Cabezon Creek WSA, NM
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Engine Driver Policy

Redbook Policy Statements Pertaining to Engines

BLM Engines

BLM engines carry 2-6 firefighters and are used primarily for wildfire suppression, fuels reduction, and other fire management duties. They are capable of performing self-contained initial attack suppression operations, and can generally provide single resource incident management capability up to the Type 4 level. 

Operational Procedures

All engines will be equipped, operated, and maintained within guidelines established by the Department of Transportation (DOT), regional/state/local operating plans, and procedures outlined in BLM Manual H-9216, Fire Equipment and Supply Management. All personnel assigned to agency fire engines will meet all gear weight, cube, and manifest requirements specified in the National Mobilization Guide.

Fire Vehicle Operation Standards

Operators of all vehicles must abide by state traffic regulations. Operation of all vehicles will be conducted within the limits specified by the manufacturer. Limitations based on tire maximum speed ratings and Gross Vehicle Weight restrictions must be followed. It is the vehicle operator’s responsibility to ensure vehicles abide by these and any other limitations specified by agency or state regulations.

Speed Limits

Posted speed limits will not be exceeded.

Driving Standard  

All employees driving motor vehicles are responsible for the proper care, operation, maintenance and protection of the vehicle. The use of government-owned, rented, or leased motor vehicles is for official business only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

General Driving Policy
  • Employees must have a valid state driver’s license in their possession for the appropriate vehicle class before operating the vehicle. Operating a government-owned or rental vehicle without a valid state driver’s license is prohibited.
  • All drivers whose job duties require the use of a motor vehicle will receive initial defensive driver training within three months of entering on duty and 2 refresher driver training every three years thereafter.
  • The operator and all passengers are required to wear seat belts and obey all federal and state laws.
  • All traffic violations or parking tickets will be the operator’s responsibility.
  • All driving requiring a CDL will be performed in accordance with applicable Department of Transportation regulations.
  • Seat belts must be available and used in agency motor vehicles. Without exception, seat belts must be worn at all times by motor vehicle operators and passengers, regardless of the distance to be traveled or the time involved. If any employee fails to fasten their seat belt while riding in a vehicle on official business, they are subject to disciplinary action as determined by local management.
  • Employees operating any motor vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or more, towing a vehicle 10,000 pounds GVWR or more, hauling hazardous material requiring the vehicle to be placarded, or transporting 16 or more persons (including the driver) must possess a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL) with all applicable endorsements.
  • All employees operating a Government motor vehicle will be required to submit Form DI-131 (Application for U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Operator’s Identification Card) and OF-345 (Physical Fitness Inquiry for Motor Vehicle Operators). When the supervisor signs the DI-131, the employee is authorized to operate Government-owned or leased vehicles, or privately-owned vehicles on official business. Individual office forms equivalent to the OF-345 and DI-131 are acceptable.

Incident Operations Driving

This policy addresses driving by personnel actively engaged in wildland fire suppression or all-risk activities; these include driving while assigned to a specific incident (check-in to check-out) or during initial attack fire response (includes time required to control the fire and travel to a rest location).

  • Agency resources assigned to an incident or engaged in initial attack fire response will adhere to the current agency work/rest policy for determining length of duty day.
  • No driver will drive more than 10 hours (behind the wheel) within any duty-day.
  • Multiple drivers in a single vehicle may drive up to the duty-day limitation provided no driver exceeds the individual driving (behind the wheel) time limitation of 10 hours.
  • A driver shall drive only if they have had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty before beginning a shift. Exception to the minimum off-duty hour requirement is allowed when essential to:
    • Accomplish immediate and critical suppression objectives.
    • Address immediate and critical firefighter or public safety issues.
  • As stated in the current agency work/rest policy, documentation of mitigation measures used to reduce fatigue is required for drivers who exceed 16 hour work shifts. This is required regardless of whether the driver was still compliant with the 10 hour individual (behind the wheel) driving time limitations.
Lighting

Headlights and taillights shall remain illuminated at all times while the vehicle is in motion.

