Assemblyman Saladino Helps Pass Law to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders

May 20, 2009
Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino announced the passage of Assembly bill 6051A that will exempt volunteer fire departments and other emergency first responders from the federal Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirement in performing their official duties.

“As one of the sponsors of this bill, I am pleased to see the passage of this legislation that will greatly assist our emergency first responders. For far too long, our volunteer emergency services, firefighters and ambulance drivers have endured a plethora of extra training, maintenance and costs associated with CDL requirements,” said Assemblyman Saladino.

In 2005, New York state complied with federal highway laws that required all drivers operating vehicles over 26,001 pounds gross weight to have a CDL. This bill expands and allows firemen and ambulance drivers to carry out official duties of emergency first responders in addition to non-emergency duties. It provides authority for fire departments and other emergency responders to drive their vehicles, without CDLs, for various purposes such as training, fire inspections, public education, public events and maintenance. Those who drive heavy emergency response equipment have been trained to do so by their local departments.

“Now that we have an exemption that lifts this CDL mandate, we now may enhance the abilities of local fire departments to keep our communities safe, functioning efficiently and provide savings that can be passed along to property taxpayers,” concluded Assemblyman Saladino.