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Our fire department is trying to come up with a system for signing individuals off on apparatus. We currently have 3 different make/model of engine, 2 types of ambulances, a water tender and two brush rigs.

We have a haphazard system of signoffs....some good ol boy, some paperwork. Now they are talking about standardizing and in addition to having the Pumper/Operator certifications (EVOC for ambulances), needing 10 hours driving time - per apparatus - to be signed off.

What does your fire department do? A pumping test and driving test? New tests for different apparatus? Hours behind the wheel?

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You have several optins available to you - however depends on how your department runs. We rotate drivers on our 4 on 4 0ff shift. Driver is recorded on run reports and this info is added to our database. We also have driving practice with sign off sheets. Any time a unit needs fuel the staff are encouraged to "exercise" the rig when they fuel it. Regular practice with pump ops we shift drivers around so that they can remain profficient in the different engines.
All of this is documented so that if an accident happens, investigators have a good resource to draw on the operators experience level.
-We have a Driver School that all apparatus drivers and upgradable drivers must attend before ever being able to function in the capacity of a driver/operator.
-Driver School is 80 hours of classroom and drill field operations for apparatus; pumping, flying the aerial and a cone course. Classroom time includes understanding hydraulics and calculations, theory, design and function of apparatus; operation, proper spotting and safe driving; and most importantly LEAGAL requirements and obligations of the driver. Far to many driver/operators drive the apparatus with an invincibility mindset as though they're race car drivers.
-The school also includes an extensive driving course and pumping of engine apparatus as well as driving the course and operating aerial apparatus.
-EVOC and CEVO are certifications that are included in this course.
-Only after successful completion of Driver School the firefighter has 30 days to complete 20 hours of Code 1 documented road driving of apparatus. Code 1 driving is all the firefighters does at this stage and never more than 2 hours per day to spread out the experience.
-After completion of this 30 day phase the firefighter returns to the academy in order to complete a test designed to evaluate the skills of the driver as well as their retention of the Driver School curriculum.
-If you think you might be interested in implementing our Diver School program please let me know. We have distributed our curriculum to many FD's and have even provided the initial training.
-On a daily basis the driver/operator is assigned to a particular apparatus and is responsible for all operations, routine maintenance of the apparatus and tools. Forms and daily check sheets insure compliance.
What we do is you have to certify on our utility, OIC vehicle, reserve engine and then on our engine/rescue. for our newer engine and rescue you have to have so many hours of pump time and so many miles of drive time
I suggest looking at what the state requires, and even if they dont require this have everyone get a CDL. No emergency driving for 6months, but let the guys drive back from calls. EVOC should be mandatory, then anyone who will drive a pumper should go through pump training and know whats in each pumper/engine from memory as far as whats in each compartment. tenders id suggest only people that have one year of driving experence in a pumper/engine. Our dept doesnt have any of this but its what alot of paid depts and other volly depts in the area do.
We have a combination department. I don't know how the paid staff is "certified" to drive the apparatus, but they are all certified. As a volunteer, you have to be in the department two years before you get to sit for a "roads test" which is basically a fill-in-the-blank test with almost every intersection in the district. Fifty questions, three roads in each question, one of them is blank and you have to fill it in, 85% or above is passing.

Then the driver training officer (supervisor to the paid staff) starts you off on our front line rescue. You can take EVOC or a pump ops course or whatever which will help you along, but all of our training in relation to the apparatus comes from one individual and you don't get to sit in the driver's seat until you have his approval.

Obviously you need to have a fairly clean (if not squeeky) driving record, no DUI/DWI's, etc. You have to be cleared to drive in a department physical (done periodically by age, the older you get, the more often you get them.) All of our chiefs can drive at least the rescues to help out the paid staff which are all either EMT-CC or EMT-P and do patient care en-route if the commercial ambulance is OOS.

In our fleet we have two rescues, three engines, an articulated ladder/pumper (Bronto Skylift, we call it the tower,) a miscellaneous truck (extrication equipment, swift water rescue gear,) a tanker, and a heavy rescue/rehab/command center. We also house and man a county air truck which responds to incidents around the northern half of the county.

The rules for driving all of them are the same. You have to be in two years, in good standing, pass the roads test and get one-on-one driver training for each apparatus before you are cleared to drive it. Training includes using all the apparatus features, pump ops, ladder ops, cascade system, tanker ops, whatever though you don't have to be an EMT to drive the rescue.

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