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  • Paid Drivers

    My volunteer department is one of a few to have paid drivers 24/7 in upstate NY. The village is looking at removing the drivers and having the volunteers operate the apparatus. My question is what do your departments require before a volunteer drives and operates apparatus? Are there any NFPA or OSHA requirements that must be met? Any info would greatly appreciated. Also, did anybody face a similar situation and can tell me the outcome, good or bad? They (Village) thinks they are going to save lots of cash doing this, but they have no idea how much these paid drivers do, ie: fix the equipment when there's a problem (now they will have to go to a outside source for this)
    Save $$$$$$!!! I think not!Stay Safe.
    BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
    Fire Fighter/Driver
    TLVFD, NY

  • #2
    So no one in your department other than those paid guys is able to drive? Officers even?
    Fir Na Tine
    Fir Na Au Saol

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    • #3
      NFPA 1002 details qualifications for apparatus drivers. It does not matter if the driver is paid, volunteer, or somewhere in-between. Look at the bottom of the NFPA link to preview the document online.

      OSHA does not have any specific regulations on driving, except the general duty clause. This states that an employee (in many states this includes volunteers) must receive training for the job they are performing.

      Check with your state motor vehicle department for licensing requirements.

      Do you have enough volunteers commited to being drivers? Figure on needing one additional volunteer per apparatus to make up for the driver. Do you have enough active membership? Have you listed all the duties and related cost savings by a driver(s) on duty?

      Good luck.
      -------------------
      "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
      -----------------------------------------------
      Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes

        Originally posted by needlejockey
        So no one in your department other than those paid guys is able to drive? Officers even?

        Yes we have about 5 others that can operate the apparatus. Not one officer is qualified to operate a class-a pumper. We have about 15 qualified on the mini-pumper, but you can't fight a structure fire with 400 gallons of water, no ladders or SCBA.
        BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
        Fire Fighter/Driver
        TLVFD, NY

        Comment


        • #5
          Our driver/operator SOG

          Driver/Operator Training Requirements:

          To be considered a certified Driver/Operator, a member must successfully meet the following requirements:

          General Requirements:
          1. Possesses a New Jersey Firefighter Level 1 Certificate.
          2. Serve at least six (6) months as a Senior Member.
          3. Attend and successfully complete the Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO) – Fire class. Proof of a passing test grade is required.
          4. Must have a valid New Jersey Driver’s License, with three years of driving experience.
          •Any member that has more than six (6) driving points or two (2) DWI violations must be approved by the Board of Fire Officers to perform as a Driver/Operator.
          5. Must satisfy all requirements imposed under New Jersey State law and the municipal insurance provider.

          Note: This section refers to emergency responses only. No part of this section is intended to preclude a member from operating a Department support vehicle in a non-emergency mode.

          New Driver Operators:

          • Engines/Pumpers:
          1. Must satisfy all requirements of the General Section.
          2. Attend and pass an approved Pump Operations Class.
          3. Complete ten (10) hours behind the wheel training, with an approved operator for the apparatus.
          4. Successfully complete an Operator skill test.
          • Must be approved by any two qualified operators, who must be either a Line Officer, an Engineer or certified Firefighter Instructor, with final approval, by the Company Captain.

          • Aerials/Ladders:
          1. Must satisfy the above criteria for General Operator and Engine Operator.
          2. Successfully complete an Operator skill test.
          • Must be approved by any two qualified operators, who must be either a Line Officer, an Engineer or Certified Firefighter Instructor, with final approval by the Company Captain.
          3. Complete ten (10) hours behind the wheel training, with an approved operator for the apparatus.


          Annual re-certification:

          All driver/operators for Engines and Ladders must annually re-certify on each apparatus that they are approved as a driver/operator for. Re-certifications to be approved by the Captain or his designee.
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

          Comment


          • #6
            That's "brotherhood" isn't it?

            The village wants to take someones job away and you a**holes are stepping right up to the plate and making it easier for the town to do so.

            Nice.

            Why don't you all refuse to drive, save someones job, and help keep the place running smoothly. Something tells me that having those paid drivers to check off and maintain the rigs helps out your dept. as a whole.


            I've heard of a similar situation. Back in the 80's the department I used to work for wanted to supplement with volunteers instead of hiring more men.

            They did it, and somehow at every fire a 2 1/2" hoseline was directed straight at the vollies heads! They didn't last too long.

            Shortly thereafter, mutual aid pacts were established between the local paid departments and the problem hasn't been heard of since.
            Last edited by tfd181; 08-29-2006, 11:11 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=tfd181]That's "brotherhood" isn't it?

              The village wants to take someones job away and you a**holes are stepping right up to the plate and making it easier for the town to do so.

              Nice.

              I think you are mistaken. We are totally against removing the paid drivers. The point i am trying to make to the village board is that you just don't pick somebody, give them a few hours of supposed training and let them loose at a scene and that they are not a luxury. It takes hours and hours of training to operate the apparatus and the consequences if the training is substandard. So,,,,,,, am i still an a**hole?????????????
              BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
              Fire Fighter/Driver
              TLVFD, NY

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tfd181
                That's "brotherhood" isn't it?

                The village wants to take someones job away and you a**holes are stepping right up to the plate and making it easier for the town to do so.

                Nice.

                Why don't you all refuse to drive, save someones job, and help keep the place running smoothly. Something tells me that having those paid drivers to check off and maintain the rigs helps out your dept. as a whole.


