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Help Translate training from FDIC to my department

While at FDIC I was lucky enough to be part of the HOT class in Truck Company Search and especially the Mask Confidence evolution. My department has always done a training on a maze but never anything like this. I loved it and more importantly learned a ton.. I want to do the same thing for a drill for our volunteers and career staff so I put together a drill proposal and presented it to the training officer. I am part of the training division and assumed I would be putting the drill on in the next few weeks at an aquired structure we have. However, the training officer wants to disect the maze and teach each prop individually in a "safe" environment. I feel that compromises the message of the drill itself. I feel that the reason I will never forget the leasons learned when I went through was because I had to figure out how to properly deal with the situation at hand. I wasn't sounding the floor properly and fell to my chest on the joist - I'll never do that again. I don't think that firefighters will get the same experience if it is peiced together (or rather disected).

Am I crazy or is that "in your face" aspect of this evolution part of the learning experience???

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Seth,

Both methods have some merit. It has been my experience that making the learning objectives clear and obtainable, with an expectation of success is the most rewarding. Then, after teaching the new technique, demonstrating the steps to succeed then going through "the maze", the participants have the proper action reinforced at the end. When participants are just thrown to the wolves and make errors, the most vivid memory of the exercise is the mistake and the struggle to correct it. It is a way of learning, just not always the most desirable. Keep in mind that different people learn in different ways. The problem with the "just work through the problem" method is that it often results in high levels of frustration on the part of the participant and can really turn off your audience and impact future training endeavours. I think this is what your training officer is trying to avoid.

Remember, the audience and the firehouse on training night may not be as gung ho as we who attend FDIC. That doesn't mean they are less dedicated, just that they didn't sign up for an a**-whipping. :-)

Give it a try this way. You might like the results. I have seen a big change in my department in terms of attitude towards training by simply using this approach.
I understand that method and the reasoning behind it as well. I am of the opinion that our firefighters have become complacent towards FF survival - it'll never happen to us. I would never allow the student to get to the point of frustration while trying to learn. Like at FDIC my plan was to position instructors to help after a little time of trial and error. I want to train to success, I just feel that a bit of a rude awakening might shock some out of complacency.....maybe I'm wrong.

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