The position paper is not intended to be a legal reference but rather a supportive document for the training and education of the volunteer fire service.
Assembly Bill 1648 was authored by Assemblyman Jeff Jeffries in order to clarify the licensing requirements for a firefighter in the operation of fire department equipment. A copy of that Bill is attached to the downloadable position paper.
Recently we have been notified by members of the volunteer fire service that there are areas of the state that are interpreting this law in a fashion that is having negative impact on local volunteer firefighters. This was brought to our attention by an attendee at the Redding Workshop. These local interpretations are being provided by a variety of authorities ranging from the CHP, DMV and in some cases local fire authorities. Some of these interpretations are contradictory to the intent of Assembly Bill 1648.
The purpose of this position paper is to provide a fundamental document for each volunteer fire chief as to what the law states and what the authorities are with respect to the interpretation of this law and to develop a set of recommended compliance practices. This inconsistency makes it more difficult for the volunteer fire service to function. The issue needs to be remedied on a statewide level. Adoption of some recommended practices should help with consistency in providing firefighter safety.