Albany- State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that he and his Senate colleagues successfully fought to enact legislation he sponsored (S.1624-C) that provides a blanket exemption from CDL requirements for firefighters in their duties regarding training, maintenance, parades and other activities associated with their responsibilities as firemen. This means that firefighters across New York State will be able to join with their local communities in honoring our military, both present and past, as we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend.
“As the State Senator representing Waterloo, the birthplace of Memorial Day, I was pleased to sponsor legislation that rectifies a significant problem for our local fire companies.” said Senator Nozzolio. “Our firefighters are an important part of the Memorial Day celebrations in so many communities. It's a time when we gather to honor those who have given their lives for our freedom. This measure ensures that our firefighters can continue to participate in an important tradition, and, more importantly, operate fire trucks for potentially life-saving training, drills, and public education demonstrations.”
Under current regulations, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required for the operation of a fire truck except when the vehicle is used in an emergency situation. As an unintended consequence of this regulation, firefighters without a CDL license were not permitted to drive a fire truck in any kind of parade or local celebration. S.1624-C exempts fire trucks from the CDL requirements when the vehicles are being used for official duties including local celebrations and parades, for training purposes, for a funeral and for hydrant maintenance.
In addition, this legislation (S.1624-C) removes the loophole in the law so that emergency responders are no longer put in situations where they are unable to
respond to an emergency because they could not drive the equipment back to the firehouse following the call. The bill also provides authority to use fire apparatus, without the CDL for things such as, but not limited to drills, training, fire inspections, public education, public events and maintenance.
“As we honor the brave soldiers who gave their lives protecting our nation, it is fitting that we also honor our hometown heroes who are committed to protecting our communities. I was proud to support and enact this legislation that will allow our firefighters across New York State to continue to take part in our Memorial Day celebrations,” said Senator Nozzolio.
The bill was sent to the Governor for his consideration. It is anticipated that he will sign the legislation into law before the Memorial holiday weekend.
Bill Restores CDL Exemption for Firefighters and Allows for Training