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Is it me or are firefighters getting less and less interested in learning how to do things the proper way? For the past 3-4 years, we have guys that cannot pull an attack line from the engine and flake it out properly. We impress upon them the need to do this properly, and yet they continue to "pull and pile" the hose. Is it just me?

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No it's no you...we have the same problem. I'm not sure where the attitude comes from but I have run drill where I tell the guys we are going to pull the line, flake it out and stretch it in to the building. I've made them stop and re-pack the line multiple times until they get it right. Let's just say they packed a lot of hose and never made it into the building. When you try and talk to them they look at you like you are talking a different language. I guess if they could press a button and the hose flaked itself out they would be much happier.
No, its not you. We have yje same problem. Plus I get to see these other departments while am working as a cop. I remember a certain department on the northside of town that I had to tap the plug for them because the hydrant guy couldnt figure it out and then the pump operator couldn't get the engine into pump, so I ended up on the pump panel getting the engine into pump. Ben is right you try talking to these new "boots" and they look at you like you got seven heads. This generation is not like us and the are the playstation 3/WII generation they would rather sit around and play video games instead of oh I dont know maybe going through a rig when they have down time. Yet you look at half these goof balls we get and they look the part, they are quick to burn up there helmet in a burn room so they look like Johnny FDNY, I think maybe they should focus on pulling hose and advancing lines instead
It's all around , it seems the newer guys just want to do as they please, They go to FF1 and learn it , when they come back to us they seem to forget everything. recently the newest group of Probationary FF's that we have are learning things the hard way, I have been going to the Training class's and have stepped in and worked alongside the class , plus our Board has made thing a little tough for new guys , by increasing their Probationary period to 1 yr. and allowing me to do the job as it should be done by running the Department with a firm hand.
-As an instructor in addition to being a firefighter, it has been my experience that a mentorship roll is more productive and more completely received and positively viewed as apposed to the "firm hand" approach. The firm hand guy is usually viewed as a martinet rather than a leader or instructor.
-This same "firm hand" tough guy management style usually ends up driving off interested volunteers and usually only teaches new members the principles of micromanagement and not the art or craft of firefighting. Remember that you are dealing with volunteers and not a paid staff; a year long probation period seems excessive for a volunteer FD. A six month probation period, coupled with documented training and proficiency standards (state and local) seems more achievable while remaining inspirational to the new member.
-Of course the intent is to keep members safe and teach competency. The best instructors are ever mindful that they are in fact training their own replacement.
-While "stepping in" to the training sessions, it is better to insure that the new members understand the absolute importance of proper hose work and the reasonings for it; low manpower, proper water delivery, safety, hydraulics and how all this pertains to the firefighter on the nozzle. Once they understand the concepts then one can work on drilling and training the new firefighter in the basics of proper hose stretching.
-This process is a more time consuming but more completely demonstrates the instructors understanding of the topic which conveys the need to learn the information on behalf of the student. It also demonstrates the instructor's/mentor's love and appreciation of the art of firefighting and makes the instructor appear more as someone that truly cares, it makes you a mentor and not one who just shouts, "because I said so".

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