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What aspects of the fire service have been left out when we are doing probationary training? As my example, the other day we had members sitting on station watching the never dying classic “Backdraft”. Now be this not the best example of the fire service or how we actually operate it is still pretty cool as far as I’m concerned. There was a probie that entered the room and sat down with the guys and asked, “whatcha watchin? This that movie flashover or whatever?”. Now ok I can handle the fact that he hasn’t seen a movie, big deal right? Then the following statement comes out of his mouth like a Mike Tyson right hook….. “What are they wearing on their feet?”. Boom! Smash! Crash! And to the ground I fall as a company officer. This rook has been over fire behavior, smoke reading, cutting holes, driving and all other sorts of training but I have never informed him of his heritage. Of the ongoing history of this service, I mean he didn’t know what ¾ boots where!! Whata fail on my part, I guess it has never crossed my mind that this would even be an issue.  It was helpful though, I am currently creating a history portion that will be getting added to our probationary packet. Just as I have been taught by my father and many other men in this service I to must carry this torch and pass it on to the upcoming generations of this service. This is not a roofing job, or a lawn care job. This is the one and only job that the history means the difference with the present and future. Remember when we are training our guys to be the best they can at the job that we have a responsibility to train them on the history of our great service as well! Thanks for listening for a moment!




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I agree with you completely; there is a generational gap that has hit our service, not only in the history but in the traditions and ways things are done. For example, the rookie making sure that coffee is made (and served to the ranking officers), getting the flag up, offering a seat a a full table. The new firefighter needs to understand the rights and passages of becoming a firefighter as well as understand that just because you finished an academy does not make one a seasoned firefighter. The responsibility for the learning has to fall on the shoulders of the seasoned firefighters to make sure that all that enter our ranks understand the traditions and history of our profession. We should all start each tour with a moment for learning, training and teaching!


                Thank you for your comments. I must say, when I finished up with fire school I took it upon myself to learn many of the traditions of this service. But also I hate my father, and many of the men he served with that taught me many of these things growing up and after I received my certifications. I agree that there should be some sort of quick storey, training minute, or something of that nature during every shift above and beyond the standard training. I will be sure to keep you posted on how this new history portion of the packet goes. Thanks again for your thoughts!



I am confused as to your comment "But also I hate my father, and many of the men he served with that taught me many of these things growing up and after I received my certifications." I would assume you meant to type have rather than hate?

yes that would be HAVE. thats what I get for trying to type fast! my mistake sorry for the confusion 



We have a member going through the fire fighter boot camp, really nys firefighter one course but everyday 6 days a week for three weeks , and they get a packet the first night and the book and are required to get all the reading done and practice quizzes done before they start, and the first two chapters are on the history of fire fighting , and stopped in to observe class one day and they were actually going over the different types of ppe available past and present , was real interesting to observe untill the instructor told them i used to wear the 3/4 boots and long coat , just showing my age lol

Haha well Bill I guess getting called out like that helps you remember from time to time! I think that’s absolutely fantastic that they are incorporating fire service history into the firefighter course. Thanks for the boost brother.

I could'nt disagree more!....... well sort of.

I assume you guys are commenting from the carrer side of things, which then I would maybe agree with you. History of the fire service is an important factor, but from my perspective in the state of WI. on the volunteer side you only need to have entry level training which is 60 hours. 60 hours is not enough time to even teach the basics, let alone devote much time to fire history. Even in the certified fifefighter I course that is 96 hours is not enough time. Firefighter II course covers the history a little more.

     How do you add fire history to a training schedule when you don't have time to teach the basics?


I run both career and volunteer and we are basically covering the aspect of passing the tourch regardless of if its in class or at the coffee table the next morning at shift change. I can't think of any state that has the time to get into the details of fire service history when teaching fire school. Ohio FFI is 136 hours and the Vol Cert. is 36 and there is no way that this is enough time to teach the history. That is why I feel we need to explain this and work it into what WE train the members when they finish the academy. Thats all


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