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So many times when I see and do training, we get stuck in a rut by doing one task. For instance, when we have a guy ready to take the operators seat, we go to a parking lot, pull a cross lay and pump. Granted, he has to hook to the hydrant, but it is pretty much a bread and butter training evolution that is done over and over again. Not that it’s not important, but rather, can we make it more interesting?

Here is an example of what I like to call “multi-tasking” training. The person running the truck is going to be promoted to operator within the next week or so. Instead of just putting the stick in the air and twirling it around and flowing water out the end of it, why not make it an evolution that everyone can be a part of.



What we did here was have the new operator actually practice placing the ladder on a building with an experienced operator at his side. This was a good time for the new operator to get familiar with and comfortable placing the stick.

This was more than just putting it up there, he really had to get it right and take into account working firefighters and water flow since we were adding to the evolution.

Next, we had three guys go to the roof as a team. One thing that two of them had never done was connect to and work off of the stand pipe connection from the tip. This connection is next to the nozzle with a butterfly valve. It gave the crew an opportunity to learn the workings of shutting off the nozzle valve and opening the butterfly valve before asking for water.



The crew made their way up the ladder, one with the hose and nozzle and the other was working on the valves. The third firefighter took the roof ladder to the first two for them to place it on the peak for operations. The line we used was a 1 3/4 inch line, but you could make it what ever you wanted.

Once the roof ladder was placed the crew advanced the line to the peak and called for water. The firefighters locked in with their personal harnesses and flowed water.

In addition, we practiced working off the roof ladder to simulate ventilation operations. The biggest benefit of this drill was the increased confidence in the harness and the ability to know and understand the steps to use the valve on the end of the stick for simulated stand pipe operations.



The advantage of this drill was the ability accomplish more than one task in a short time. This drill took about 45 minutes to perform with one company.

The new operator was required to set up the ladder, place it and flow water to a hand line from the tip. In addition, he got used to some noise at the turntable during operations.

The firefighters on the roof were able to get familiar with the connection at the tip in a non-stress environment and have a better understanding of how many people are really needed in these situations.

They also got not only nozzle time, but roof time as well and being comfortable handling tools and hose on and off the ladder.

We were able to accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time. This “multi-tasking” method has worked very well for us in the past. Learn to use your time wisely and keep things fresh.

Train hard and stay safe.

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Could not agree more on this to combine training like this
I agree with this concept of "multitask training" We see this a lot with EMS when firefighter/EMT's or FF/Paramedics do Trauma or Mega codes on cardiac arrest or trauma training. Lots of activity with lots of people doing different things on the patient(s).

I believe that you are right-on faced with reduced staffing on the fire ground and the need to cross train our firefighters so they stay safe and we accomplish our community mission.

Stay safe
-As a firefighter I like the idea of realistic multi task training. As an instructor it does bring a few issues to the forefront that need to be addressed prior to the training tacking place. As any good instructor knows, good, safe training doesn't just happen; it is planned.
-First, is the multi task training going to convolute, distract from or dilute the message or information that the training session is intending to impart?
-Second, the direct message/informational intent of the training should be surrounded with multi tasks that are of an "easier" task level so as not to detract from the training goal. Also, the tertiary tasks should be easier/routine so that the multi tasks being performed will not cause unnecessary distraction and/or injury.
-Lastly, having the tertiary tasks being easier will help build the all important muscle memory in to the firefighter. Performing a new task along with a familiar task will make it that much easier to recall and perform the new tasks later.
-Realistic training is important but not because the troops need to be entertained or to alleviate boredom. Training should be realistic to instill confidence into the trainee so when the real situation presents itself it will look and feel familiar. The sense of familiarity will go a long way in reducing the on scene stress. In effect, realistic training is intended to replace the all to elusive experience so that firefighters will react as experienced firefighters would.
-As to Jason's comment, "bread and butter training evolution that is done over and over again", that is what training is!!! I like Bruce Lee's philosophy on training. "Train on a technique until you forget it". If you think about this quote it is really the perfect way to train... until you forget it !!
Mike, good points and I agree what you say. The point was that the training can be interesting and I do think it is important to keep things interesting. In addition, I agree about doing the same things over and over, however, to draw on different experiences there must be different ways of training to accomplish similar skills.
Take and care thanks again for your great comments.


