I worry that, why don't others care as much as I do. I have a family like most of you guys (1 soon to be 2 sons), but it seems like most guys just shut this stuff down when they walk out the door. I am constantly thinking how to make stuff better, brainstorming, trying to make what I do better. Am I the nut job and should I spend more time thinking about other stuff, or should the have more PRIDE AND OWNERSHIP?
Ok, so there was my late night rant - I guess honestly what keeps me up at night - how can I be better at being the Training Chief / TRT Task Force Leader - always looking for that new way to teach, new tool, new technique, I never want to be in the dark!
OMG I just sent a text to a freind of mine about two minutes ago and was venting about how my passion for the job was going to put me in the grave early!!!!! Because no one else seems to care!!! Then I get on here and see one of my Mentor KAZMIERZAK is talking about how it seems guys just dont seem to care after they walk out the classroom. WOW now I feel normal again!! My personal one,would be to become the best instructor I can possibly be. With my Department it would be Live Fire Training up intill three months ago we didnt have the capabilities to conduct Live Fire Training, and the City wouldn't allow Live Burn of Acquired Structures so with this being all new it is something that seems to be on my mind of late.
When I look at all the topics that we must cover in our training programs the one that worries me the most is driver training. When we send our members out into the streets riding tons of shiny metal we have the distinct possibility of them killing themselves as well as many members of the motoring public. The yearly cone course is swell and the classroom sessions are a hoot to say the least. There is so much good stuff out there that I find myself wanting to do driver training everyday on top of our regularly scheduled training. If I tried that I would be stuffed in the cribbing compartment of the Squad never to be heard from again. My point is the material is so important, so abundant, and so horribly dry that most members loose interest as soon as their butt hits the chair. I refuse to overuse scare tactics but I do make it clear what the consequences can be of tomfoolery behind the wheel. Anyway, that is what keeps me up at night...that and the evil monkey in my closet.
I agree totally that we can always use more information on building construction. Our First Five Minutes drill is designed to keep our firefighters up to date on the building construction in our city. We also use our Geo mapping to provide information on target hazards in each fire district. If anyone has anymore ideas on this other than going over and over what is published, please post it…
At this point and time I worry about critical decision making. What “keeps me up at night” are the questions:
First are we missing anything?
Second am I doing all that I can to make the link between training and real life so that the troops will recall what they have learned, when they need it the most?
We train, we drill, we read and discuss the latest and greatest. I “worry” about our ability to apply what we have learned when it comes to making critical decisions. Our firefighters are very smart, very safe and some of the best I have ever worked with. They train hard and take the job very seriously, so as the training guy, I feel the responsibility to not only present or schedule the “real world” training that I believe we need as an organization, but to present it in a format that will connect information learned, to those events that they will actually face in the real world. So far so good, but I always think of the what if……
I worry about our guys the most on roadway incidents. No matter how well we prepare mentally, physically or procedurally, we can’t control the nuts driving up and down our roads.
The one thing that keeps me up at night is am I doing the very best I can. Like Kaz, I come home and continue to think about how to make tomorrow better. I work in the most difficult type of fire department out there, the combination fire department. I am always looking at ways to present the best training to all members of my department. I catch about 80% and the other 20% I have to rely on company officers to cover. I am fortunate that I have some great guys and gals in my organization but I still feel like I am selling some of the part-time personnel short. Kaz and I have discussed this time and again. How do we fully meet the needs of the combination fire department?
What keeps me up is wondering why guys want to be an officer but not lead. I get the regular inquiry about "we have a problem with so and so" but when asked they have not done anything about it. I inquire and try coaching to get them. They tell me Johnny is drive too fast. I ask, "did you tell Johnny to slow down, follow the SOG, why this is important and document it on a training report" and the usual response if NO and then a version of the pre-puberty "I don't know."
They tell me Jimmy can in to the building on the last automatic alarm and didn't have his assigned tools. I ask "whyd didn't you send him out for his tools?" and I get "I don't know".
This list goes on. My officers are not 100% deficient but I have conducted group training of all the officers on what MY expectations are and told them to then go back and tell thier guys what they expect. It all seems so simple if you just DO IT!
But why don't they? Do they really not care or get it? When I ask they say "I don't know?"
Do you think it is how we handle the transition of firefighter to officer? I believe (and have failed at this in the past) there is a window of opportunity to capture and work with aspiring personnel to understand the issues with this transition. There is not enough understanding of the pressure and stress of moving from firefighter to officer. I feel your pain as well.
What keeps me up at night... a lot of stuff. I think that the main concern that I have is that my guys will put on the blinders. Tunnel vision, not being aware of the ever changing surroundings. Just when we think we may be alright you read about the AERIAL malfunction. I refer back to my college football coach always keep your head on a swivel. Read a little something everyday and maybe it will help by keeping something in the back of you hair covered (or bald...) filling cabinet.
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