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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
April 4, 2012     Indian Valley Record
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April 4, 2012

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6B Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Departments meet n driving'requirements Quincy firefighters practice saf e driving with a large water tender during a driving and pumping drill. Fire Capt. Chad Castagnetti, of Plumas Eureka fire, maneuvers through part of the safe driving course in State Fire Training Driver Operator 1A. INSIDE THE FIKEHOUSE TOM FORSTER Assistant Fire Chief Plumas Eureka Fire Department Have you ever wondered what it takes to drive a big fire engine? What the train- ing and licensing would be like? Fire engines are very heavy, and driving to emer- gencies with red lights and sirens requires special skills. The state has recently changed the firefighter licensing requirements through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Firefighters wer pre- : viously required to meet commercial truck driver licensing requirements. A Class C license is what most people have for cars and pickups, and is the most basic motor vehicle'license. A Class B license generally covers two-axle trucks weigh- ing over 26,000 pounds, and three-axle trucks The Class A license generally covers almost everything bigger, in- cluding large tractor-trailers. Additional testing is required for Class A and B licenses in the form of written exams, medical exams and driving tests. In the recent past fire engine drivers, often called firefighter engineers, were required to have at least a Class B "fire fighter restricted" license endorsement Unfortu- nately the commercial dri- ving course testing for this winot offered at the Quincy DMV offic6:'6r'ifi most rural counties. This meant that Plumas County fire depart- ments were required to work through the Quincy Fire Protection District (QFPD) commercial testing program, or complete driving testing in Redding or Sacramento. QFPD ran what was the only fire department "employer" commercial testing program around for many years, in part becausof the complex program requirements. They had generously offered help to the other departments in the county with the licensing process. "Without Quincy's pro- gram we would have really been hurting, since taking a fire engine to Redding or Sacramento is a long haul and very expensive in terms of time and fuel," said Plumas Eureka Chief Gary Castagnetti, vice president of the Plumas County Fire Looking for a fulfilling career as a Vocational Nurse? Feather River College, Quincy, CA and Mayers Memorial Hospital, Fall River Mills, CA are continuing to provide educational opportunities close to home. LVN Courses Start August 2012 Applications are now being accepted for the 2012- 2014 LVN Program Program prerequisites: Be a Certified Nursing Assistant Compietion of courses: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Nutrition, Medical Terminology, Medical Dosage Calculations (which may taken with the first semester of the program) Certified Nursing Assistant classes will be offered this summer at both campuses. Class site is limited to 20 students For an LVN program application or questions regarding either program, contact: Judy Mahan at jmahan@frc.edu; ('530) 283-0202, ext. 235, or Luann Wellemeyer, RN, at Iwellemeyer@mayersmemorial.com; (530) 336-551 I, ext. 1242 For questions related to the CNA class at Mayers, contact: Terry King, RN, at tking@mayersmemorial.com; (530) 336-551 I, ext. 1230 570 Golden Eagle Drive Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-0202 vvww.frc.edu   FEATHER RIVER  COLLEGE small school ... BIG Education/ Chiefs Association (PCFCA). "While some of us have the Class A or B.because of our jobs, most volunteer fire- fighters do not." PCFCA president and Graeagle chief Ed Ward recently attended a one-day seminar held in Los Bands on the DMV changes for fire de- partments. The seminar was sponsored by the California State Firefighters Associa- tion, and included represen- tatives from the DMV and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). "The biggest surprise for me was learning that there was no exemption for fire- fighters to drive an engine to an emergency, as we had all been told through word-of- mouth for many years," said Ward. "We believed that it was OK to drive to a fire, but not back to the station after the emergency was over. We'd Photos by Maureen Forster have to find a licensed driver to do that. CHP and DMV explained this supposed exemption was a myth, especially since emergency driving is even more dangerous than regular driving." The new requirements allow firefighters to drive all fire engines with a Class C license, but only after com- pleting a 40-hpur course, passing specihl firefighter written tests and having a DMV-approved medical exam regularly. Fire departments have a choice of using the 40-hour State Fire Training Driver Operator 1A course, or developingequivalent training in-h0useEach stu- dent driver must also log 14 hours of driving practice with an instrUctor. Fire departnent instruc- tors must hae at least a commercial Glass B license, "I and additional requirements will be established through the PCFCA as has been done in other counties. "In some ways the new program makes it easier, and in some ways it is harder/' said Castagnetti. "For.example, we need to make sure we have enough firefighters who will main- tain Class B (or A) licenses to serve as instructors. We also need to host the State Driver Operator 1A course at least annually." Ward led a training class March 19 in Quincy for other Plumas County fire depart- ments. "We are confident we will be able to meet these new challenges by working to- gether," said Ward. "Our goal is to assure everyone's safety including the public, and to have enough properly licensed drivers to respond to all emergenc!e in a timelY manner." - Satscan Electror PO Box 209, Quincy, CA 95971 (5,' Brings It Down To Eat ,,cs d'.00h o) 283-3800 -.. i th " &UTHORIIED RETAILER 5 rhr/s om we rgdvn..M slmi,-ab mionai eio 5:*oumet r,e MI dy.   m m  rarf zll. Offer reliable I i d  fmr c,leml d enz 52. B R EA K N G N. KVV8 N car NO HASSLES N( or lruck? ) EXTRA EXPENSE  can get you almost any .: : i;:: ne  car or truck, virtually any i  ' m tke or model, for less than .,!:{ ..,/ y u are likely to pay going :.,., :L]:::: !i :  :-% to a dealership Out of town! LET MY 40+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORK FOR YOUI Quincy Auto Co. S30'|83-CARS (2177) or S30-966-5463 1970 E. Main St., Quincy I