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Driver’s License? We Don’t Need No Driver’s License

Don't Need One If You Don't Drive, Do You?

IN BURLINGTON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, there is a controversy in Pemberton Township over some proposed changes to minimum standards for volunteer firefighters.  The most contentious proposal has to do with the Council's desire to require all of them to have driver's licenses.

The Burlington County Times reported recently:

Township officials said they are worried that firefighters without a license could be involved in an accident while driving to the firehouse or a fire scene and the township could be held liable.

"At the time they start responding to that fire call, they are working for the township," Councilman Ken Cartier said.

"I think you’re making a mistake," resident Thomas Maahs told the council. "You’re cutting out a part of your volunteer base that could join the fire department.

"We’re already requiring volunteers to have GED (diplomas) and now we’re going to say they have to have a driver’s license?" Maahs asked. "My son is 28 years old and has no desire to have a driver’s license, but yet he’s one of your top responders. How does he get there? His mother drives him…."

After further testimonies and discussion, the Township Council voted to introduce the new ordinance on February 6 and hold the public hearing on the 20th.

Read the complete story in the Burlington Times HERE.
Pemberton Twp. VFD WEBSITE.

Hat tip:  Ron Y.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • bubba1858

    his mommy drives him? and he is 28? that in itself is scary enough. all fire personnel should have a drivers license. There is no way in hell that our firefighters will drive anything without a license and in -house training. to do otherwise is just asking for trouble

    • DSkippy

      Who sad anything about the 28 year old kid driving anything?

      • BenT

        did you read the article DSkippy? next to last paragraph…

      • BenT

        Ignore last message, misread your post.

    • Thomas Maahs Sr.

      This department also requires you to have a driver’s license to be a driver/operator. Not all firefighters choose to be a driver/operators. I for one never wanted to be a driver/operator and stuck at the pump panel. As I progressed through the ranks, I became a driver/operator as part of progression.

      • Truckie The Band-Aid Pusher

        I’m sure all states not just departments require you to have a drivers license to drive and or operate a vehicle.

  • capt68

    Whats wrong with being 28 and driving? I am 28 with a class A cdl with my tanker and double and triple

  • Smokey Behr

    I’m more worried about a 28-year-old not having a license and living with his “mommy”, than just not having a DL. When I was 28, I had my license for 11 years, and put nearly 250k miles on various work trucks. I also was in my 3rd year as a Paid-Call FF, and had around 500 calls under my belt.

  • fthatkid

    It’s scary enough that you have GED holders responding to your emergencies. But they also don’t have a drivers license? WTH!!! As for a 28 year old man whose mommy brings him to the calls…does she let him wear his widdle fire helmet on the way in? He’s a top responder because he’s a loser people. The idiot is a walking lawsuit.

    • Thomas Maahs Sr.

      His mother is also a TOP RESPONDER

    • Ron

      You all are A##’s one day that person that has no license will be helping you when you need the fire dept. You need to be kicked in the A#@ and i wouldnt mind doing it.

  • Ron

    Who care if they have a license or not they are dedicated volunteers you all have no room to say anything when all you do is sit on your couch while these guys are risking their lives everyday to save yours. And most of you would say they never saved mine well there will be a day that you will need the service anmd even after all the bad mouthing they will still show up and give all they have to help you the one who calls them names.

  • Ron

    But you can thank mr augostoni for all this he never considers the fact that these volunteers want to help and all he can do is keep pushing more laws i was under him i was a chief engineer i had been out of work for a few months in those few months i spent day and night working on the truck on stuff that hadnt been touched in years. I got a job and couldnt be there everyday and craig threw me out on my ass.

    • Truckie The Band-Aid Pusher

      Ron, seriously bro… I work a full time job and also have a part time job as a paid EMT. I also volunteer as a firefighter on top of it all. If you couldn’t do the job as chief engineer after you got a a job you should have stepped down before you got thrown out. If you are in a position where checking life saving equipment is required to keep your brothers and sisters alive on the working grounds, I sure as hell wouldn’t want someone in charge of that if they aren’t giving it their all. On my days off I make sure I go down to the station to ensure the airpacks are working, the tools power up, and that there is fuel and water in the truck. It takes less than an hour. If you couldn’t even volunteer an hour of your time to do the job then why bother volunteering at all.

  • Nick

    I had no license forever while I was on the fire department. No problem for me. My parents drove me on some occasions, what is the problem??? Made enough of the calls to maintain my membership, didn’t drive any apparatus, during the day on my days off of work I would just hang out and run any calls that come in. And I would like to know what the definition of loser is that some of you are calling this kid? I would call it dedication.

  • Thomas Maahs Sr.
  • B.Morgan

    This seems a bit odd. But under no circumstances drive a fire vehicle. It also makes doing the full job of a firefghter a bit difficult… I know people with no DL and if thats your life style and you can manage thats ok, but it does put a major crimp in many activities.

  • joey

    I can not believe that there is a department in 2013 that does not require their people to have a drivers license. The only ignorant people in this article are the ones that dont have the proper leadership skills to require this. If you need proof that you can be held liable if a member has an accident hit me up i will be glad to send you the copy of a judgement that was settled by our insurance company and many hrs of court proceedings.

    • Matthew Jakob

      Can you please send me the information. Thank You

  • Sickofbs

    No wonder career guys look down on volunteer departments…I’m glad my screwed up department isn’t this bad.

  • Steve Marshall

    The township officials are absolutely correct that they could be held liable for any accidents or incidents once a vollie starts responding. I was a fire chief at a PA fire station back in the 90s where I had 18 active members….and only 4 of them had licenses. In PA, its usually an under-age drinking citation that interferres with getting a drivers license and this takes a toll on the membership. I once had to leave a fire scene and respond BACK to the fire hall because I had 12 guys standing there with the truck AND NO DRIVERS!
    Asking for a basic level of intelligence in your firefighters should not be something an elected official should be chastised for. We’ve all seen the “Yahoos” out there who are just there for the red lights and sirens. Requiring basic skills such as a GED and a drivers lic is only the beginning.

  • Steve Marshall

    Risk management is a HUGE issue for any manager nowadays and that is all the township officials are doing…minimizing their exposure should one of these responders have an accident. By not requiring a license, a lawyer could claim the township knew about the practice of having non-licensed drivers responding under township authority but did nothing about it. If a jury believes it, you can just open up the township checkbook and hand them a blank check cause its gonna cost ya.