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I have just been appointed to the Captains position and we have a new Training Officer also. In the past we have lacked the training we need to keep everyone intrested, I would like any advice any one has to offer. Thanks.

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Stay Safe, empower your people and start with hands on evolutions 1 hour in durations. If you get your crew to buy into training all the better. Check out the different groups here and training minutes as a start. Check out tactical building blocks group as well.
good luck

Lee Waterson said:
Your training office should be State Certified, if not then that person should be working towards
In Michigan, we have to review the basic 12 practical stations on a yearly bases. (pump operations,
fire streams, knots,& ropes, ladders, sprinkler systems (pre plans) etc.)
Have a Round Table review per drill, focus on, What's happening in the fire service
Example: Engineered Lumber, pros and con's. Failure in 2 mins under direct flame exposure
Residental Sprinklers
Make sure that anyone that has received outside training is coming back and sharing. Your paying
for it, make sure that you get the most bang for your buck by passing it on.

Make sure that all training meets Local, State and Federal requirements
Document all training. Always have the firefigther sign that they receiver that training.
One of the biggest problems in the fire service is when the XXX hits the fan, we don't
have proof that the person was trained to perform the task.

Don't forget Hazmat, Michigan requires 8 hours of refresher training per year to maintain
Awareness and Operations level.
Have a drill make up schedule. You will never be able to get everyone all the time, so make
sure that you have a plan from the start.
Best of luck!
J, first of all congrats!! Getting to the point, Im not sure what kind of organization youre dealing with. But if youre trying to ease into things, maybe consider some relatively simple drills, maybe stuff everyone is familiar with or can stay inside and do. I sometimes go to the FF close calls (sorry not a plug in) website, and there you can find free simple company drills. You can download the whole thing and print it off, make it a handout if you wish. They put something on there almost daily. If this is an entire dept. training, simply make up some groups and try that. Getting back to basics can never be overdone. Some of the guys I work with really enjoy getting in the rigs and going out and doing real time scenarios. Some of the other commenters had mentioned being in a remote area and having a fake dispatch...compete against other engine co's /crews. Have them dispatch you to something different each time, then switch and you dispatch them to something. In the end you'll be practicing what we don't get to do often enough, and you will probably see things other crews do that perhaps you hadnt thought about, things you never want to do, or that you wish you would do in the future. Either way everyone practices doing their job and getting better at it, and if its a nice day outside...who wants to be couped up in the station anyway!! Enjoy your promotion man, hope this has helped.
Just a suggestion, ask your crew or dept, what they feel they need to, or what they want to train on. This may seem elementary, but if the guys and gals ask for it then make sure they recieve it. This approach will not always work because their are times when certain material must be covered, but starting out and trying to ease into it, this may be a "neautral" appoach. Congrats on the promotion, and best of luck.
Congrads and good luck first off.

One of our stations came up with a cool way to change up training. They took a deck of cards and assigned a different drill to each card. Each morning someone draws a card for the morning drill, and someone draws a card for the afternoon drill. Obviously, there are limitations due to weather and some resources, but drills can be from a simple pre-connect to a 300 foot LDH manifold lay. It changes the training up. This method can be adapted to helping new instructors come up with drills, and it also helps relieve some of the day to day training issues from you.

As far as what type of training, I personally believe in the BASICS. Too often, it seems, that we focus on rope-a-dope or hazmat or a technical side. When was the last time you had, or gave a Fire behavior class? Building construction? Ventilation methods (truly explaining the hows and whys of PPV, Mechancial, Natural, Vertical or Horizontal). The technical aspects (i.e. High angle, low angle or confined space) have a valuable place in our jobs and should never be simply put back on the shelf. But every now and again, how about everyone goes back to rookie school and relearns what we should or do already know?
I am very familiar with your situation as I am the new training officer at my dept. The problem i have is that some officers dont seem to know their role. It is crucial that all line officers and command officers are on the same page as the training officer so that each individuals role is unquestioned. Talk to your crew as much as possible about everything you are doing and why you are doing it. Stay in tune with your training officer at all times so you are up to speed on whats going on, and dont forget that officers need training too, as much if not more than your firefighters.
As a new Captain myself (4 months) I am seeing first hand exactly what you are talking about. Our department just hired a new Training Officer as well and he is providing our department with a monthly schedule of training. I am in charge of a engine company as well as a ladder company so I have the opportunity to provide a variety of training with my crew. I would recommend setting up some drills such as hose evolutions, ladder ops, RIT and so on. Evaluate your crew and see where you need to train and get there input see what they want to learn about. Dont be afraid to ask someone for help the fire service is full of untapped knowledge. I am fortunate because my crew understands the importance of training and takes every opportunity to find training. Talk to your training officer for suggestions someone put them in that position for a reason so ask for some help. It can be overwhelming some time but as officers we owe it to our companies to provide them with the training that they need.
Along with providing your members the required department and state training, another great training tool that we recently put in place in order to get more members involved is to allow a different member each week to present a topic of their choice to the rest of the company. We set up a sign up sheet and anyone interested would write down the week they wanted to present and what topic they wanted to cover. This gave members a chance to pick a topic they wanted to learn more about and then teach the other members. Some people made powerpoints with video and audio clips, while others did a classroom session followed by practical evolutions. An exercise like this is a good change of pace and keeps everyone interested, along with providing a good chance at improving or starting one's instructor process.

Congratulations on the promotion! The Training division is a tough place to be, you can either be liked or disliked by everyone and that all depends on how you bring training to the troops. I am one of 3 Training Captains for the Miami Dade Fire Department and we have made a huge turnaround down here when it comes to training. We actually have gotten to the point where crews call us and are upset that they werent invited to the monthly drill or PIT we put together.

We got to this point by overhauling and really looking at how we did things and made a lot of changes. If you are going to FDIC this year my partner Bob Carpenter and I are teaching a 8 hour workshop on "Drill development" We would love to meet you and I think this would be a great class for a newly promoted Captain involved in training.

If you have any questions feel free to drop me a note on my personal email and I will give you my phone number and we can talk.

Good luck,
Michael Posner

Another thing we did was turn the NFPA 1410 drills into a large portion of our training, they are adaptable to your department size. We actually turned them into a fireground competition this year which turned out to be a HUGE success and morale booster.

Check out the thread: The Drills in NFPA 1410

I'll have to agree with this guy. You really need to evaluate what the crews want and balance it with what they need. In my opinion you're going to have to go to the stations and have a "sit down" with them to discuss what they want. After that I think you'll need to watch them on emergency calls, evaluate them during training, and talk with other supervisors to determine what they need regarding training.

I personally like the 1410 drills. I mold the 1410's around my county training SOP's and the guys love it! The guys feel that they're getting personalized training and they're doing the basics every month which makes me happy. We also do the IFSTA book chapters every month and a county drill. The county drill could be anything from high rise firefighting to rehab. I hope this helps.


Eddie Rogers said:
Just a suggestion, ask your crew or dept, what they feel they need to, or what they want to train on. This may seem elementary, but if the guys and gals ask for it then make sure they recieve it. This approach will not always work because their are times when certain material must be covered, but starting out and trying to ease into it, this may be a "neautral" appoach. Congrats on the promotion, and best of luck.

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