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Selection and Training
Establish and implement a selection process that will determine the most
qualified personnel to drive emergency vehicles, as well as those who are allowed
to respond in their own vehicles.
Ensure that adequate training is provided to all personnel who drive emergency
vehicles. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1002, Standard for
Driver/Operator Professional Qualifications specifies the job performance requirements for
firefighters who drive and operate fire apparatus. In addition, NFPA 1451, Standard
for a Fire and Emergency Services Vehicle Operations Training Program establishes minimum
requirements in this area.
For personal vehicles, an emergency vehicle operators course detailing relevant
safety procedures and your state law/motor vehicle code related to personal
vehicle response should be provided.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone driving or riding as a passenger in any fire department vehicle or
responding in a personal vehicle should not be wearing a seat belt.
Slower means safer in any fire department vehicle or while responding in a personal vehicle. A good safety
guideline is to not exceed the posted speed limit. Drive even slower when road conditions or visibility is poor,
such as in the snow and other hazardous weather.
Always stop at intersections with a negative right of way. Proceed through these intersections and railroad
crossings only after coming to a complete stop and when you are sure that other vehicles have stopped and given
you the right of way.
Never assume that another vehicle is aware of your presence. Vehicles have noise insulation, powerful radios and
air conditioning, which lessen the effectiveness of horns and sirens. Dark, tinted windows may also impact the
ability of drivers to see emergency lights.
For more information on best practices and recommendations to prevent vehicle crashes, visit the U.S. Fire
Administration’s website at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/operations/ops_vehicle.html.