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Looking for some ideas for Officers and Instructor Training for my FOOLS chapter. Almost all of the FOOLS training in the area has been geared towards basic firefighter skills and "tricks of the trade" but there hasnt been anything geared towards line officers or improving our skills as instructors. We're hoping to change it up a bit and develop a seminar geared more towards officers and or instructors. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks for the reply Brent, every idea helps.

Hey Andy;

I have several programs along this line that can help. You can contact me at and I can offer some suggestions to you.
Hey Adam,
Just some thoughts on stuff that I think would be interesting training material for officers. First of all, I agree with Brent, a class on being an instructor and how to run trainings in a formal way would be good. Size up and building construction is always important because materials and building techniques are changing faster than the training. Situational awareness is kind of a new buzz word, though it's been around for years, but this is something that all officers need to know about because the lack of it is one of the major factors in LODDs and injuries. Team building is also an important skill for both officers and firefighters. Some of the really good officer instructors I've had are Ted Nee, Chase Sargent, Jim Smith, Mike Smith (DCFD Ret.), John Salka, Dave Dodson and a few others. I think the important thing for officers to learn is that being a good hands on firefighter doesn't necessarily mean you are a good officer. When you become an officer you have to learn how to get stuff done with other people's hands. Of course, you have to be knowledgable in the hands on stuff but that's not the focus of the officers fireground responsibility. Good luck with getting some training going and let me know if I can help you out further. Stay safe!
Thanks for the insight LT. as always its much appreciated and right to the point. Due to the FOOLS International Convention I think we're gonna wait until a year from now or so to try and host our Officers/Instructors seminar so we're starting the planning process well in advance. Have any of the classes you've taken truly taught situational awareness and good old fashioned officership? They both seem like such a hard concept to convey to students in a classroom setting. Thats exactly the stuff we're looking for though, things that are ultra important and often times get overlooked in your typical training sessions. Yes we can sit and talk about X,Y & Z personality types and how to deal with them but we'ld love to host a class that teaches officership at the street level. Thanks again for your input.
The best class I've taken in situational awareness was taught at FDIC by Ted Nee and a few other instructors whose names escape me. They did an overall discussion of what S.A. was, how the mind under pressure works and how to train yourself to maintain S.A. in pressure situations. The next part of the class they had computer simulations where each company officer had a computer that effected the overall simulation. So if the I.C. told truck one to vent the roof, the truck one officer used his computer to decide where to vent and once it was done you would see an overall change to the fireground. Very cool stuff. Philadelphia F.D. provided the program for the class. It was an excellent way to build some mental models. Jim McCormick of F.D. Training Network does a week long fire officer class that deals with both in the firehouse and fireground officer skills. I haven't taken the class, but I'm sure he could be a resource for ideas. One of the things that's hard when you make the transition to officer is learning to be hands off at a fire. Train your firefighters to do the skills and act as a safety watch for your crew. Unfortunately, in the under staffed companies most of us respond with, this is almost impossible to do. Once again, situational awareness! If you don't have the personnel on scene to make a successful (safe) interior attack you have to make your strategic and tactical choices with that in mind. Good luck, and again, if I can help you out let me know.
Thanks for the Info LT. that Philly program sounds like a really top notch class.
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