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This isn't a new thought on my part by any means. I've heard it discussed a number of times. But, when did we get away from basics? Why are we getting "back" to basics when we should have been practicing those fundamentals all along. Have fun, stay safe. Doug

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A quick reply:

Many departments began looking at specialized tasks and whilst building those skills many basics were forgotten.
To many "All-in-One" tools, people that don't "do" the job buying things to make it "easier". The having the latest gimmick craze. And at the same time, less fire experience all together. Sometimes I think too much times is spent on dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's, some lose sight of why we really got into this work.

Sorry, kinda went off a little.

Stay safe!
Having people with the attitude that "I've done that once before, I don't need to do it again--i.e.--I've pulled that hose off the truck before, I don't need to keep practicing".
I believe that it is unfortunate that we need to get back to the basics but it is a reality. I know that on my volunteer dept we spend over 80 % of our time on EMS. Then you add in the special training (ice rescue. RIT, avalanche rescue, wild land, etc) and you are not practicing the basics the way that you should. If you do not have a good group of self motivated firefighters or good leaders to push the good firefighters that are not as self motivated along then things start to get over looked and forgotten. We have to make sure that we give our new members a clear understanding of what is expected from them and start teaching them tradition and history from day 1. We need to keep them out of the day room and get them on the training grounds instead. If we do this from the beginning hopefully they never forget the basics. I am a true believer that you will not raise to the occasion in an emergency; you will fall back on your training.
Make it safe
From the day a probie walks in the house, we need to teach and train everyday. We had some folks walk in the door and simply put, not meaning to offend anyone, I was a medic for 16 years, they like EMS and went to the Fire Academy, because the money was better. The ony basics they are interested in what they learned in the academy. That barely scatches the surface. Training, Training, Training, is a company officer's duty, to every new member coming on the job. We are expected to know all, if we work together, we can keep the basics in the forefront and not try to getback to them, when we burn a building down.
We get away from the basics when.....We fall through a floor that we did not sound solid footing on; We fall through a roof because we did not use a roof ladder to help support us; We fail to use seatbelts and we get ejected from our vehicles; We don't fasten our chinstrap, put on our gloves, etc; When at mvcs, we don't put on the light and bright traffic vests, properly position our apparatus and place enough flares or enough traffic cones; We use a vent h*** to do suppression, Yep, it still happens; We use opposing hose streams because we are failing to communicate to each other and through command; We fail to set the example to wear PPE as chief officers as we command in our nomex t-shirts and Levi shorts. Is this enough? I have heard this question too. Is it a training issue or a management issue? We could go on all day. Just don't go back to the basics. Stay with them. My brothers and sisters, Stay Smart and Be Safe! Let's all have a safer year this year!
You got me thinking... I asked one of our members to throw a 24 ft. extension by himself the other day and he couldn't do it.

It's a shame...
After becoming new training officer I noticed the basics needing improvement. Being a career department I feel the need for back to basics is due to a couple of things. First, we just don't run the number fires to gain the experience that would exclude training, and our numbers are decreasing. Second, we provide EMS, 80% of our calls. Firefighting is becomng second to EMS. Third, we a are being overwhelmed with additional duties like business inspections. Lastly, and the worst reason, we are getting firefighters that are not dedicated to the fire service don't want to train. Some departments have time schedules that state when and can't train, not before 9 or after 4, not on weekends. This is job and not a calling to some. A true firefighter is a firefighter because they love this job, whether paid or volunteer. We should consider ourslves lucky to be here. I see new firefighters taking tech rescue classes and fire officer classes, but can't find the equipment on their apparatus. As senior members of the fire service we need to instill the pride and responsibility of being a firefighter back to the new generation. Lead by example and train, train , train. The basics should be stressed by all company officers. Company officers, know your crew and what their abilities are. New guys, put down the Xbox and train.
Stay safe and train every day!
We just went through this in our department. I should up drill early one night and pulled out the Firefighter One task book and picked out three basic skills. SCBA, Ladder and PPE and the first 3 Senior Firefighter they should up gave each of them one task and did the same with the Rockie's. The rockie did all the task and did not miss one step. The senior guys straight chocked. We are know back to the basic and working in the Firefighter One class. Give it a shot and see what happens.
Brad and Doug,

Our department is using the FF1 checklists this year to build and maintain compentancy in the basics. While we have certifed ffs, we are training everyone to the FF1 level, whether they are or not. We had been wondering how to build on our lesson planning and get the point across. Those skill sheets will do the job. For our State, there are 26 potential FF1 stations. So, if we wanted to, we could essentially, (pardon the pun), do 2 drills on each subject area. It won't completely work out that way, but we'll be close and will cover everything that truly applies to our responses here and in our mutual aid areas.Your post indicates that great minds do think alike. They say that if you are thinking about it, someone else is already doing it. Good luck and keep up the great work!

Brad said:
We just went through this in our department. I should up drill early one night and pulled out the Firefighter One task book and picked out three basic skills. SCBA, Ladder and PPE and the first 3 Senior Firefighter they should up gave each of them one task and did the same with the Rockie's. The rockie did all the task and did not miss one step. The senior guys straight chocked. We are know back to the basic and working in the Firefighter One class. Give it a shot and see what happens.

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