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Just wanted to throw out there what other departments do for daily training?  When you train? Types of classroom training and hands on training? Is this training just for the station you are at or do you do multi station training?

At the department that I work at we fo trainig in the afternoon during the colder months and in the morning during the summer.  We have a scheduale that is given out at the begining of each month to all stations.  The stationofficer is to provide the station training on the classroom days.  The about 2-3 times a month we come together and have skills check offs for the training.  And at lest once a month we will come together and have a drill.  3-4 times a year we will have night drills.  This will range from burns to rescue skills, HAZ-MAT, etc.  This is a scenario based training session.

So what do you do?  

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Hi Todd,


I can explain how the training was done when I was young FF in a volunter departement in France, the very small size of the fire station allowing a good overview.

The schedule was done for the year. We done it on october for the next years. The list of subjects was done according to previous difficulties on the fire ground and on common risk.

Then we took all the subject to sort them. For that, we began by the easier (from the easier to the hardest). Eg the chimney fire occurs in october, so training about chimney was on september and so on.

We done usually 3 training sessions then a "group training session", taking in account what we've done during the 3 prevuous sessions. The goal was always to have training session without mistake. It's very easy to "imagine" cases on which the guys will fail, but that's very bad for motivation. Learning by mistake is a pedagogical way of doing which don't apply well to the fire service and which increase accidents on the fire ground.


In France, FF are both FF and paramedic. So, during a training session, we splitted the team in two half. One half performed paramedic training as the second half performed FF one. After about 1H30 (the full training session was 3 hours), we rest a little, then swap the team, perform again 1H30 of training.

The advantage is that you have very small team. From a quality point of view, 6 for one instructor it the max. So you can have of course 2 teams on EMS, as 2 teams are on FF and so on.

A training session is not a learning session. During training we remeber things we've previously learned. So, the PTT and the bla bla bla for 1 hour in the classroom must be avoided. If you want to "refresh memory", you must do that outside, with you voice and body.

If you are outside, you can use a paper board, magnetic drawing you put on the truck and so on.Let's imagine pedagogical tool, they are numerous.


The best way of doing: answer the guys about something to do a "refresh mind". For example for a pump operation training, "what is the max level between water and the pump when we want to suck water?" let them answer and push the needle a little by asking if it's the length of the pipe or the height and so on. After 2 or 3 minutes, explain quickly with one drawing, then "OK, we will show you". Perform the action (you must be perfect). Then repeat the action and explain each step. After that, the guys must do. You can then make a conclusion at the paper board.


You can also create small races for some training. For example, a "coupling hose line race": take 10 hoses lines in one side 10 on the other side. The first two coupling are not connected together as the two next are, two other no and so on. The goal is to connect those which are not, and disconnect those which are. 10 hose line for team 1, 10 for team 2. When the first guy finish, he just go back, smash the hand of the next collegue of the same team who perform the coupling action and so one.With two small team, this race is fast, people connect and disconnect a big number of time, and it's funny.

We can also make such a race for wearing SCBA, taking of tools from the trucks and so on.

An other nice training is SCBA training without obscurity, without maze and without smoke. A table, outside of the fire station, with the SCBA. The guy put his complete gear and the SCBA, and connect it. Then, on the table, a paper with the list of all the guys. In front of his name, the FF must write the time and the pressure. He will see that with the light of the sun and the gloces, it's not so easy. Then, a paper indicating "next indication is in the lavatory". So the guy do to the lavatory and find a papier indication "next indication at the bar" and so on. You can ask for a crawl under the truck, but what is most interesting is to ask for memory action: Eg "Turn back and look the nozzle on the ground. The next indication is under the nozzle which has "Hello honey" written on it". And you will see the guys, doing the 5 or 6 meters to the nozzle and them, being unable to remeber what to find, going back to the indication and so on. Also, you can ask for pressure info to be written again, remenbering detail ("open the box, look the paper and remeber the hazzmat code") which you will aks at the end...

At the full end of the exercice, which still wearing SCBA, ask for some basic mathematical question (6x4, 32/2 ..) and basic question (name of the vice president of the USA...) You will see the SCBA, without smoke, without stress and without heat, impact a lot brain function.

It's easy to do, funny, all the guys would ask to re-try and will see the difficulty of wearing such a PPE. Also, for giving order, it prooves complex order are non sens as guys are unable to remeber them.


My friend in Virton (Belgium), perform also about one time per month, a burn in flashover attack container. We've help them to put one at a cost lower than 3000 US$ and they use it a lot. But this depend on the area you have (Virton is a small town and the fire service has field just neat the station)


Hope this will help you.

Best regards


We train Every Weds. Morn. and Evening with Training on Sunday Mornings, During the Winter Months we take care of all OSHA and hazmat refresher training,

From March to Nov we tackle all the Hands on /Live fire Training


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