Driving certificate

City employees take part in a defensive driving program | News, Sports, Jobs

A City of Warren building code department worker walks through the woven portion of the John Rock Defensive Driving Specialists course Friday at Betts Park.

City of Warren staff recently took driving lessons.

John Rock defensive driving specialists put DPW, firefighters and other personnel through a defensive driving program at Betts Park.

Each driver had to back their vehicle – from small SUVs and unmarked police cruisers, to full-size pickup trucks, a dump truck, an ambulance, even a fire engine – in a confined space, manage a slalom, navigate a course weaving and do some heavy but controlled braking.

The pilots completed the course four times each and had to reach nearly 20 miles per hour in the slalom and weave through at the end.

“We’re trying to get them up to 20,” JRDDS’ Dianna Marcinik said.It feels different” at higher speeds.

Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry City of Warren Fire Department personnel work through the John Rock Defensive Driving Specialists program Friday at Betts Park. One driver ran the city ambulance through the slalom portion of the course while another backed an engine into a confined space.

“The idea is to learn something while having fun”, said Rock. “They have fun.”

The program was paid for by the city’s insurance provider – PennPRIME. “It’s great that we can offer this to city employees,” said Police Captain Jeff Dougherty.

The driving lesson was only part of the experience.

“This is a cumulative training day”, said Dougherty. “I exhibited distracted and defensive driving this morning.”

The course was part 2.

Fire Department Operations and Training Officer Steve Hoffman walked staff through the employee safety manual and fire extinguisher training in the afternoon.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox