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I have just been appointed to the Captains position and we have a new Training Officer also. In the past we have lacked the training we need to keep everyone intrested, I would like any advice any one has to offer. Thanks.

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Well first I would join some of the great training groups on here. As far as training, well from a firefighters point of view any training is cool. But change it up. Pull hose here, throw ladder here, quiz the crew after clearing a med aid about the house they were just in, quiz each other on equipment location, loser buys mochas, remember if you have a passion for the job, so will your crew.
Hope it helps
be safe
Jason,

I started by studying the psychology of my FFs. What was their motivation for being there? I realized that at some level, we all have certain things in common. It requires a tremendous amount of knowledge to operate safely on today's fire ground. But at the very heart of our job, we sometimes work in life-and-death situations. Keeping yourself alive, or helping someone else's fight for life, is at the most fundamental level of human existence. All of our skills come together at that point: this is where education meets instinct. So I designed my training to "speak" to the instincts of the FF. The drills were set to meet all the state's objectives, but the way we went about the actual drill was based on my instinct model.

So as an example: SCBA proficiency is a basic FF skill; it supports breathing, which is a primal instinct. I set up a drill based on the physiological response of the body when deprived of air. The brain will always develop a skill set to ensure survival. So the key to the drill was to tap into that existing instinct, by teaching the brain that using the air pack ensures survival. So an unconscious response emerges in the trainees: the drills become fun, interesting, engaging. However the firefighters describe it, they become motivated to learn through the drills because their brains thrive on learning survival skills. They train on all aspects of the air pack because the brain sees the value, as it relates to the unsophisticated skill of self preservation.

Marty
Coagulations Captain and good luck. Keep on top of the training and don’t let people change your mind on this. You can never training to much. Make it fun so the guys/gals want to train and talk about the training class. We have other departments come to our training do to making it so much fun and make sure you bring in people in from the outside to teach some class for your department . Good luck !
Hi Jason, what I've found over the years is that older captains like it when a young captain tells them just what they don't know. It is really good if you can do this in front of their crews and optimally the whole battalion. But if that backfires on you because everywhere is different try asking the older guys for advice. One thing with firemen is if you tell them to do something they give you grief but if you ask a favor they'll go out of their way to help.
Be sincere when asking and no matter what thank them for their contribution. If you want them to do the delivery tell everyone you got the info from them and then start F#*king it up as you deliver it and believe me they'll step in to save their name. Be careful this technique doesn't work for everyone.
Good luck to us all, Charley
Congratulations and good luck, you have been apointed to a very powerful and responsible position. You are solely responsible for the effectiveness and skill of your crew. Seems to me that you need to train twice as hard as your men. My current captain just seems to float through the day. I cant for the life of me remember the last time we did any company training where he was involved. Lucky for me I have a very knowledgable, skilled and aggressive engineer who feeds my "training fire". I am also lucky enough to have had served under a very demanding captain that fostered excellence in his men. Having had those experiences I feel like a very capable fireman and am driven by the "need to know more".

I dont know your personality or company make up but remember that you assumed a position that comes with great power, influence and responsibility...understanding that simple fact means you are well on your way to becoming a good captain. Forgetting that fact and you will be the reason your company fails. Good luck and remember "Some people train till they get it right, we will train till we can't get it wrong!".
Two key factors:
1: Realistic training. Don't take shortcuts. Run hose evolutions in real time. Have everyone (even evaluators) do it in full PPE. Officers: SET THE EXAMPLE.

2: Honest post incident evaluation. Critique all training with an After Action Review (page 19 of the IRPG)
What was planned?
What actually happened?
Why did it Happen?
What can we do better next time?

The value of fire department training lives or dies on the backs of the officers facilitating it.
"The value of fire department training lives or dies on the backs of the officers facilitating it." - well now, that really says it all. What a great freaking quote. Is that yours? If so, consider it stolen!
What i can definitely recommend you concerning training is keeping your trainees motivated and interested, show them every time what they just learned and how they can use their acquired knowledge.
They should always be challenged but not too much otherwise they will be frustrated that they cant achieve what you are asking from them.
The group that I'm with likes to do real time drills with simulated dispatch from a remote location from the training site. I think these help quite a bit with first due operations.
Congradulations on your promotion to Captain! Regarding instruction, I would recommend taking some time to learn about Adult educational techniques and how adults learn. We some times teach the way we learn as individuals. This may not fit everyone's learning style so, learn other styles so that you can incorperate this into you training sessions. This is a good start.
Hope this helps
Regards
Right on Kevin! This is what forward thinking fire trainers should be doing. We should be learning how to teach, the tactics are the easy part. I consult and teach at all levels of the fire service and I see the same old training model over and over. Yet somehow, we expect to see a change in how we die and suffer injury. If we want to change the stats, it is up to the trainers to change the training models today. Thanks Kevin, you are looking forward. No more lip service, today we train in a whole new way!

Marty

Kevin Keen said:
Congradulations on your promotion to Captain! Regarding instruction, I would recommend taking some time to learn about Adult educational techniques and how adults learn. We some times teach the way we learn as individuals. This may not fit everyone's learning style so, learn other styles so that you can incorperate this into you training sessions. This is a good start.
Hope this helps
Regards
Your training office should be State Certified, if not then that person should be working towards
that.
In Michigan, we have to review the basic 12 practical stations on a yearly bases. (pump operations,
fire streams, knots,& ropes, ladders, sprinkler systems (pre plans) etc.)
Have a Round Table review per drill, focus on, What's happening in the fire service
Example: Engineered Lumber, pros and con's. Failure in 2 mins under direct flame exposure
Residental Sprinklers
Make sure that anyone that has received outside training is coming back and sharing. Your paying
for it, make sure that you get the most bang for your buck by passing it on.

Make sure that all training meets Local, State and Federal requirements
Document all training. Always have the firefigther sign that they receiver that training.
One of the biggest problems in the fire service is when the XXX hits the fan, we don't
have proof that the person was trained to perform the task.

Don't forget Hazmat, Michigan requires 8 hours of refresher training per year to maintain
Awareness and Operations level.
Have a drill make up schedule. You will never be able to get everyone all the time, so make
sure that you have a plan from the start.
Best of luck!

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