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Was involved in a practice evolution last night and our new Chief of 5 months remarked on the lack of urgency in our practice. I know it is hard to make it realistic, but how do you motivate firefighters to react like its for real. The Chief was genuine in his remarks and seemed quite concerned as he should be. He did comment that this doesn't happen at real incidents so why is it happening at practice?

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As with any drill, making it real for the firefighters is tuff. I have experienced just this situation myself, but somethings you just need to practice. You might try finding some NIOSH LODD reports and drive home your point with them. You also may want to try timing the drills and make it a compitition. You need to watch that the drill is done correctly and no short cuts just for speed. The most important thing is to stick to the needs of the department. Do a good needs assessment and make your drills to fit your department. If you ask the guys, you will get the things they want to do and not what they need to do.

Joe Stapp
You have just reinforced what I was thinking, don't really have to reinvent the wheel. Great idea about the LODD reports, will definitely work those in. The Chiefs comments may well be enough for the next time. The needs assessment is a great idea and am planning to do just that.
As far as the evolution, it was supposed to be the gym area of a high school that was showing heavy smoke. Initial response was a 1 1/2 attack line. Afterwards the Chief asked why they deployed a 1 1/2 to such a large building showing heavy smoke? Lots of water available, big building, so, big hose! I think they will remember that one, so some lessons learnt, all was not lost. Thanks for the great ideas.
I agree with the chief, there is a large fire load in a gym and if there is heavy smoke showing, there had better be a 2 1/2. All too many times we fall into what I have heard as the "house fire" mindset. 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 are not big enough for this fire. I uuse the rule of thumb that anything bigger than 2 rooms upon arrival gets a 2 1/2.

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