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Rotate or not?

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  • Rotate or not?

    How do you feel about a mandantory driver rotation between units at multi- company stations? ie Truck/Engine/Rescue all at the same station. Should a driver be allowed to stay with only one piece of equipment and specialize or forced to know all units as well as he can?

  • #2
    It would beneficial to the department that the drivers rotate. The reasoning, is that if the drivers are crosstrained on different types of apparatus, the drivers can operate everything. If you are short of drivers (sick, vacation, gone for training, etc.), a crosstrained driver can act as a relief driver.

    If a driver, such as a pumper driver, had a medical problem at an incident and had to leave, a driver of another appratus (rescue, etc.) could take over for operating the pump and driving the pumper back to the station.


    • #3
      We don't rotate drivers (FAE's - Fire Apparatus Engineers).

      In order to be an FAE, you have to be able to operate all apparatuses. This makes it so there is never a driver with a handicap.

      Depending on your department, it can be advantageous to make it mandatory for the drivers. But don't make it to where they can "just get by". You need to make sure they can do everything that the rig can do. Blind folded.

      Last edited by FIREMECH1; 01-22-2011, 05:33 AM.
      I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

      Originally posted by EastKyFF
      "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."


      • #4
        While my FD is too small to allow a non-rotation system I'd certainly see the benefit of having assigned drivers for one rig. This allows much greater familiarity, which can really pay off in the street. A rotation system would seem to involve so many personnel that rarely would you have the same driver for a long period. Another one of the "jack of all trades, master of none." Sure we'd all love it if everyone was 100% on every task, tool and apparatus, but the truth is that is very rare or impossible. Mostly you just have people who say they're great at everything, but an objective view rarely sees the same.


        • #5
          I work for a combo department we rotate. Spend a month in each spot then move. Three engineers on duty and a captain.

          Month 1 - Medical truck driver, 1st out brush truck driver, firefighter.

          Month 2 - Engine driver.

          Month 3 - Rescue driver, 2nd out engine or tanker driver, 2nd out brush truck.


          We have to be able to operate everything for our department so this is the only way to keep proficient on all trucks.


          • #6
            In our two company houses (engine/truck or engine/heavy rescue), the personnel are assigned to a particular rig, and it's where they spend 75% of their time (generally). They'll sometimes fill-in on the other rig in the station, and that includes driving as needed.

            We don't have dedicated engine drivers, all personnel have to be a released as a driver as a condition of employment.

            All FF's and LT's will spend 1/3 or 1/4 of their time on the ambulance if they have one in their station.
            Career Fire Captain
            Volunteer Chief Officer

            Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!


            • #7
              We are all trained to operate whichever rig we are needed on. We have one driver who stays with the ladder most all the time since he has taken it on himself to become the most expert one at the station. 4 other persons at the station are "truck certified" aerial operators and spend an average of 1-2 shifts a month on it as well. The truck guy is also VERY proficient at engine ops so that is no issue. I have just heard many pros and cons and was wondering which outweighed the other. There are no issues ever with having qualified people to put driving each of the rigs. Just an issue of 1 guy with one special rig the majority of the time he works. The station officer set it up this way and I tend to agree with his reasoning, just wondering if everyone else does.


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