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Looking for information on the pro's and con's of having permanent drivers, etc. Our dept is a 400+ metro dept, but we do not have permanent drivers. Once you have appx 1 year on the job, you start studying for pump school. From then everyone goes thru pump school, with the goal to be a pump operator. Once you pass, then you are now in the rotation driving the engine, being on the back end, etc.

I am looking for info on what other depts do in regards to this. I am wanting to post an article for our fire dept newsletter and training division with examples of what other depts do, what works, doesn't work for them. Any info and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please email me at chadsworthks@yahoo.com

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Chad,

In our rank structure, the Lt. is the permanent driver's position and they bump up/move over when the Capt. is off. I love having a permanent driver assigned to my rig for a variety of reasons.
Advantages:
-"Pride" It's their rig and they talk with the other shifts about maintenance issues, upgrades and the day to day operations of the apparatus.
-The permanent drivers now the mentor the younger relief driver's that have completed their two week driving academy.
-The permanent driver position is a testable position for our department, so the people that are in the driver's seat have put some time and committment into studying for the position along with demostrating they can operate our apparatus.
-Someone permanently assisgned to a particular apparatus knows everything about that rig since they operate it every shift. Of course this is up to the operator and goes back to #1 Pride.
-Driver's permanently assigned now have to become very familiar with their first in district and put more time into map study and hydrant locations.

Disadvantages- As an officer, if you get a Mutt assigned to you as your driver it can create problems opposite of everything I just listed. My solution; train, train, train....til we get it right.

I could go on and on, but the great majority of the advantages come back to "Pride" in the position and accepting the responsibilities that go with it. It's not just about being the driver, it's about knowing your job and passing along the knowledge of your position to help others attain it someday. I'll let some others add to their advantages and disadvantages.

Stay safe,
Brian

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