BPS holds mandatory officer vehicle training

Published 4:45 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Thursday afternoon, Bainbridge Public Safety vehicles could be found at the ball fields performing annual driving training.

Fire Chief Doyle Welch said every officer is required to participate and the training helps officers learn to back into a loading dock area, maneuver out of a dead end, diminish clearing and serpentine.

Welch said these tasks help officers hone their driving skills, become more effective in maneuvering and familiarize them with the different emergency vehicles.

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“Rescue one drives completely different than 215 or 216 or other patrol vehicles,” he said. “This helps them get a feel for it and learn how to use the mirrors in every vehicle.”

During the four courses, officers are not allowed to knock over any cones that have been set up in the area. They are all allowed three attempts, and if they cannot complete the course they must return their next shift until they get perfect it.

The diminish clearing course Welch explained as a bottleneck. The cones start out wide to give the vehicle plenty of room, but narrows as the vehicle gets towards the end or destination. It begins at 9.2 and narrows to 8.6.

The serpentine course is spaced out, depending on the type of vehicle that must complete the course. The fire trucks have 30 ft. in between them, while the police vehicles have 25 ft. between them. Each officer is required to drive through the cones forwards and backwards in all vehicles.

The course comes out of the NFPA 1002 requirements.

Welch has been impressed with the efforts so far. He said this helps officers hold down a fire station and be ready in case of any type of any emergency.

The course will continue until every officer has had an opportunity to complete it with all vehicles, including a ladder truck, which will come later in the week.