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Today at the firehouse (11-2) it was a hard to get the guys to train. Their excuse to me was "it is Sunday". I struggled to get the guys off the couch to do a simple half hour of training. I am curious what your crews do for training on Sunday or do you not train on Sunday's?

Todd McKee

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In relation to the TIC training you were conducting; what signs were you teaching them to look for from the exterior that could not be seen without a camera?

Jim said:
There is a key point we need to always keep in mind. Training has to be effective training. The crew needs to fully understand the training goals for any evolution. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
I routinely use a thermal imaging camera on fire alarms where a key holder is not available.

I conducted this evolution while cooking on a Sunday.
I posed this scenario to my crew.
There is a small fire inside a home that has not developed to the point that there is any visible signs of a fire on the exterior of the home.
The homeowner is not available.
The alarm company has no other key holder available and doesn't have the abilitiy to tell if the alarm has reset.

How do you find out that there is a fire in the home before visible exterior signs are seen?

I had each member of my crew complete a 360 degree walk around the station using the thermal imaging camera to survey the exterior of the building.
The walk around ended at the charcoal grill I was cooking on. Some members of my crew were rookies and had never looked at an open flame through a thermal imaging camera. We had a lengthy discussion on thermal imaging cameras that carried over to the dinner table.
We have to have effective training and not train just to train.

Using a thermal imaging camera in this manner is not a 100% guarantee that you are going to find a small fire in a home from the exterior of a home.
I always have two crew members’ independently complete exterior surveys with the camera. I document their negative findings in my report. If the house burns after I leave. I have less liability because I did what was “reasonable and prudent”. This is my justification for not making forced entry to verify that there is no fire. I can defend my decision in court because I did what was “reasonable and prudent”.
Warm spot in a wall, hot spot in a section of soffet, heat line from thermal layering halfway down a window.
Windows reflect IR so you won't "see" a fire inside a room. You will see the glass get hotter that the rest of the outside walls.
I look for changes in temperature signature. If you look at an open flame in cooking grill with a TIC you will see the fluid motion of the flame. The appearance of motion is due to the varying degrees in temperature. If while conducting the exterior survey I see a similar fluid motion of varying changes in temperatures. I would use that as justification to make forced entry. If you take your TIC and look at an open flame you will better understand what I am talking about.
You would need to use caution when you see visual hot spots with the TIC. I have found that when looking at sheet rock you can see false hot spots. My theory is these false hot spots are cause by varying degrees of moisture in the sheet rock. I do not have any scientific data to support this theory. You can find these when you conduct exterior surveys also. The indicators I look for is the fluid motion or a hot spot that is growing. I dismiss visual hot spots seen through the TIC that are steady state or unchanging.
Hi Todd:

I am the training officer for my department, and I put out a monthly training curriculum that is completed and entered into our NFIRS reporting software. As far as the days and times, that is left to the platoon commanders, as long as the monthly training criteria is met. I have done training on all days of the week. When you work 8 days a month, and other issues come up (Administrative duties, company projects, even FIRES!! lol) you have to be flexible.

I say handle your training as you need to do it, and train in all types of conditions for all types of scenarios. For example, my last tour I took my crew out at 8 pm and laid lines for a setback building fire off the road. You never know when the bell will ring, so best to stay focused on the task, and the environment will become secondary.

On a lighter note, beware the "mouch" in the fire service: Part Man, Part Couch.....

Stay safe!

We do a lot of Company and District training on Sundays for a couple of reasons. I work for a large, metropolitan department who has a substandard training program. Our 40 hr. in service focus is EMS and required trainings like EVOC, Haz-Mat, etc. We do little to NO fire training although we do still make a fair amount of fires.
Our "Administrative" folks frown on training since it takes companies out of service, might carry them out of territiory, raises the potential for an injury, and the list goes on and on. Sunday sessions allow us to do "Underground" training sessions during the weekend when the "Admin" folks are off and not around. In the past year we've done Flashover Recognition and Survival (complete with a "can" from a neighboring department), Motor Pump Operations, Elevated Master Stream work, and a Firefighter Survival program with tons of evolutions that took 2 different shifts to complete. It's sad we had to keep it on the down low, but the brothers were exposed to it, enjoyed it, and will hopefully use it to help them on the job.
We try to begin in the mornings and have things wound up by lunch. Some guys like to watch sports, get a workout in, etc. so getting the training in while still allowing for those other things works out. They get the training, they get to se the game, work out, and no body is left with a bad taste in their mouth. It's worked out good for us.
The culture and tradition of many departments is that Sunday is a "down" day. With that said, getting a little training in can take various forms. I believe that if you build a culture of training, your officers will find training opportunities even during the most mundane daily tasks.

