This week we will discuss some of the issues that relate to driving fire apparatus. I will give some bullet points for discussion or for you to create your own driving awareness training in your own department.
* Do driver receive an initial training and a “road test” that is documented in their training file?
* Do you use and are you familiar with NFPA 1002 Apparatus Operator?
* Are drivers required to re-certify at any point or regular intervals?
* Practical evolution’s should include but not be limited to, braking exercises, serpentine forward and reverse, alley dock, offset alley, diminishing clearance, and a turn around. These are all explained in detail in the NFPA standard.
Some attitudes to foster in driver training might include the following:
* Drivers should remain calm and drive cautiously, do not drive over aggressively.
* Drivers should have most turnout gear on prior to getting in apparatus.
* Drivers should ensure that all members are seated and belted prior to moving vehicle.
* Drivers should always have spotters when backing up.
* Come to a complete stop at intersections. Maintain absolute control of your vehicle.
* Realize that everyone will not see or hear you.
* Speed is less important than arriving safely.
* Multiple emergency vehicles traveling together should be separated by a minimum of 300 feet.
** Reference for this week’s training bulletin is primarily from the Sourcebook for Fire Company Training Evolution’s by Michael Wieder.