The fire apparatus driver position on a fire truck or ladder truck is a very important job and to be a fire apparatus driver you need to be a responsible safe driver with certain mental and physical skills.
I have been a firefighter for 28 years and for the last 14 years I have been qualified to be a fire department pumper apparatus swing driver and drive the fire truck to and from emergency calls while on duty during my 24 hour shift.
Now the only difference between a fire department pumper fire apparatus swing driver and a fire department fire department pumper apparatus driver is that a fire apparatus swing driver is a volunteered position and you don’t get paid to drive the fire truck and the apparatus driver does get paid to drive the fire truck.
The duties of a fire apparatus driver are, he or she must be able to read, write, comprehend how to operate and drive a fire department pumper apparatus in a safe and efficient manner and is responsible for the safety of his crew and other drivers on the road while responding to emergency calls.
A few of the reading and writing skills are, the fire apparatus driver has to complete maintenance reports, equipment repair requests, fire reports,fill out and complete medical forms, and be able to read and interpret map instructions.
A fire department fire apparatus driver must also have some mathematical skills to be able to figure out hydraulic calculations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, divide fractions, whole numbers, and determine square roots.
A fire department fire apparatus driver must also have good eye and motor sensory skills, the ability to identify the colors red, green, and yellow, good depth perception, good peripheral vision, the able to identify traffic signs and signals, and be able to handle glare vision with a good glare recovery time, good night vision, good reaction time, and good hand-eye coordination.
Being a fire department fire apparatus driver also requires good hearing requirements and a fire apparatus driver must be able to recognize different types of noises and focus on particular sounds such as important radio instructions for placing the apparatus at a fire scene or a emergency medical scene.
The fire department fire apparatus driver sometimes has to take on the responsibility of being the fire apparatus captain in circumstances such as the captain has the day off, on vacation, off sick, or detailed to act as a district fire chief.
The fire department fire apparatus driver that takes on the responsibility of being the fire apparatus captain, takes on the responsibility and safety of all crew members and the safety of the apparatus while on duty at the fire station and while out saving lives and property during their 24 hour shift.
Now you know how hectic and stressful it can be to drive your automobile down a congested highway, now imagine yourself as a fire department fire apparatus driver having to be able to perform two different jobs when needed and be able to perform both jobs in a very stressful work environment.