Section I-4


Classification of Firefighters

Apparatus Driver


Being designated Apparatus Driver shall be considered as an ultimate complement to the firefighter selected and shall be considered the highest firefighting accomplishment achieved.  Only the most senior and responsible firefighter achieves this milestone. 


It is desired that each Apparatus Driver possess a minimum of 3 years fire service experience with a minimum of 2 years being with Three Star Fire Department.


The Apparatus Driver shall meet all criteria established in this Standard Operating Guideline and successfully complete all requirements set forth in Standard Operating Guideline Section IV-4.


All personnel shall be instructed in the safe operation of all moving Fire Department apparatus from one place to another.  Only trained and qualified individuals with the following criteria met shall be considered Drivers:


  1. Be at least 18 years of age to qualify on BT-3 and must be at least 21 years of age to begin qualification on all other apparatus.
  2. Possess a valid State of Tennessee Driver’s License.
  3. Be approved for driver training by firefighter’s immediate Lieutenant with the support from the other Officers, as documented in Appendix 3. Final certification will be granted by the Fire Chief using Appendix 3.
  4. Successfully complete all requirements of this SOG and attending Three Star’s Driver Classroom Training conducted in-house (as scheduled).
  5. Successfully pass Competency Course (Appendix 4).
  6. Complete Fire Fighter I/II course of instruction.
  7. Successfully completed Introduction to Fire Department Pumpers FF-111.
  8. Have completed probationary training, the required Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC), and be approved by the Fire Chief for driver training.
  9. Demonstrate use of Map Book and knowledge of Fire Management Zone.
  10. Demonstrate and explain hydrant color code and significance.
  11. Demonstrate and explain the Incident Command System.


Each Apparatus Driver will be expected and required to attend a formal training school when feasible, and follow all guidelines established for the Firefighter, as well as the Safe Apparatus Driving Standard Operating Guidelines (Section II-8). 


The Fire Chief shall approve in writing all individuals who are qualified as a Driver.  The information shall be kept permanently in the member’s personnel folder.


Section I-4


Classification of Firefighters



Upon successful completion of the twelve month long probation period and with approval for full membership by the officers, the member shall be classified as a Firefighter.  The Firefighter shall possess the skills and knowledge to perform and carry out orders given on an incident scene as they relate to basic firemanship, equipment operation and function, EMS assistance, care and maintenance of equipment.


The Firefighter will be expected and required to attend formal training schools as they become available.


The Firefighter shall function under the direction and supervision of a Company Officer (CO) or an Officer in Charge (OIC) and refrain from “free-lancing”.


The Firefighter shall abide all Three Star Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines, rules, and regulations.


The Incident Command System is an extremely important tool of the fire service.  The Firefighter shall have a good understanding of this system and how to work under it as it relates to this department.  National Incident Management System training will be completed during probationary period which provides firefighter with the foundation of the Incident Command System structure and its operation.


Chain-of-command is expected to be followed in all administrative and operational matters that relate to Three Star Fire Department operation and function.  All ranks are to be used in on-scene operations in the public view; however, in the private sector of the department this is not necessary, but advisable.  See Chain-of-Command SOG (Section I-2) for further information.


Section I-4


Classification of Firefighters

Probationary Firefighters


Upon approval of Command Staff and meeting all Three Star Fire Department application requirements, all new members become Probationary Firefighters.  During this typically twelve month period, Probationary Firefighters are expected to learn the duties and fulfill the responsibilities expected of a Three Star Firefighter.  They are also required to complete the initial phases of their fire service training as detailed in Section VI-2.


Exemplary attendance at alarms, training sessions, and work details and fundraisers is demanded of Probationary Firefighters.  Likewise, a positive attitude and high level of maturity are expected.


The Probationary Firefighter shall abide all Three Star Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines, rules, regulations and bylaws.


After their initial three months with the Three Star Fire Department, Probationary Firefighters will meet with the Officers and Chiefs and their assigned mentor for an in-service review of their performance to date.  This interview will provide an opportunity to evaluate training progress and attitude, as well as address any problems or concerns.    The Chiefs and the Probationary Firefighters’ mentors, however, are expected to point out inadequate performance or attendance issues early on, rather than wait for the three or six-month in-service evaluation. 


At the discretion of the Chief and the member’s assigned mentor, the probationary firefighter may be issued a set of turn-outs, yellow helmet, pager, and two-way radio.


Should a Probationary Firefighter fail to meet the training, alarm response, or attendance expectations, the Fire Chief can choose extra training be accomplished or a six-month extension of the probationary period.  Should these deficiencies persist during the extended probation, the Probationary Firefighter will be asked to resign or may be terminated by the Fire Chief.


In the event a Probationary Firefighter becomes qualified as a firefighter prior to the end of the probationary period, he may, at the discretion of the Chief, wear a standard black firefighter helmet.  While Probationary Firefighters are encouraged to commence their driver training (depending on age) as soon as possible, they cannot be added to the list of qualified operators until they have completed the probationary period and met all driver qualification standards detailed in Sections I-4 and VI-4.  They may, however, operate Three Star Fire Department apparatus with the permission of a fire officer on an ad-hoc basis under direct supervision.

Section I-4


Classification of Firefighters



It is the intent of Three Star Fire Department Explorer Program is to promote community service, while providing the youth with an insight to the fire and emergency medical field; to instill in the youth to become productive, law-abiding and community oriented citizens; and to provide youth the information, training and experience to help them assess their desire to enter into a career of fire and rescue.  See “Explorer Rules and Regulations” (Appendix 2) for eligibility requirements.  The Explorer Rules and Regulations will be issued to new members joining the Explorer Program along with a copy of “Firefighter Rules and Regulations” to sign and abide by.