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I was thinking this past weekend as I sat and waited for numerous parades to kick off, I know that thinking is dangerous, especially in todays fire service but hey;  I thought I would give it a try!  I was trying to think of good training topics to cover and thought that if I came up with a list of negative things I have seen at fires that needed correction this would be a good place to start.  As I thought of all of the things that bother me I thought it would be a great topic for discussion, see what others feel and see in their area and see if we think alike.

 

A few things that bother me, however small you may think them to be, are helmet straps.  How many times do I go to fires and see guys/gals walking around with their helmet chin straps tied up around the brim of their helmets?  Why is this done?  Was there some class that I missed earlier in my career about the proper use of PPE?  Is this just some cool identification thing for some cliques in the fire service that designates you are a member?  I ask these things because I was always on the understanding that the helmet protects you from falling objects and saves you from being a vegetable.  If that strap is up on the brim, the first piece of debris will knock the helmet off, the second piece will make you a vegetable or even worse.  One argument I heard is from a snot-nosed guy with little experience who stated that if he was falling through the floor, the helmet will get caught and hang him...OOOK...The helmet has one very interesting built in safety feature folks, the inner shell is designed to tear away from the outer shell in just such a situation.

So I ask those who wear their helmets in this fashion, why?  Do any safety officers out there go after these members when they see this and tell them to cinch it up?

 

Secondly is the waist strap on the air packs.  A lot of the time you see people with this strap off and dangling around their knees.  Why?  I would hope no one is that lazy to think it takes too much time to buckle, and I would definitely hope you would understand that it causes a tangle hazard when crawling through a residence.  How many things could those buckles get snagged on, trapping you for even just a few seconds while you fumble with them and un-tangle yourself could be the difference between life and death; for you or the person you are looking for.  These straps were designed to take the weight off your shoulders and relieve any back strain as well, treat your body right and use the straps and you can last a lot longer.

 

One thing I thought of but not related to actual firefighting is the selection of officers in volunteer departments...wow...this scares me in some cases.  I see departments with new members, fresh out of Firefighter I training getting "Elected" as officer.  I see some people, 21, 22 years old and they are CHIEF of the department.  I feel this needs attention, and before you start yelling and screaming at me, I have heard the arguments in different forums in a variety of web sites for firefighters, and when I say this I say it as my opinion and not the word of god, and in no means an insult to anyone that may be a young officer.  I do not know you, and I do not know your skills (or lack of), but what I feel deep down inside is this; someone with just a few years experience as a trained firefighter can not possess ALL of the necessary skills, and most importantly the necessary EXPERIENCE  to lead firefighters into a dangerous situation.  How can they lead if they themselves have never even been at a call with a situation to have experienced what works and what doesnt work?

Ok, why is my Italics stuck on??? LOL

Anyway, lets discuss in a professional manner and keep the jabs to a minimum and above the belt.  What are your thoughts and observations?  Any officers out there who have addressed these things and might have advice to share?

Stay Safe.

 

 

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Hey, how about the guys that complain about the harnesses on the gear because they will get hung up but will let their waste straps dangle about.  Just a small addition to your list. Nice job.

Responding to a MA call and the Asst. Chief's of that district not wanting to take charge of the call because they showed after 30 mins of the call, so you run it and then they tell take a hike because what you are doing is right and they now want to run it.

Add that to your list

Members showing up for a call that has not been around for yearly evoc re-certification and asks what truck he should take to the call .answer NONE .he was mad at me oh well .
Insecure officers, probably young and not experienced enough, waiting for you to start things so they can take over and take the credit, thats what your saying right?  That happens too often in my county.

Mike France said:

Responding to a MA call and the Asst. Chief's of that district not wanting to take charge of the call because they showed after 30 mins of the call, so you run it and then they tell take a hike because what you are doing is right and they now want to run it.

Add that to your list

Goes with my philosophy; if you dont have the training you wont perform the skill...PERIOD!  People think they can just waltz in and do what they want, just like the old days when volunteers were not required to have specific training, just the will to go in where others are running out.  The reason why the LODD rate was so high compared to today.  Its called Progress people!! LOL

Bill Carlisle said:
Members showing up for a call that has not been around for yearly evoc re-certification and asks what truck he should take to the call .answer NONE .he was mad at me oh well .
happens all the time , i was young once and eager , now that i am older i just go with the flow

Brian Jones said:
Insecure officers, probably young and not experienced enough, waiting for you to start things so they can take over and take the credit, thats what your saying right?  That happens too often in my county.

Mike France said:

Responding to a MA call and the Asst. Chief's of that district not wanting to take charge of the call because they showed after 30 mins of the call, so you run it and then they tell take a hike because what you are doing is right and they now want to run it.

Add that to your list

Things that bother me, are individuals who feel that training is only for the new guys.  If the guys are out there keeping their skills honed or learning new ones everyone in that house needs to be out there, excluding chief officers for hands on.  i don;t care if you have 30 years on the job or 30 minutes its called training for a reason, the day you know it all is the day you should retire.  How about the first in Engine catching their own hydrant for water supply.  If you are coming down the street and you see smoke or fire catch your own plug, do not rely on the next in, what if they got into an accident or the next in is from 2 districts over so there will be a delay.  Then what, now you have guys already committed to the interior for a quick attack with a pre-connect more than likely and probably 500 gals. of water with about 3 to 5 minute game time.  What gives?  How about the crew that refuses to get dressed for fire alarm activation, or smell of smoke or anything that come in that is not a confirmed fire?  These guys then instill those same work habits on the new guy chastising them if they start to get dressed.  Your department paid good money for that gear, and in some case some of you are getting paid for it to put on a coat, pants, boots and helmet don't forget the hood and gloves.  The last time I checked someone has not invented crystal balls that can foresee into the future or teaching us how to be psychics.

Get dressed act like a professional, at least give the impression to your crew members and the public that you care, participate in training you might learn something or you might share something you learned to the rest, and catch your water supply your life might depend on it!

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