Michael Bricault said:
-As a firefighter I like the idea of realistic multi task training. As an instructor it does bring a few issues to the forefront that need to be addressed prior to the training tacking place. As any good instructor knows, good, safe training doesn't just happen; it is planned.
-First, is the multi task training going to convolute, distract from or dilute the message or information that the training session is intending to impart?
-Second, the direct message/informational intent of the training should be surrounded with multi tasks that are of an "easier" task level so as not to detract from the training goal. Also, the tertiary tasks should be easier/routine so that the multi tasks being performed will not cause unnecessary distraction and/or injury.
-Lastly, having the tertiary tasks being easier will help build the all important muscle memory in to the firefighter. Performing a new task along with a familiar task will make it that much easier to recall and perform the new tasks later.
-Realistic training is important but not because the troops need to be entertained or to alleviate boredom. Training should be realistic to instill confidence into the trainee so when the real situation presents itself it will look and feel familiar. The sense of familiarity will go a long way in reducing the on scene stress. In effect, realistic training is intended to replace the all to elusive experience so that firefighters will react as experienced firefighters would.
-As to Jason's comment, "bread and butter training evolution that is done over and over again", that is what training is!!! I like Bruce Lee's philosophy on training. "Train on a technique until you forget it". If you think about this quote it is really the perfect way to train... until you forget it !!
Jason, Brother, you know how I feel concerning training and multitasking is needed in these trying times! As Officers we must get our own to accept ownership and get them engaged in our mission and Profession! We work in an interesting place, where doing more than one task seems to overwhelm folks, yet guys like us move forward. Very well put my friend! You'll be seeing more of the ownership and engagement thing out of me real soon! KTF!

Jeff
Jeff, can't to see it. Stay safe and I'll see you soon.

Jeff Schwering said:
Jason, Brother, you know how I feel concerning training and multitasking is needed in these trying times! As Officers we must get our own to accept ownership and get them engaged in our mission and Profession! We work in an interesting place, where doing more than one task seems to overwhelm folks, yet guys like us move forward. Very well put my friend! You'll be seeing more of the ownership and engagement thing out of me real soon! KTF!

Jeff
I am a big fan of the multi-task training, and getting crew members a chance to learn the jobs of those above them. I feel it really helps me as a firefighter to understand job and requirements of my engineer, and if i know what he is going through then what can i do in my job to better facilitate his. The same goes for my company officer, how to anticipate his need on the incident and provide for that without distracting his tactics.
A good example is our normal operation at a residential structure fire. We have three man engine companies, and on arrival my captain and I (ff) do the walk around. We both have a heads up look at the building construction and fire conditions. I am close looking in windows for vics and fire conditions, and he is back a few feet getting more of the global picture including reading smoke. This means my job requires me to learn the normal Captains job of reading smoke, and fire conditions, along with building construction and ect. I know what he is looking for and i am his second set of eyes. Meanwhile, when the seat of the fire has been identified the engineer is ordered to pull the hose to appropriate door. We finish our walk around with both myself and the captain having idea of construction, and fire condition, and our hoseline is sitting at the door ready to go.

I think one of the other biggest challenges to training, especially for our company officers is coming up with new drills or scenarios. We use internet videos (ie fire engineering training minutes ), and training videos from other departments to help come up with new scenarios or drills to keep the training fresh.
As far as taking ownership along with my friend (and brother firefighter), we developed a free website with hundreds of fire and EMS videos hoping that sharing this resource would help our fellow brothers and sisters with finding new training tips and techniques. Here is a link to the site if you are interested in checking it out http://firevidz.com/.

Brandon
Great post! It's very nice. Thank you so much for your post.


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