I completed my Instructor several years ago and at the time I was only interested in teaching short, hands-on classes if any at all. I always liked passing on information to my members at the station. I started teaching (assisting) some basic firefighter classes and quickly found how much I enjoyed it. Not only was it fun and fulfilling to see a new firefighter go from learning to don gear to making actual fire attacks; but it is also a great way to stay current on basic skills and new techniques. I have recently started teaching Rope Rescue and Confined Space Rescue which are quite fun to teach but also very beneficial since (in my area) are extremely rare events so training is the way anyone has to gain experience. And since these incidents are rare then it nice to see students learn to work through the issues and reach a successful outcome based on information/techniques I showed them.
Since teaching more, and watching the next generation of firefighters, I have realized that it is my duty as a firefighter (especially as an officer) to provide the next generation with all the things others passed on to me and most importantly all the things I had to learn by hard knocks. I see excellent firefighters that prefer to do the work themselves rather than spend the extra few seconds to explain and help a new firefighter do the job. I try to explain to them that with fewer actual fires that we must use every possible (safe) opportunity as a teaching moment to help the "new guys" learn. But I am still a little disappointed that so few in my area and even in my department are willing to do the work necessary to become an Certified Instructor and teach formal classes.