The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 14, 2013

Plymouth Fire Department in the midst of driver’s training

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP — If you see Plymouth Township Fire Department vehicles cruising your neighborhood, don’t be alarmed. It’s driver’s training.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) requires new members to have 40 hours of driver training. Existing members per ISO are required to have 16 hours of driver training annually.

Training familiarizes members with road names, roadway hazards, address ranges and new homes and buildings.

State law also exempts firefighters from being required to have a commercial drivers license. A commercial license is required to drive trucks over 26,000 Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).

Currently, the fire department only has three members who maintain a commercial drivers license, said Bill Strubbe, fire prevention officer.

“Since this means the majority of our members are not truck drivers, driver training is mandatory.

The fire department also purchased a 2013 Chevrolet pickup truck to replace an aging 1978 mini-pumper, which was in poor condition.

“We decided a pickup would best serve the department’s needs,” Strubbe said. “The township has saved enough money over recent years to be able to pay for this truck without the need for a loan.”

In February, the fire department received a $158,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to replace all of its self-contained breathing apparatus and two obsolete cardiac monitors with two new cardiac monitors. The township’s contribution was $8,000.

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