I don't think your being an ass, I agree with you completely. Think about all the fire truck accidents there have been in the past few years, and how many of those drivers were severly underqualified. I brought up this discussion because of an accident we had here in our county where an unqualified driver killed someone in an oncoming vehicle and he shouldn't have been driving the fire truck to begin with.
I may have only been in the service for a year, but I have dedicated all my spare time to getting my certification and making myself comfortable with ALL our apparatus. I wouldn't drive them without our chief's okay, and he wouldn't give me the okay if he knew I wasn't certified or if I weren't qualified. I will not allow myself to be put in a situation where I don't feel comfortable driving any of our trucks. I'll leave it at the station first. I also won't put up with anyone on our department driving one that shouldn't be and have been in arguments with other fire fighter in our department who wanted to drive the big truck to an incident and I wouldn't let them. I made them drive their POV and the big truck stayed at the station. They weren't real happy with me, but the chief agreed that it was definately appropriate protocol in that situation.
I feel that the required 12 hours of training is not enough and a regulated course does not in any way apply to any kind of bad situation you could be put in when driving a truck full of water. I don't think some people realize what could happen when they try to go one way and the water wants to go another. I think on the road experience should be required for all volunteer departments in a non-emergency manner so that all department personel are familiar and comfortable with thier apparatus and the chief and officers are comfortable with thier capabilities.
I agree with you 100% what we are talking about is just like anything in the Fire Service. It's a tool if your dept. has a group of really qualified drivers. Then that to me is a tool. I have seen a lot of Depts just let men & women driver for many reasons. The worst reason you are my friend and I don't want to piss you off. Or he or she has been driving trucks all there life. Think about it what other depts do and I'm sorry to here about your depts crash.
i think all FF s should have EVOC Class and or should be an SOP in the dept. to have a CDL Class B , w/ tanker and air brakes endorsment !! we have ppl who should not be able to drive at all ,some cant start a deisel tck. because theyget in a hurry !! I have had my share of near misses !! so I know what I am saying here .My saying is slow down and when you get here you get here safely !! Always think safty 1st !!!!! Its your life and others a house can be rebuilt .
FAE 1- Ambulances & Utility trucks-14 hrs drive time and CEVO II Ambulance( off rescue probation)
FAE 2 -Engine Companies-15 hrs drive time and CEVO II Fire( 6 weeks of pump training)( off fire probation 1 year)
FAE 3- Aerials-5 hrs drive time ( 6 weeks of classroom and practical training)(FAE 2 for 1 year)
Go easy on that CDL talk. Those aren't that difficult to obtain but it doesn't apply unless you are paid to drive a truck. Most volunteers aren't. They are pretty hard to maintain & very expensive. Then you have the issue of who is responsible for the cost? The individual or the FD? I'm not going to say that drivers shouldn't TRAIN for the CDL and use those guidlines but actually testing for them is a little overboard in most cases.
Drivers should be trained to not only get the apparatus from point A to point B but they need to KNOW the apparatus as well. A fire truck without someone to operate the pump is useless. I have advocated for years that each truck driver should complete a number of hours in both operations & driving. I think our current requirement is 10 hours of each for new drivers & less time on other apparatus once they become proficient on one. Our trucks are pretty much the same & the pumps are all the same.
I think that most people should have some driveing skills with bigger trucks before they run on a hot call.These trucks are very dangerous if you have never been in one.I use to driver our tanker all the time and its the most dangerous of the fire trucks.only experinced drivers should drive tankers and everyone else should have lots of time training in them before they have to drive it on a hot call.
I also thnk that each and every fire fighter that drives a fire truck regardless if it is a pumper/tanker or a grass truck should have drivers training but I also believe that everyone who is qualified to drive the trucks need to be able to operate the pumps and get water either out of the trucks or out of a pond or a hydrant. If you can not accomplish that then you should not be able to drive the trucks. Because most of the time we are short handed especially during the day, so everyone needs to be able to get water.
Here in SC we require any driver paid or volunteer to have a Commercial Drivers License, 40 hr. Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (EVDT) Pump Ops I and then a hour course on on the specific truck you will drive.......Here I am a Driver 2 and can drive anything in the Dept but a ladder. I chose not to take that one as the paid guys will always operate those trucks being they are in the city limits.......
There is a good program here in my county where the city and county merged the fire services......it mainly allows all the county stations to be maned 24/7 by a paid city engineer and then the volunteers respond as well as city trucks depending on the call.........