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    I recieved a verbal reprimand during training about not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign while responding emergency. What I did, is I slowed down when I came up to the sign and noticed all traffic both ways have stopped. I screwed up and know that I should have stopped. Never has this been an issue on our department because everyone is guilty. I took warning to heart without arguing and agreeing to it. The only way I would agree to it though, is if everyone else got a warning for it if they were caught "red-handed" and I was used as an example. Here is where I need the idea. Chances are, people aren't going to learn by a slap on the hand. I brought up the idea of driver's training, but you can't just throw a truck in a parking lot running lights and sirens and expect everyone to learn. We are also a volunteer department, so you can't take away driving priveledges. Does anyone have any ideas for some type of training to help get it through people's heads or are we just S.O.L. and might as well be ready to slap people's hands?

  • #2
    We have a primarily volunteer department and our Chief takes away driving privledges.

    The last all-volunteer department I was on you could lose driving privledges and face a suspenion if the driving issues were serious enough.

    Driving is one area where the rules need to be very black and white. Policy is policy and members, career and volunteer need to know there are concequences for endangering the crew and the public on the road.

    Why can't you take away drivers status in a volunteer department for driving issues?

    Training can include a program on legal and civil concequences of being at fault in an accident, stopping distances, reaction times, how fire department vehicles react in emergency driving situations and a very detailed review of your department's SOPs regarding speed and intersection management.
    Hands-on can include driving courses with lane shifts, lane width reductions, serpintines, curves and backing exercises.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-26-2007, 04:51 AM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    • #3
      We are also a volunteer department, so you can't take away driving priveledges.
      Yes you can. Volunteers volunteered to join the FD and from that point forward, they agreed to follow the rules. All the rules, not just the ones they volunteer to follow.

      IMO, get a group of your leaders together and write some standards/qualifications/etc to be an apparatus driver. Follow them. Your organization will be better for it.
      "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?

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      • #4
        Agreed with the above responses, you must be able to suspend driving privileges. You can't afford to set the precedent that no matter what someone does, they'll still be permitted to drive.

        If a member constantly was leaving you behind on the interior by either rushing ahead or backing out so you always lost contact with them, would you still use them as a partner? No, because they're putting your life in danger. So why would you let them keep putting the lives of the public (and the department's reputation and financial security) in danger?

        This is not negotiable. Driving is not a right. It is, as you said yourself, a privilege.
        You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
        IACOJ Power Company Liason
        When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
        and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

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        • #5
          Driving a POV and getting called down by the Chief is one thing.Driving a rig owned by the department and needing to be spoken to is another thing altogether.
          Watch the speedometer,use your brakes and turn signal whether driving your own car or something with lots of lights.
          People do form opinions about how the department's vehicles are operated and they DO call the boss when they have a complaint.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by doughesson View Post
            Driving a POV and getting called down by the Chief is one thing.Driving a rig owned by the department and needing to be spoken to is another thing altogether.
            Watch the speedometer,use your brakes and turn signal whether driving your own car or something with lots of lights.
            People do form opinions about how the department's vehicles are operated and they DO call the boss when they have a complaint.
            People also form opinions about POV's with FD identification plates and in some place warning lights. If our folks are driving their POVs to the station or an incident like an idiot.... they need spoken to as well.
            Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
            "Everybody Goes Home"

            IACOJ 2003

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            • #7
              Mtn .. you are very right.

              The public does watch how the POVS are driven, and do form an opinion of the department partially based on that. Here, it seems like everyone knows the Chief, and if you drive like an ***, it will get back to him very quickly. He takes POV operation very seriously, and he will suspend your light privledges, or suspend you in a heartbeat if he keeps hearing about POV issues. Right now we have 2 folks on suspension for POV issues. he makes it very clear when you get POV red light privledges that it is a reflection on the department and you will face concequences if it becomes an issue.
              Train to fight the fires you fight.

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              • #8
                You all have raised some good points about the situation. I understand I screwed up, luckily it didn't turn into a big situation. I guess I probably should have worded things better when I first wrote it. We have taken driving priveledges away, but they were under extreme circumstances. Continuious law breaking, etc. Mine was the first time....ever. I have been on for 3 years and never been in trouble before, for anything. The thing is, even though we are a volunteer department, it is still hard to take driving priveledges away. If you start doing that for every problem that arises, who will be able to pull the truck? Living in an area that attracts over 2 million people a year, that is not a good thing. If a person does multiple offenses, by all means, don't let them drive before they hurt or even kill somebody. Plus, the average career for our department is 2-3 years. Before you get someone trained to drive, you lose one. Lets take my station for example. We have 4 firefighters that can drive our truck. 10 firefighters on the station. If we get a call and only 3 people show up that can't drive the truck because either, they are not trained or their priveledges have been revoked for running a stop sign, what do you think will happen? I can only think of two, either you let that person drive (which defeats the purpose of revoking his priveledges), or no one goes. If no one goes, now you have just taken the mission statement and flushed it down the toilet. It is a lose lose situation. There needs to be some middle ground that can be used to fix an arising problem. We all know that vehicle collisions is one of the top reasons firefighters are injured or killed.

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                • #9
                  this was a problem where i live. people used to say that the only thing volunteers here were good at was running people off the road. we now have very strict rules pertaining to POV and emergency vehical driving. we must obey all traffic laws when responding in our pov's, emergency lights or not. only people who have been training in EVOC can drive our engines. the class we go through, even though we are volunteer, is directed through the state fire academy and is taught by our training officer who is an associate instructor with the academy. basically, we are taught driver/operator, but just not at the academy. we have to have so many driving hours and pass written and driving tests. also, even though we are volunteer, our driving privleges can be taken away from us.
                  sorry is there is a lot of words not spelled right. im tired and its late.
                  2009 Warren County Firefighter of the Year

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                  • #10
                    Training can include a program on legal and civil concequences of being at fault in an accident (since Engineers are always at fault), stopping distances, reaction times, how fire department vehicles react in emergency driving situations and a very detailed review of your department's SOPs regarding speed and intersection management (avoid intersections at all costs and always yield to civilian traffic!).
                    Hands-on can include driving courses with lane shifts, lane width reductions, serpintines, curves, backing, and stopping at green lights exercises.


                    Don't worry, LA, we still <3 ya.
                    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

                    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
                      this was a problem where i live. people used to say that the only thing volunteers here were good at was running people off the road.
                      Damn, you guys have that same "code-3 emergency vehicles failing to yield to civilian traffic" problem??? Hm, seems a problem endemic to the public safety service: those pesky police cars, ambulances, and fire engines running with their lights and sirens, making people pull over or yield an intersection...what an inconvenience! How dare they cost the taxpayer a moment of their precious time when that taxpayer paid not only for the street, but for the apparatus, too?!? The nerve! I'd never!

                      We really should do something about this problem. I know, let's take away the lights! After all, public safety personnel aren't better than anyone else! They can wait at a red light just like everyone else. The fire, dying person, or criminal will still be there!

                      -------

                      "The above 'thoughts' (if they can be called such) are recreated from the actions and words of ignorant civilian drivers as witnessed by police officers, firefighters, and EMTs while driving their units code-3 in response to an emergency." No animals were harmed in the making of this post.
                      My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

                      IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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