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i have been the Training officer at my dept for about 8 months. In the past year we got a new chief and me as a new training officer. In the years prior, training consisted of going to a hydrant somewhere and shooting water. Since then I have come up with a strict training regiment focussing on firefighter safety and advanced techniques and tactics in all aspects of fire dept operations. This however has been met with mixed emotions. Our core guys love it, but the others hate it and are hard to convince that we are light years behind compliance and the need for training is crucial. I would love any tips on how to get the," wet stuff on the red stuff ", guys to get on board. This is after all a Fire Dept. not a social club right. Any help from senior firefighters and officers would be appreciated.............STAY SAFE

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I am Asst. Chief of an all Volunteer Fire Dept. my self, and this is one tough obstacle to overcome. I wish I had some majic phrase for you that would fix it. ( but I haven't found that yet and if you do let me know!) There are some that you will never reach, you know your 2-10ers ( that is 2 years of experience 10 times equals 20 years of experience). Once you figure out whose those are just don't waste your time on them, they will only drag you down and ruin it for the ones that really want to train. Some will come around, hear are a couple of things that have helped me. 1 - Post a list of everyone's training level. With a volunteer FD we try to keep everyone informed since anyone could be IC depending the time or day. 2 - Ask them what training they would like to do, or sometimes even better, get them to help you instruct or oversee a training. I have actually heard some say that had forgotten that technique or that we had that piece of equipment after a training. 3 - Setup training scenerios based on recent calls and highlight some mistakes and areas for improvement, mention how a mutual aid department really had thier act together and how your FD is better than they arethey just need to hone their skills a little. ( a little freindly competition always works, every FF wants to be the BEST. 4 - This one will make you some enemies. Put them on the spot! "You will be pump operator or IC tonight, you will be ventilation captain." I would use this a last resort becasue it will earn you some enemies.
Most importantly make sure your officers are behind it and support every training regardless how they feel. And use the officers and senior members to offer input on trainings after all they have experience which is the best teaching aid there is!
I have seen this phenomena happen many times. It happen when we all had to go to EMT school. Next it happened when hazmat training became mandatory and on the heels of that it happened when ICS came out. I think you get my drift. Bottom line is you are doing what someone was getting paid to do long before this. The other part of this is when the crying and complaining is over with, you'll have a better department, the whiners will retire and the new guys will think it's always been this way. Probably one of the best things you can do is make the nay sayers part of the solution and they won't have time to complain. Develop good lesson plans and make those guys the instructors. Train them in proper teaching tactics and have at it. Good Luck.
John I do not know what you mean when you say you have developed a "strict training regiment' or that you are "light years behind in compliance" Are you trying (pushing) to hard? .Are you overloading the members? With "advanced techniques" and feel resistance because the basics are missing? "Focusing on firefighter safety" can turn people off because evrything we train on has safety aspects. You may be doing a fantasic job, but you must also be able to step back and honestly assess how you are doing. I do not believe that drills should be timed. I do not not believe that it is necessary to drill every day. What I want as a company officer is to be replaced by self motivated firefighters who drill because they want to. Just like a hoseline we dont push it in we pull it along with us.

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