Emergency Vehicle Operator Card Procedures
Obtaining a Provisional EVO Card (Learner's Permit)
Career members of the Baltimore County Fire Department may obtain a State of Maryland Emergency Vehicle Operator (EVO) Card through the Fire-Rescue Academy in order to operate Class "A" or Class "B" fire apparatus. Personnel should refer to SOP 700-15 for a detailed outline of the process.
To obtain a Provisional EVO Card, candidates should complete the Provisional EVO Card Request Form (PDF). Please click here to submit your completed form and required documentation. You will be contacted to schedule your provisional testing time once all documentation has been received and reviewed.
No extensions will be granted for Provisional EVO Cards. If the Provisional EVO Card expires prior to the card holder completing the Full EVO Card certification process, it is the responsibility of the card holder to notify the Academy and the card holder will be required to re-apply for the Provisional EVO card and restart the process.
Obtaining a Full EVO (Class A or B) Card
After completing the Full EVO Turn-In Procedure Checklist, an officer shall submit an EVDO Practical Request to schedule practical testing to obtain the Full EVO card.
The candidate should bring the following items on the date of the test:
- Completed Driving Log (PDF)
- Two copies of the Form 330, completed for the day of the test
- Current driver's license
- Provisional EVO Card (Red Card)
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.
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
During this portion, the candidate will be tested to see if they can determine whether or not the vehicle is safe to drive. The candidate will perform a pre-trip inspection within a maximum time limit of forty-five (45) minutes. The candidate is responsible for keeping track of his or her own time. As the inspection is performed, the candidate must point to the item they are inspecting. It is not acceptable to merely call out an item's name or indicate that "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 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 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.
Candidates will be allowed to utilize an approved, unmarked checklist during the Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection. To find and print the approved Student Checklist click here. If a Candidate brings a marked checklist or does not bring this checklist with them to the examination, the evaluator will provide an unmarked checklist to be utilized prior to the inspection beginning, and all checklists will be collected when the inspection is completed.
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 acquire points for any of the errors listed below.
- Pull-ups – pulling forward on a backing exercise to clear an encroachment or to get a better position. Scored on Exercise 2 – Straight Line Backing, and Exercise 4 –Reverse Offset Backing
- Back-ups – backing up on a forward moving exercise to clear an encroachment or to get a better position. Scored on Exercise 3 – Forward Offset Tracking.
- Encroachments – crossing over or touching exercise boundary lines or cones with any portion of the vehicle, other than the vehicle’s mirrors, will be scored as an encroachment. If an encroachment occurs, the evaluator will stop the candidate and request them to return the vehicle within the exercise boundary lines.
- Looks – exiting the vehicle while performing an exercise to check the vehicle’s position while backing. The candidate must advise the evaluator they are performing a “Look,” place the vehicle in neutral, apply the spring brake, and chock the vehicles wheels before beginning the “Look”. Candidates will only be allowed one (1) Look on Exercise 2 – Straight Line Backing, and two (2) Looks on Exercise 4 –Reverse Offset Backing.
- Final Position – the final position of the vehicle during exercises. Scored on Exercise 1 – Forward Stop, Exercise 2 – Straight Line Backing, and Exercise 4 – Reverse Offset Backing. If a candidate does not maneuver the vehicle into its final position as described by the evaluator, failure of the Basic Control Skills test will occur.
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.
- Exercise 1 - Forward Stop - Candidates will demonstrate their ability to judge the front of your vehicle during a controlled stop. Drive forward through the alley and stop with the front most part of the vehicle within the box at the end of the alley without going past it. You may only stop once.
Your evaluator will point out the front most part of your vehicle when giving instructions for this exercise. When you have stopped, set your parking brake, shift to neutral and sound the horn. The evaluator will then score the exercise. You will be scored for encroachment and final position.
- Exercise 2 - Straight Line Backing - Candidates will demonstrate their ability to back a vehicle in a straight line. From your stopped position from the previous exercise, the evaluator will ask you to pull forward and stop when advised to stop by the evaluator. Then back straight through the alley until the front of your vehicle has cleared the last set of cones at the far end of the alley.
You will be scored for pull-ups, encroachments and final position.You are allowed one (1) free pull-up and may safely exit the vehicle only one (1) time to check around the vehicle.
When you have completed the exercise, set your parking brake, shift to neutral and sound your horn. This will inform the examiner you have completed the exercise and allow them to score your final position.
- Exercise 3 - Forward Offset Tracking
The candidate will demonstrate their ability to maneuver a vehicle around other objects while moving forward. You will drive forward and steer to the left through the opening into the opposite lane, keeping the right most rear tire between the cone and the line.Stop your vehicle when you are parallel to the outer boundary, prior to or at the cones at the far end of the exercise. Then, set your parking brake, shift to neutral and sound your horn. This will inform the evaluator you have completed the exercise and allow them to score the exercise.
You will be scored for back-ups, encroachments and forward tracking clearance (rear tire between the cone and the line).There are NO free back-ups, and you are NOT permitted to exit the vehicle during this exercise.
- Exercise 4 - Reverse Offset Backing Candidates will demonstrate their ability to offset back and park a vehicle at the end of an alley. Starting parallel with the outer boundary, offset back into the alley, bringing the rear most part of your vehicle within three (3) feet of the rear of the alley. Stop the rear most part of the vehicle in the three (3) foot box at the end of the alley. The evaluator will point out the rear most part of the vehicle when giving instructions for this exercise. Your vehicle must be straight within the alley when completed, within the defined exercise boundaries when completed. You may not go beyond the outer boundary line.You will be scored for pull-ups, encroachments and final position.You are allowed two (2) free pull-ups and may exit the vehicle a maximum of two (2) times to check around the vehicle during this exercise.
When you have completed the exercise, set your parking brake, shift to neutral and sound your horn. This will inform the evaluator you have completed the exercise and allow them to score your final position.
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, 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 the vehicle at all times. During the test, the evaluator will be making comments on the test form. This should not be construed as an indication as to the candidate's success or failure of any portion of the on-road test.
A candidate will receive an automatic disqualification during the evaluation for engaging in any of the following during the evaluation:
- Cones - Move a cone from its original location by striking and/or touching the cone.
- Boundary Line / Curb - Cross over the boundary line or curb's entire width with the vehicles tire.
- Time - Exceed the allocated time to complete the exercise.
- Unsafe Act - Perform any maneuver deemed to be unsafe by the evaluator.
Failure of Skills / Re-testing Procedures
Should the candidate not successfully complete the evaluation, please refer to the EVO Re-Testing Guidelines page.