                I've heard of a similar situation. Back in the 80's the department I used to work for wanted to supplement with volunteers instead of hiring more men.

                They did it, and somehow at every fire a 2 1/2" hoseline was directed straight at the vollies heads! They didn't last too long.

                Shortly thereafter, mutual aid pacts were established between the local paid departments and the problem hasn't been heard of since.
                It's always nice to see how people bring in the "vollies are getting rid of paid jobs" argument, even in places where it doesn't belong. Jack***.
                Fir Na Tine
                Fir Na Au Saol

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not Again, not about Paid vs Vollie

                  Just to be nosey, i checked his other posts, because i like to see who's calling me something i already know that i am. He was a vollie at one time and i think he was actually misunderstood in his post. It's not about paid vs volunteer, it's about saving a job, because the village wants to put new sidewalks in or buy a new snowplow, they want to cut the drivers.But what do i know, i'm just a A**HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *LOL*
                  BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
                  Fire Fighter/Driver
                  TLVFD, NY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tfd181
                    That's "brotherhood" isn't it?
                    I've heard of a similar situation. Back in the 80's the department I used to work for wanted to supplement with volunteers instead of hiring more men.

                    They did it, and somehow at every fire a 2 1/2" hoseline was directed straight at the vollies heads! They didn't last too long.

                    Forget what I said about you being a Jack***. Doing stuff like this is absurd. You're the one who's apparantly bitching about this guy's department not having any "brotherhood", yet you're the one who's department was so scared of loosing their jobs they had to resort to assault. Disgraceful. Arrogant. Juvenile. Pathetic.

                    Why don't you grow up and decide that sometimes things work out between paid and volunteer. Heck almost all the time it's a nice symbiotic relationship.

                    Glad you and your kind aren't with my department. I'm not prone to violence, but maybe I'd be tempted to take a 2 1/2" to you.
                    Fir Na Tine
                    Fir Na Au Saol

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's going to be a troublesome fight trying to convince the village that their idea of removing the paid drivers is a bad one. I would recommend trying to gather up as much data as you can on how much those guys help out the department. I would look at not only how many runs they do, but also how many other people are on the piece with them. One thing to think about that is a little odd is that with the removal of a dedicated driver you are now one firefighter short.

                      Lets say 3 guys show up to the station for a call. Before with the dedicated driver you had 3 firefighters and you don't have to worry about the engineer. But if they go through with the removal you now only have 2 firefighters on that scene. The third one is dedicated to running the pumps.

                      Also another benefit of having the paid drivers that the village might not be thining about is how much extra they allow the volunteers to get done at the station. With the dedicated drivers taking care of the daily check offs (I'm assuming they are responsible for that right?) and most likely minor maintaince it not only saves time but can be a safety issue. With the drivers there you know that the piece's are checked off each day right? Well if you don't have them, unless you set up a dedicated check-off system with the regular members then you won't know for sure if the truck you're riding on is got everything on it that it should, that it doesn't have some issue that isn't inherently obvious.

                      So overall, good luck trying to talk the politicians out of this. Money seems to be the only language they speak, and unfortently they are right in that it will save them money. The payoffs though of keeping the guys though are probably far more than the money they would save.
                      Fir Na Tine
                      Fir Na Au Saol

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TLFD40
                        But what do i know, i'm just a A**HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *LOL*
                        I suddenly hear a certain Dennis Leary song in my head...

                        [/hijack]
                        Tom Warshaw
                        Station 13 (Bethel)
                        Sumter Fire Department

                        "Scientists believe that the world is composed mainly of hydrogen because in their opinion, it is the most abundant element. I however, feel the earth is composed mainly of stupidity, because it is more abundant than hydrogen." - Frank Zappa

                        September 11, 2001. We Must Never Forget.

                        In memory of Thomas Sabella, L-13, FDNY


                        All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          TLVD40, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt on my rude and angry response. I didn't realize that you were looking to support your paid drivers.

                          I am assuming you are from Tupper Lake. I was up there two weeks ago and was going to stop by your firehouse, I saw some of your guys outside with the rigs.

                          I just get real angry when I hear about municipalities trying to always cut the FD to save money, and I get really mad if I think that there are others trying to help them.

                          I apoligize for the misunderstanding and name calling on my part. Good luck with the fight.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Anytime

                            No problem. You stop by anytime you get up here again.
                            BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
                            Fire Fighter/Driver
                            TLVFD, NY

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Was through your fine village a couple months back. I've some very fond (though fuzzy ) memories of firematic tournaments there . You might try to get in touch with somebody from Carthage FD. They went through a similar situation a few years back. They kept their paid drivers, but as I recall it took a huge public show of support to get the village to change their mind. Subsequently the FD formed a separate district, but that was another whole can of worms.

                              I was suprised to learn that you have paid drivers. I'm not sure what your call volume is, but I would think it would have to be fairly substantial to justify the expense.

                              We run about 550 calls/yr.....150 or so fire related,the rest EMS. We train all our apparatus operators in-house. Our driver/trainers are all CDL licensed.
                              1. NYS license with two years driving experience
                              2. OFPC EVOC
                              3. Twenty hours with a dept driver/trainer.
                              4. Be able to operate all aspects of the vehicle and identify the location of all equipment on the vehicle.
                              5. Annual operator skill testing.

                              This seems to work fine for us and we have an excellent safety record on the road. Good luck, whichever way the ball swings.

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