Senator Johnson Supports Bill to Allow Fire Trucks in Parades

Owen H. Johnson

May 22, 2009

Senator Owen H. Johnson voted in support of legislation (S.1624-C) that would ensure fire trucks are able to participate in Memorial Day celebrations throughout the State.

“Our state is the official birthplace of Memorial Day and New Yorkers throughout the state will attend parades and services to honor those who have given their lives for our freedom,” said Senator Johnson. “Local fire companies are an important part of Memorial Day festivities in so many communities, and this bill ensures they can continue to participate in an important tradition.”

Under current regulations, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required for the operation of fire vehicles except when they are in use in an emergency situation. An unintended consequence of this new regulation would make it against the law for firefighters without a CDL to operate fire trucks for training sessions or in a parade.  This bill exempts fire vehicles from CDL requirements when being used for official duties including parades, training, funerals, and hydrant 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 am proud to support this legislation that will allow our firefighters to continue to take part in our Memorial Day parades,” said Senator Johnson.

 The bill was sent to the Governor for his consideration.