Emergency Light Use

Emergency lighting will be used only during on site wildland fire operations or to mitigate serious safety hazards. Overhead lighting and other emergency lighting must meet state code requirements, and will be illuminated whenever the visibility is reduced to less than 300 feet.

Blue lights are not acceptable for wildland fire operations.

Emergency lighting may be used during a response to an incident or to mitigate serious safety hazards. If emergency lighting is to be used it must be approved by State Director and meet all state and local emergency services training and certification requirements. Overhead lighting and other emergency lighting must meet state code requirements.
 
Lights and Siren Response

Responding to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wildland fire incidents normally does not warrant the use of emergency lights and siren to safely and effectively perform the BLM mission. However, there may be rare or extenuating circumstances when limited use of lights and sirens are appropriate and necessary due to an immediate threat to life.

Those BLM state organizations that determine a lights and sirens response is necessary to meet mission requirements must develop an operating plan that is signed and approved by the State Director and forwarded to the Chief, Division of Fire Operations, BLM Fire and Aviation. The operating plan must ensure the following:

  1. All vehicles (command, engines, etc.) will be properly marked, equipped and operated in accordance with state statutes, codes, permits and BLM unit requirements.
  2. Drivers will complete training in the proper use of lights and sirens response in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1451 and 1002 standards, as well as any state requirements.
  3. Drivers responding with lights and sirens will be minimally qualified as engine operator.
  4. Lights and sirens will meet NFPA and state code requirements.
  5. Posted speed limits will be followed at all times, regardless of response type.
  6. Operators will stop or reduce speed as circumstances dictate prior to proceeding through all intersections.
  7. Traffic light changing mechanisms (e.g., Opticons) will only be used under formal written agreement with state and local governments. They will be used only when they are necessary to create safe right-of-way through urban high-traffic areas. All pertinent state and local statutes and procedures will be adhered to.
  8. Authorization to respond with lights and sirens does not cross state lines. No driver will be authorized by one state to operate with lights and sirens in another state.
Maintaining Equipment

It is agency policy to maintain each piece of fire equipment at a high level of performance and in a condition consistent with the work it has been designed to perform. This shall be accomplished through application of a uniform preventive maintenance program, timely repair of components broken or damaged while on assignment, and in accordance with all agency fiscal requirements. Repairs shall be made and parts replaced, as identified, to keep the equipment functional and in top operating condition.

Fire Engine Maintenance Procedure and Record (FEMPR)

The FEMPR will be used to document periodic maintenance on all engines. Apparatus safety and operational inspections will be performed at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer and on a daily and post-fire basis as required. All annual inspections will include a pump gpm test to ensure the pump/plumbing system is operating at desired specifications. The Fire Engine Maintenance Procedure and Record (FEMPR) shall be maintained and archived to record historic engine maintenance for the duration of the vehicle’s service life. This historic data is beneficial in determining trends, repair frequency, and repair costs.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

Each engine will have an annually certified weight slip in the vehicle at all times. Weight slip will show individual axle weights and total GVW. Operators of engines and water tenders must ensure that the maximum certified GVW is never exceeded, including gear, personnel and fuel. If the proper number of personnel are not available during the weighing the NFPA 1906 standard of 250 pounds for each person and their personal gear may be used to calculate the loaded weight.

Engine Water Reserve

Engine Operators will maintain at least 10 percent of the pumpable capacity of the water tank for emergency engine protection and drafting.

Engine Inventories

An inventory of supplies and equipment carried on each engine is required to maintain accountability and to obtain replacement items lost or damaged on incidents.

Chocks

At least one chock will be carried on each engine and will be properly utilized whenever the engine is parked or left unattended. This includes engine operation in a stationary mode without a driver “in place.”

Fire Extinguisher

All engines will have at least one 5 lb. ABC-rated (minimum) fire extinguisher, either in full view or in a clearly marked compartment.

