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  • Ambulance with air brakes?

    Our fire dept is getting a new ambulance and it has air brakes and we are trying to figure out if you need a class 2 with the Q endorsment or do you need your CDL. Or do you not need anything but your regular drivers lisence?

  • #2
    Is it the International Harvester 4400 model? Here in Nevada we have the Class A or B with an F endorsement so we are covered by our State. Our F endorsement covers Fire, Military and Farm. Best to check your State laws with your DMV.

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    • #3
      lvwrench's advice is well taken. After a little research in stuff I used to do before I retired, here's what I found or can reasonably conclude:

      Unless your state has taken the exception allowed at 49 CFR 383.3(d), a Class C CDL (383.91(a)(3)) with the air brake restriction (393.95) removed would be required.

      You can look these references up by going to www.dot.gov > Agencies > FMCSA. In the search box (All regulations) put 383. You can scroll down to anything in 49 CFR, Part 383. Also look at the regulatory guidances that accompany them

      Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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      • #4
        It may depend on your state, too. Here you don't even have to have a chaffeurs license to drive an ambulance, just a normal driver's license. That is unless you're working for a private agency, in which case you must have the appropriate license.

        Same actually goes with fire trucks. I think to be technical it's only to and from the scene of an emergency. However, no one's ever been hassled about it from my understanding.

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        • #5
          Assuming it's under 26,000 pounds, you shouldn't need a special license. Is my info outdated?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mongobob
            Assuming it's under 26,000 pounds, you shouldn't need a special license. Is my info outdated?
            Don't know abut Wisconsin, but here if you're driving for pay (unless it's for a fire or EMS district/municipality emergency response agency), you're required to have a Chaffeur's license for under 26,000. If it has air brakes or is above that weight, you have to have a CDL.

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            • #7
              Assuming that you don't need anything special, would it hurt to have your crews go through classes for a CDL anyways?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mongobob
                Assuming it's under 26,000 pounds, you shouldn't need a special license. Is my info outdated?
                A Class C is for those cases where a vehicle is under 26, 000 lbs. but for some other reason a CDL is needed. All regular auto licenses are restricted against driving vehicles with air brakes. So a Class C with the air brake restriction removed is needed. See the cites that I gave in my earlier post.

                Another use for a CDL is HazMat needing placards. If you were driving a pickup carrying HazMat that needed to be placarded, you would need a CDL with a HazMat endorsement.

                Many, but not all states have taken advantage of the exception that the federal law allows, where firefighters may be exempted from CDL requirements under certain conditions. As so many others have stated here, you need to know and understand your state's laws.

                Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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                • #9
                  Down here in the "Backwards State" I mean "Sunshine State", FLorida all you have to have is a regular Class D license. Last year they removed the "E" endorsement. The "E" was for emergency vehicles, farm equipment, and chauffer I think. So I guess anyone with a regular license is allowed to drive emergency equipment. I don't agree with it, I just follow the rules.

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