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Albany, NY - Assembly Passes Firefighter CDL Bill

Published on: May 20, 2009 09:44 AM
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File photo of Kiryas Joel firefightersAlbany, NY - Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced Assembly passage of a bill she sponsored that will allow firefighters without commercial driver licenses to carry out non-emergency official duties involving department vehicles, including parades, training exercises and refueling (A.6051-A). The legislation is designed to further rectify a controversial law that forbade trained firefighters without CDLs from driving trucks in any capacity apart from answering an emergency (Ch. 59 of 2009).

“Once the governor signs this bill into law, we will have won a major victory for New York’s first responders and the people who depend on them,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “This bill eliminates the loopholes, freeing our first responders from liability without jeopardizing needed federal funding.”
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Under current law, firefighters are allowed to drive a fire truck to the scene of an emergency but cannot drive the apparatus in parades, training exercises or non-emergency situations unless they hold a commercial driver license. Assemblywoman Russell said the new legislation will allow emergency workers to carry out all aspects of their jobs without incurring the expense or inconvenience of securing a commercial license

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The legislation would also bring New York in line with federal regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which grants states discretion in exempting CDL requirements of firefighters and other operators of commercial motor vehicles. By conforming to federal regulations the state would preserve approximately $31 million in federal highway ai



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 20, 2009 at 10:32 AM dr Says:

Is it so difficult to obtain a commercial driver's license? Wouldn't that be the safer route?

2

 May 20, 2009 at 04:41 PM Working Stiff Says:

Reply to #1  
dr Says:

Is it so difficult to obtain a commercial driver's license? Wouldn't that be the safer route?

Look into it or better yet try it yourself. A CDL test is not your typical ride around the block and the written exam is not 20 questions. The typical written test is at least 1 hour and endorsements add time to that..

3

 May 20, 2009 at 06:07 PM Anonymous Says:

This have nothing to do for KIRYAS JOEL fire department because they have over 15 CDL drivers

4

 May 20, 2009 at 05:18 PM FyreMan Says:

Not a good idea! When I'm in one of those very large, heavy and dangerous trucks, I want the most qualified person behind the wheel. And if I'm in the street or in another car - same thing. These trucks are dangerous! They need to be driven by highly skilled, properly LICENSED individuals. Although the test is, in fact, very hard, it is worth it. After someone gets a CDL, they are held to a higher standard when driving anything, including their personal car. They can lose their license for much less than it takes to lose a regular drivers' license. So they need to be careful all of the time. We could all use more CDL's on the road all over.

5

 May 20, 2009 at 07:06 PM Anonymous Says:

They are using firetrucks as an example of heavy vehicles, but it all refers to vehicles such as extra large ambulances such as you see upstate and possibly even in queens. Just image all the voli's that would not be allowed to drive those and therefore not volanteer anymore

6

 May 20, 2009 at 07:46 PM Oy Gevald Says:

Why do we have to see their yellow Rabbeinu Tam Gotches????
Couldn't they put on clean ones for the photo shoot?

7

 May 21, 2009 at 09:33 AM Allan Says:

Reply to #6  
Oy Gevald Says:

Why do we have to see their yellow Rabbeinu Tam Gotches????
Couldn't they put on clean ones for the photo shoot?

That my friend is called BUNKER GEAR ...worn by firemen everywhere....the color can be different depending on the department.

8

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