First Aid Kit

Each engine shall carry, in a clearly marked compartment, a fully equipped 10-person first aid kit.

Vehicle Cleaning/Noxious Weed Prevention

To reduce the transport, introduction, and establishment of noxious weeds or other invasive species on the landscape due to fire suppression activities, all fire suppression and support vehicles, tools, and machinery should be cleaned at a designated area prior to arriving and leaving the incident. Onsite fire equipment should be used to thoroughly clean the undercarriage, fender wells, tires, radiator, and exterior of the vehicle. Firefighter personnel should clean personal equipment, boots, clothing, etc. of weed or other invasive species materials, including visible plant parts, soil and other materials as identified by the fire resource advisor. The cleaning area should also be clearly marked to identify the area for post fire control treatments, as needed.

High Visibility Vests

In order to meet 23 CFR 655, high visibility apparel should be worn whenever a firefighter is working on or in the right of way of a public roadway.

The high visibility safety apparel should not be worn if:

  • There is a reasonable chance that the employee may be exposed to flames, high heat or hazardous materials.
  • The high visibility garment hinders an employee’s ability to do their job because it prevents necessary motion or because it limits access to necessary equipment such as radios or fire shelters.
BLM Engine Minimum Staffing Requirements

All BLM engines will meet these staffing standards on every fire response.

  • BLM engines operating with more than 4 firefighters will always have a fully qualified ENOP (other than the captain).
  • BLM engines operating with more than 3 firefighters will always have an FFT1 (other than the captain).

Chase vehicles are considered part of the engine staffing.  

BLM WCF
Vehicle Class
NWCG
Type
Class 
Engine
Captain 
Engine
Operator
Engine
Crewmember
625 Unimog
4
1
1
1
626 Unimog
4
1
1
1
650 Hummer
6
1
 
1
662 Light
6
1
 
1
663 Light
6
1
 
1
664 Enhanced Light
6
1
 
1
665 Interface
3
1
 
2
667 Heavy Engine
4
1
 
2
668 Super-heavy
Tactical Engine
4
1
1
1
668 Super-heavy
Tactical Tender
2
(Tender)
1
 
1


BLM Engine - Fire Training and Qualification Standards 

Role
IQCS
Training
 
Crewmember
FFT2
I-100 Intro to ICS
S-130 Firefighter Training
L-180 Human Factors on the Fireline
S-190 Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior
Engine Operator
FFT1
ENOP
All the above plus:
BLM Engine Operator Course (ENOP)
S-131 Firefighter Type 1
S-133 Look Up/Down/Around
S-211 Pumps and Water Use
S-212 Wildfire Power Saws
S-290 Intermediate Fire Behavior
L-280 Followership to Leadership
Engine Captain
ENGB
ICT5
All the above plus:
I-200 Basic ICS
S-200 Initial Attack Incident Commander
S-215 Fire Ops in the Wildland/Urban Interface
S-230 Crew Boss (Single Resource)
S-231 Engine Boss (Single Resource)
S-234 Ignition Operations
S-260 Incident Business Management
S-270 Basic Air Operations
S-290 Intermediate Fire Behavior

BLM Engine - Driver Training and Qualification Requirements

Role
Initial Training
Refresher Training
Crewmember
 
BLM Engine Driver Orientation (BL-300)
and
Defensive Driving
 
BLM Engine Driver Refresher (RT-301) (annual)
and
Defensive Driving
(every 3 years)
 
Engine Operator
and
Engine Captain
 
BLM (ENOP)Engine Operator Course or equivalent
and
CDL Permit (GVW 26,000 or greater)
and
Defensive Driving
 
BLM Engine Driver Refresher (RT-301)
(annual)
and
Defensive Driving
(every 3 years)
 
WCF class 650
and 668 drivers
 
WCF class 650 and 668 driver
and maintenance training

All hands-on components of engine driver training courses will be conducted on the specific vehicle or vehicle type that the driver will be using.