this is one of stupidest laws ive heard of... what do you folks think???

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Bottom line is to obligate someone (should be the Departments policy) to insure that the nut behind the wheel knows what they are doing. I see so often that people join the Department and next thing you know they are driving the apparatus. I think that at the very least folks should acquire a CDL or some sort of State certification before they can drive the apparatus. Obviously there are way too many examples or reasons why State agencies come out with these rules. Lack of Department policy or oversight is exactly why we have these rules. If there is a cost so be it. Whats it cost to save just one life?
Everyone on our department that drives a vehicle with "exempt" plates must have a CDL. Everyone that has a CDL can drive any vehicle, but must be checked out quarterly for each vehicle and a copy placed in his personnel file.

The youngster that started this thread is 17 (according to his profile). If I was his Chief I would worry about his ego and inexperience and how that might effect his duties. I doubt if he even read or understood the replies from these experienced FFs. I hope it sinks in though and he doesn't drive an apparatus until he is certified. TCSS
I think the CDL for firetrucks only is a good idea, and it should include a special $$ rate. This is a financial hardship for many people when they only need the CDL for driving a fire veheicle. I have a CDL class C P for my day job, and any $ amont over a regular class D will be paid for by the agency. Volunteer and paid departments already have high operation costs, and will not be quick to pick up any added expense. A driver training program with a certified examiner as a member of the department, mandatory yearly requalification and annual EVOC courses specific to the fire apparatus you will be driving, IMHO should be enough. Air brakes and weight are the major reason for the CDL in most departments. We just recently got a ladder truck , and with the training mandated by our fire commissioners(that doesn't take into account discuss a CDL) it will be quite sometime before we have more than four people qualified and able to drive it down the road. I think we should police ourselves, and let our Chief officers know when someone is driving irresponsibly, or being careless. In smaller departments the Chief Driver/Training Officer is under pressure to qualify someone who is not quite ready. That has got to change, and those of us who do drive need to remind ourselves that we are a role model for the younger firefighjters who learn to drive from us.
in new zealand if you are going to drive the truck you need your ht which i suspect is the same as your cdl no ifs or butts and yes the station pays for it. im soon to do mine which also means i am going to need to do a pump course theres no point being able to drive the truck and not operate the rest of it
Been that way for a long time here in Georgia. What do you consider stupid about it? Do you think it's stupid for tractor/trailer drivers to have to carry a CDL? Or bus drivers? Are semis, buses(and fire trucks) that much different from passenger vehicles?

Just my thoughts,

I am not sure if this has to do with the state, county, or town you
drive in. I do beleive it has more to do with the insurance company
that is insuring the vehicles. In order to get a better insurance rate
Insurance companys are requiring federal guide lines. Don't hold me
to my statement, but I do beleive that is why they are going to CDL
Over the years some least compitant apparatus drivers have been trained and experienced big rig operaters suffering delusions of granduer about their own skills. Sometimes its a crap shoot.
I believe that a CDL should be a requirement before you ever jump into a large fire apparatus and try to drive. Do you really want the guy who pulls up in his smart car to drive the 68,000 lbs. engine just like he drives the smart car. The apparatus we respond in are heavier, don't turn as well, and are carrying YOUR firefighters. CDLs are not just easy licenses to get. Heck, here in Texas, they make you parallel park the fire engine. In conjunction with a CEVO or a EVOC class, the CDL will teach you to opperate a heavy piece of apparatus at highway speeds and in residential areas.
I Just had to say that our small town Vol. Dept Changed Our SOP's, to Require All Members Have Atleast a class B Cdl, Within 6 months of the Change, And all New Members The Same. At first I was Against it! We Lost A couple of member's Due to this. But I Drove Over the Road As a Carreer, For 2 Years, And About A year As a Team with my wife, Then Locally For 4 Years. I Was Upset to see them go, But As I Was thinking about loosing members, I was Not Thinking About Safety! Most People Have No Understanding of Airbrakes OR How they Work.... Let Alone How to Properly Inspect them, Or What to Look out for when driving A Tender And How to Properly Brake on a Grade or Curve. Also we Got Some Video/ Stories of Deadly Accident's Because of InExperience And Experienced Volunteer's. This Changed My Mind And Got Me to Thinking, Would I Want Someone Driving the interstate with No knowledge of The Brake System Or D.o.T. Rule's ?? It Does Happen! But Hopefully they Get Caught.

So Do I want Someone to Drive A Tender, Code 3 At 3:00 in the morning To a Structure With Possible victim's Trapped Down An unfamiliar Road?? Just Because They were At the Station First? Not Anymore!! Accidents Still
Happen to Cdl Experienced Volunteers, Due to Speed, Under inflatted tires, And Unfamiliar Roads.

So we Do Truck Check's Every Week, And We Drive All Our Apparatus On different Route's with A different Person Behind the wheel Each Time And They Re Evaluated By a Officer for Proper Inspection!! That Being KEY!!

So Yes I Think Every Member Should Have a CDL Class b atleast, If they Medically Can't Pass, Then They don't Drive! There are Plenty of other Things to do.

This is My Opinion!

Rod G.
Howe VFD

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