Emergency Vehicle Operator (EVO) Card Procedures
Career members of the Baltimore County Fire Department may obtain a State of Maryland Emergency Vehicle Operator (EVO) Card through the Fire Rescue Academy (FRA) in order to operate Class A or Class B fire apparatus. Members should refer to SOP 700-15 for a detailed outline of the process.
To schedule practical testing, the officer should submit an EVO Testing Request Form.
The practical evaluation consists of three types of general skills as listed below. This process is derived from the Maryland Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) testing procedure. Candidates should study the Maryland Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Manual (PDF) Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13 as well as the accompanying CDL Manual Amendment Insert (PDF).
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
During this portion, the candidate will be tested to see if they can determine whether the vehicle is safe to drive. The candidate will perform a pre-trip inspection within a maximum time limit of 45 minutes. As the inspection is performed, the candidate must point to the item they are inspecting. They cannot just call out an item’s name or say “it's good” or “it’s okay”. The candidate must tell the evaluator what specifically makes that item good or okay. Once the candidate has explained how to inspect an item correctly, they do not need to repeat the same explanation each time. The candidate only needs to mention its name and indicate that they are inspecting it.
The candidate must inspect the front of the vehicle, one entire side of the vehicle, and the rear of the vehicle. If there are additional items on the opposite side of the vehicle, the candidate must only inspect the items not already covered. It does not matter what order items are checked in or what side is checked. The candidate may return to any part of the vehicle at any time to check something that they may have forgotten or inspected incorrectly. The candidate must inform the evaluator when they have completed the entire pre-trip inspection.
Basic Vehicle Control
For the basic control skills test, the candidate will demonstrate their ability to move the vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined area. The candidate will have 10 minutes to complete each exercise and must complete the exercise as directed. The candidate will lose points for any of the errors listed below.
Encroachments - The examiner will score the number of times the candidate touches or crosses over an exercise boundary line with any portion of the vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an error.
Pull-ups - When the candidate stops and reverses direction to get a better position, it is scored as a “pull-up”. Stopping without changing direction does not count as a pull-up.
Final Position - It is important that the candidate finishes each exercise exactly as the examiner has instructed. If the vehicle is not maneuvered into its final position as described by the examiner, the candidate will be penalized and could fail the basic skills test.
The evaluator will give specific instructions for each exercise. The candidate may not open a door or move from a seated position. The four skills are described below.
- Forward Stop
The candidate must drive forward between two rows of cones and bring the vehicle to a complete stop within 15 inches of an end line or set of cones without going over.
- Straight Line Backing
The candidate will back the vehicle in a straight line between two rows of cones for 100 feet without touching or crossing over the exercise boundaries.
- Offset Backing on Right Side
The candidate will back into a space that is to the right rear of the vehicle. The candidate will drive straight forward and back the vehicle completely into the space without crossing boundaries marked by cones.
- Parallel Parking on Driver's Side
The candidate will park in a parallel parking space that is on the left side of the vehicle. The length of the space is the vehicle plus 15 feet. The candidate is to drive past the parking space and back into it. The entire vehicle (or trailer, if combination vehicle) must go completely into the space without crossing side or rear boundaries marked by cones.
During this portion, the candidate will demonstrate their ability to operate a vehicle in a variety of road situations including left and right turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up and down grades, single or multi-lane roads, streets, and/or highways. During the road test, the candidate is to continue straight ahead unless otherwise directed. The evaluator will give directions as far in advance as possible.
If the candidate does not understand the directions, they are to ask for further clarification. The evaluator will not ask the candidate to do anything that is unsafe or illegal. The candidate is responsible for the safe operation of this vehicle at all times. During the test, the evaluator will be making marks on the test form, this does not necessarily mean that the candidate has done something wrong.
Revised March 12, 2014