For example….Is the daily vehicle check and inventory just a matter of "checking the boxes" on the forms? I ask all of my Officers to check the rig and conduct the daily and weekly inventories as a company. The inventory should not about checking the boxes, get the tools in your hands. Discuss hose loads, lead-outs, even the act of cleaning, painting or maintaining tools and equipment will bring a greater depth of knowledge on that tool or piece. As the company conducts the checks together, invariably, conversations take place and the next thing you know, there are learning and teaching minutes. No matter what happens for the rest of your tour, you have had this time with your company to talk about stuff. If Officers plan ahead, they can drop in topics to discuss during the daily checks.

Following roll-call, even on Sundays, have a quick-drill or tailboard talk. If it is built-in as Mike Walker said earlier, it just becomes part of the program. These drills almost always lead to a discussion. Several of the companies rotate the quick-drill among the members. This helps everyone to get used to talking in front of the group and they gain a greater depth of knowledge on the topic by preparing.

As a Battalion Chief, I enjoy Sundays as a day to look at buildings, check construction sites and mentally run through strategic and tactical scenarios on a day that has less traffic and congestion and fewer administrative duties.
Hey Brother!
We are a combination department, this allows us to work with several different firefighters. To answer your question of how often do we train?
We are expected to train for 2 hours daily as a unit, then we have trainings on every Thursday for two hours so the entire department can train with each other.

Thank you for your reply and I hope this answers your question.
Dusty Dines said:
Avery you and I must work for the same kind of boss. I still stand behind my statment that if the guys don't hit it when the man says let's go, then the problem may not be the boss.

Avery said:
I agree with Dines...we train hard during the week-(hard) and therefore we really try to relax on Sundays...after all it is the day of rest (wink). That's not to say if the big man came down and told us we're going to train, then that's what we're going to do. After all he/she's the one with the bugles and you are getting paid to work. The idea of not training on a "Sunday" for 1/2 hour to hour can lead to the demise of lives is kind of absurd, that's provided that you train on a regular basis and not just once a month. We try to average about 20 hours a month, and we work about 10 days a month, so we will put in the extra time to rest on Sundays if need be. I guess my question for Todd often do you train during the month??
Dusty Dines said:
I guess I'm against the norm too. We drill quite a bit during the week, so when sunday comes our boss tries to take it easy on us and let us catch up on football or napcar, or whatever you're into. There are special occasions when there is limited availability of resources, facilities, etc or trying to get someone up to speed, but the majority of the time sunday is pretty laid back. I'm sure even on those days a few of us spend at least and hour around the computer looking at stuff like this site or planning what we want to do for drills the next week.
Give them a choice;

Everyone that wants to train- get on the truck

Everyone that does not want to train- get on the truck!!

It's just that simple.


we train on Sundays,and any other day of the week,I believe our chief would let and fire fighter go,if he did not want to train on Sundays ,and take his job serious,I no I do. A good fire fighter will do his job,no matter what job that is to do with his are her department.
The fire fighters that lag around,they usually are gone,out ! We need those who care,to get out there ,no matter what day ,or what night...
When and call comes in,,well that could be and Sunday,most of the time ,which is...
We no longer train on Sundays with our company. When I first moved to my current assignment as company officer we trained on Sundays, Saturdays, and "light" holidays such as Labor Day. I did this due to some skill concerns, past operational observations, and that fact that I was new to the company and wanted to test my guys, and myself. As time went on and skill levels were raised, and confidence was gained, I cut the Sunday trainings out. We still train on Saturdays and "light holidays.
My comment to fire fighters that complained about these training days was simple; "you collect the same pay on Sunday as you do on Monday, so I think you can give our community 1/2 hour of dedication toward sharpening your skills".
Todd -
Thanks for the great topic. Looks like I am not alone on this one!

I work for a paid department, and as a general rule, we do not "train" on Sundays. Each company, however, is required to do a 1/2 hr to 1 hr. tour of their first-in area. We are asked to look at such things as new construction in the area, access when road are under construction, size-up and recon buildings from the outside, etc. It's easy, painless, the guys always learn something and most important, the guys are off their butts when they would be otherwise doing very little on a Sunday.

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