Emergency Driving – Part 3 – How to become a driver of an emergency vehicle & What are the requirements for a driver of an emergency vehicle?
An article series on emergency driving in Sweden & the emergency drivers
A carefully selected group of professionals have been given unique opportunities to make exceptions to parts of the traffic legislation that otherwise applies to all of us. In Sweden, these exceptions may only be applied to certain situations which also sets high demands on both vehicles and drivers. The exceptions are governed in the 11th chapter of the Swedish Road Traffic Regulation. The driving where the exceptions are applied is often called blue-light driving or emergency driving.
Part 3: How to become an emergency driver? What are the requirements for becoming an emergency driver?
In this article series we will, among other things, tell you more about what emergency driving really means, who is allowed to drive with the blue lights and sirens turned on, and answer what rules apply to emergency drivers. In the last article we will also be able to share the experience of a new emergency driver on his way towards a fire.
What does it takes to become a driver of an emergency vehicle in Sweden?
In Part 1 & Part 2, we have enlightened important parts regarding emergency driving in Sweden. Who is allowed to drive an emergency vehicle, what regulations the driver is obliged to follow, and of course, how an emergency driver is expected to act is brought up. Because a somewhat complicated legislation and a huge responsibility is put on all emergency drivers in Sweden make the professional role both complex and potentially dangerous. Emergency drivers play a particularly important function in keeping the society functioning, and we therefore need emergency-personnel on our roads. But their working environment should not be exposed to more risks than any other. In order to minimize the risks for all road users, the emergency drivers must be given the preconditions needed to create a safe work environment, as well as the knowledge to create a safe traffic environment for all other road users.
The ability to drive in a safe and efficient way even when assigned a life critical situation requires a rigorous knowledge and experience
Emergency vehicles are generally met with great respect in traffic, Other road occupants show a great confidence in the emergency driver’s ability to drive the vehicle in an efficient and safe manner.
In the publication Basic competency objectives for emergency drivers (In Swedish), the Swedish road Transport authority; The Swedish Road Administration, described what was expected of an emergency driver through the following phrase: The characteristic of good emergency drivers is that they can not only operate their vehicle better than normal drivers, but also understand, value, and accept the requirements that apply to a safe and efficient emergency driving. The question is whether there is any reason to believe that emergency drivers today live up to this expectation?
Read more about emergency driving and what occupational groups are allowed to use demand clear way using blue lights and sirens in Sweden. This and much more is brought up in the first part of the article series on emergency driving & emergency drivers
What training is required to become an emergency driver in Sweden? & How do you become an emergency driver?
The competence requirements for emergency drivers in Sweden are unclear, inconsistent and in many cases clearly inadequate. Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific driver’s license as for taxi drivers, bus drivers or truck drivers. For the professional group with the largest legal responsibility y and often the most complex task there is no competence-requirements. There is also no required educational requirements for emergency driver training from the Swedish Transport Administration or the Swedish Transport Agency.
Read more about what rules an emergency driver in Sweden must adhere to & what the driver is expected to have in mind during the drive. Part 2 of the article series on emergency driving & Swedish emergency drivers addresses the fact of increased risks and much more.
The Swedish Work Environment Authority’s requirements for emergency drivers.
The Swedish Work Environment Authority, on the other hand, demands that the employer identify and minimize the risks of ill-health and accidents at work. And not even for those who drive a “regular” car at work, a driving license is considered enough. Therefore, the Swedish Work Environment Authority should also make clear requirements in training and competence for emergency drivers as well. But the knowledge about work-related driving is unfortunately lacking even at the Swedish Work Environment Authority. We therefore hope that they, together with the Swedish Transport Administration & Transport Agency, decide to receive the extended hand that we and other experts in the area offer.
Safe@Works Emergency Driver Training
Safe@Work has gathered some of the Sweden’s leading experts in education and pedagogy for emergency drivers, together we have developed several quality-assured training courses for both new and existing emergency drivers.
The training ranges from web-based to teacher-led training with training both on special training courses and on the road. We have a great experience from tailoring educational programs to blue-light organizations and we are happy to make a proposal based on your specific conditions and existing educational level.
Safe@Works emergency driver training is based on the criteria that today’s research and education advocate for special environments. The training is designed by our well established instructors who has long international experience in the field of training emergency drivers. Both experience from the role as chief-instructor at the Swedish police as well as international training. The course content of the emergency driver training is always tailored to your specific needs and assignments. We have extensive experience in tailoring advanced driver training for both private actors and authorities. Now we look forward in helping you create a safe work environment for your drivers.
Our instructors have a long experience from specialized driver training all over the world. The advanced driver training has been conducted in Europe, Asia and Africa. Both for armed drivers in armoured vehicles, as well as regular drivers performing their normal work assignments.
Everyone must be allowed to be new at work without having to risk other people’s lives.
All emergency drivers are new at some point. In Sweden we have limited opportunities to practice emergency driving in real traffic, the first time behind the wheel with blue lights and sirens will therefore often be in a real situation. In the fourth and final part of this article series, we get a chance to share the experience as a new and inexperienced emergency driver on the way to a time-critical situation.
Part 4 of the article series on emergency drivers and emergency driving: The first drive with blue lights on
Safe@Work is an international organizer of safety courses with road safety and driver training as an area of expertise. Over the years we have trained many different professional groups in safe driving, both in Sweden and abroad. We regularly train drivers of emergency vehicles, armored protection vehicles (Länk krävs), prisoner transports & drivers of regular service cars.