Earlier hours of the morning and a firefighters depot alarm goes off, within minutes they have to be in the cab of the fire truck on route to the emergency destination. It’s a very common event that not a lot of us think about.
The reason I’m going to be writing about this in the blog this week, is firefighters driving the fire trucks have to be fully trained and qualified on their HGV licence which is stating the obvious. There isn’t any difference in driving a fire truck than a C+E HGV lorry or an ambulance. The difference is the pressure of driving at high speeds and the matter of the situation being an emergency.
HGV Training is just a little part of it
A fireman driver, HGV training is a very small part of a particular process/program that needs to be under gone by the fire serviceman, it is probably the easiest part of the training program. Above just driving the HGV itself, the reason being is the fire serviceman having a lot more on his plate with knowing how to safely enter burning buildings and be able to tackle all different types of fires and save lives. Being a fire fighter is certainly not an easy career with the things that need to be encountered of a daily basis by any stretch.
Fire fighters driving the fire engine and holding the HGV licence also have to deal with the massive adrenaline rush by responding to call outs. This does require extra skills while being behind the wheel. Normal HGV drivers do deal with the general problems they encounter most of their working days like heavy traffic – cyclists – Bad weather – now multiple this by 10 having to respond to emergency call outs and driving a fire engine safely and under pressure takes and requires a lot of skill, not to mention if being in cities like London or Manchester the added pressure and difficulties are even more so.
HGV Training the requirements entailed
If an individual is looking to drive a lorry commercially or a fire engine, the HGV licence and training to obtain this is the same. It will still require time and preparation to take the theory test to then move on to the next stage being the practical HGV training. The HGV theory is made up of two parts the multiple choice questions and the hazard perception. And before even taking the HGV theory test a medical examination needs to be carried out to check eye sight and blood pressure which is nice and simple.
Once the theory test is passed, the HGV practical training can begin. The practical training consist of 4/5days driver training where drivers will learn all aspects of operating the HGV. They will learn all safety inspections, also hazards to look out for. Once they have gone over all the key points outside the truck they will get behind the wheel and get hands on with the training, once the last day of training is complete the test will be taken by the candidate at the DVSA testing centre.
If you happen to have your HGV licence and would like to support your community, Why not consider applying to be a retained firefighter. There are many UK smaller towns which have opening days ready to fill the gaps where they need firefighters it’s great part-time pay as well as a great satisfaction of knowing you’re doing good by helping your community.