similar vehicles from their previous department, and should still be given a road test/check ride prior to being cleared to drive in the new department.

Also all drivers should be given a check ride at least annually. I would suggest check rides be given a minimum of quarterly, unless they are driving on a regular basis with a company officer or higher.

These are just bits and pieces I have had or used. Sorry I can't give you more now but it's hard to pull this out of memory while at work. Not all of this is based solely on FD drivers training, it't a combination of Fire, EMS, Rescue and some CSAR & limited military drivers training programs.
one comment so far but hey I am in the Uk so things probably different in USA.

My comment is this, in sections 5.4.2 5.4.3 etc you state 5 hours drive time with an instructor. Surely you need to put a variable drive time limit as some people may require more instruction. Unless you are stating that the candidate has 5 hours instruction and they have to participate in a practical examination of competence on completion of the stipulated hours.

The 5 hours is a minimum amount of time. If it is found that the candidate needs more time by any instructor than that will be a judgment call by the instructor / officers.
Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure how the recertification is going to pan out, but that as you stated might need a little fine tuning.
ahh right well maybe you should state that to avoid confusion :-)

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