Experience?? Why do some things not count???

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Hank74, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Hank74

    Hank74 Bobtail Member

    Nov 29, 2010
    Elizabeth, IL
    It's a small volunteer department, and if you can operate that vehicle, you have a leg up on some of the guys that are already on the department. Would be nice to be able to show someone once how to operate something and actually have them retain it... LOL
    Zuma Thanks this.
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  3. Zuma

    Zuma Light Load Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    LOL, I shoulda figured.

    I actually have a soft spot for volunteers. I'm smack in the middle of a tinderbox, so they're out here a few times every summer knocking down flare ups at my place or on the surrounding BLM land. Good on ya for doing it! :biggrin_25514: I did some wildland firefighting once upon a time, but I actually got paid for it! Just about enough to keep me in beer!

    Good luck with the driving; something tells me you'll sort it out.
    Hank74 and I am medicineman Thank this.
  4. GoneButNotForgotten

    GoneButNotForgotten Heavy Load Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Roxboro, N.C.
    As in most things, it all depends on where you are standing and where you want to go. The opposite is probably true Hank in that a guy that drives a big truck for 20 years would not be given that credit toward being a fire truck driver because you know that driving the fire truck is the easy part. Knowing your pump-hydraulics, how to use all the various pieces of equipment, dealing with the on-scene personnel, etc. is the harder part (in my opinion). In the big truck world, I also think that driving the truck down the road was the easy part. All that other stuff was the pain in the rear, and sometimes very unpredictable....thus experience counts.
    Industry to industry overall does not transfer credit very well. Become a security guard and see how much "time served" law enforcement will credit you (hint: 0).
    And yes, as stated, the insurance companies.
    I am medicineman Thanks this.
  5. Hank74

    Hank74 Bobtail Member

    Nov 29, 2010
    Elizabeth, IL
    You may think of it as a gravy job, but I would invite you to join us on any given call. Say that 2am call where you are sound asleep, the pager goes off for a 65 year old male, complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath and already has a cardiac history, you pick him up and he wants to go to the hospital that is 35 miles away, 5 minutes into the trip, he goes into full cardiac arrest and you have to get him to a doctor as fast as you can, will all the love and diesel fuel that you can give, and to think that 25 minutes earlier you were sound asleep. Then once you get there, you have the reports to fill out, make sure that the ambulance is put back together for the next call, which includes fueling, keeping track of your milage and such. Then when you get home at 5 or 6 am, you change your clothes and go to your regular job for 8 to 10 hours. Please don't take this personally, but you kind of hit a nerve with this one.
  6. rigwelderstaco

    rigwelderstaco Bobtail Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Lancaster, Ca
    Sounds like Im in the same boat as you. Ive got about a year and a half of tractor/trailer experience but none of the big carriers seem to want me. Clean record, experience with flats, lowbeds, end-dumps, tankers, heavy haul, oversize loads.....but all Ive heard so far is that I dont have any experience, because I havent driven OTR.

    Gettin a little irritating. Only thing you can do is the same as me...just keep on trying. The job Im on right now is coming to an end, another month at most. Hopefully Ill find somethng soon so I can get the OTR experience I need to open up a few doors.
  7. I am medicineman

    I am medicineman Medium Load Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    Kemper County, Mississippi

    You have no idea how far off your evaluation really is.
    I can tell you that the paperwork alone will make you BEG for a logbook, and the QC department makes a Kalifornia DOT check look like a trip to the ice cream shop.

    I can only hope that maybe some day you will get a chance to see what we really do.

    I know I sure miss the miniscule amount of paperwork I did in my many years of driving a truck OTR after every run we do.
    Hank74 Thanks this.
  8. oo7driver

    oo7driver Light Load Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Lansing Mich
    I have been n the same situation with beng a vol for 14 years. Did it all operate, fight fire, med runs, up all night and retired as a lieutenant. But I have to agree that anyone can drive a fire truck. I have been through the tests that you take and you can take a wet behind the ears kid and give him an afternoon of training and presto! You can drive a $300,000 rig around town. This does NOT give you a 1/3 of the knowledge you need to drive OTR. Just because you drive with lights and sirens for no more than 15 mins at a time, it doesn't compair to driving 10 hours straight with all the different traffic conditions, weather and not to mention the paper work and the day in and day out stresses that come with it.

    Sorry but this is just the reality of it! Love ya like a brother for being there for this country and your community, but you just have to realize it is not the same thing as OTR trucking.
  9. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Hank 74 and I am medicine man...... Don't mis-understand me, you guys do a great service, BUT, your jobs don't come close to OTR trucking. I'll concede, you do have paperwork, but firemen are famous for hanging around the firehouse and cooking dinner while waiting for the next call. Ambulance guys the same. Fighting a fire or transporting a sick person is your first priority, not maintaining a vehicle or trip planning or customer service, or traffic nightmares or anything else that goes with trucking.
  10. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Levittown, PA
    With ten years of hiring drivers, I always had to follow the rules set by the insurance carrier.

    In addition to 23yrs old w/ 2 years verifiable experience in similar equipment* while having nor more than X number of minor violations, and X number of non chargeable accidents and zero major violations and no DWI within the past X number of years.

    Usually Major violations were reckless, speeding 15 over, leaving the scene, etc.

    Most companies defined like equipment as being the same as your company operated and one went so far to give an example for pier drivers that 5 years flatbed experience wouldn't count!

    I usually ignored the stupid part as long as the number of violations/accidents fell in the numbers...

    The insurance company can deny a claim if you use a driver they don't approve of...During 6 years w/ that carrier I saw two accidents, one fatal and one w/ just alot of 4 wheelers, that cost the insurance over $400K...no carrier wants to pay that out of pocket so the driver has to meet the numbers!
  11. Hank74

    Hank74 Bobtail Member

    Nov 29, 2010
    Elizabeth, IL
    I think you missed it in my original post, I am on a Volunteer department, for both the fire and EMS. This means that I maintain a regular 40 hour a week job, as does everyone else on the department, we have car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, me I'm a railcar mechanic. What you're describing would be a full time department, and trust me, not much of that goes on either. As with any profession that the entertainment industry has gotten a hold of, they glamorize it. I'm sure the training aspect of it would make you think they were training for a marathon. But then again, I digress off the topic of this post.
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