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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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I really don't think this is about being a paid or a volunteer. The question is Should we train on Sunday's? Does it really matter if you make a million dollars or do this for free? I don't think so, because paid or volunteer we all do the same job, we all need to train and train hard. One post said that we should train like our life depends on it, because it does. Well guess what? That is exactly right our life depends on training and training could make the difference whether we make it home or not? We as firefighters need to stick together and work hard with each other, we as firefighters are a part of the strongest family in the world, and we as firefighters need to train everyday of the week. Thank god for everyone in the fire service!

Stay positive, keep looking up , and keep training!

Your friend,
Todd McKee
Your right, it is hard to get guys to train on Sundays(especially the more senior guys). At my part time FD, we take our Truck out on sundays and do driver's training with the newer guys and I also have them practice laddering different structures. If it is to cold or wet, I have the guys practice knots. It is usually pretty short(1-2 hours) and really laid back and relaxed. At my Full time FD, we do not train on Sundays officially, but I always try to do something to better my skills and raise my comfort level personally. A senior guy once told me that if I really wanted to train, I would always find a way.
My Department trains everday. A schedule is made out a month in advance for training, by our training officer. If you get the guys in a habit, they will begin to come around and work with you not against you. Involve your senior members. Have them give a class.

Keep them focused on their safety........Keep up the good work, and keep training.
I am a full time career officer.
I prefer to train on Sunday's mornings because we use school parking lots and our local airport for training grounds. There is little to no traffic around to disrupt training. This results in a reduction in liability. Almost all of my multi and single company training evolutions are scheduled for Sundays mornings or Sunday nights. Saturday's we do drivers training.
We only train one Sunday and/or one Saturday a month. During the week: Pre-Fire plans, Hydrant maintenance 0900-1200. Down time and lunch 1200-1400. Classroom training is 1400 to 1600.
Paperwork follows 1600-1800 as required.
I found that establishing a routine makes it easier to get compliance. Establish common goals and set rewards for achieving them. Once training is over on the weekends (0900-1200). The rest of the day is theirs. I periodically schedule family days on weekends and all holidays that we work. Big cookouts, games and movies for the kids. I sometimes make up my own awards and give them out on family days.
Some to the awards are for recognition of doing a good job. Others are humorous....I had someone knock over a
glass of milk during breakfast two shifts in a row. They got an award for being the best spontaneous hazmat training team leader.
Brother, I think what your doing is a great IDEA! 1 - 2 hours of training on a Sunday out of a 24 hours shift isn't much to ask. The idea of having a get together on the weekends for fun and a pat on the back is also excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feel free to pass any other ideas to me @ toddcmckee@hazmatohio.com. I would love to hear what all you do for the guys!
Thanks a bunch!
Todd McKee

Jim said:
I am a full time career officer.
I prefer to train on Sunday's mornings because we use school parking lots and our local airport for training grounds. There is little to no traffic around to disrupt training. This results in a reduction in liability. Almost all of my multi and single company training evolutions are scheduled for Sundays mornings or Sunday nights. Saturday's we do drivers training.
We only train one Sunday and/or one Saturday a month. During the week: Pre-Fire plans, Hydrant maintenance 0900-1200. Down time and lunch 1200-1400. Classroom training is 1400 to 1600.
Paperwork follows 1600-1800 as required.
I found that establishing a routine makes it easier to get compliance. Establish common goals and set rewards for achieving them. Once training is over on the weekends (0900-1200). The rest of the day is theirs. I periodically schedule family days on weekends and all holidays that we work. Big cookouts, games and movies for the kids. I sometimes make up my own awards and give them out on family days.
Some to the awards are for recognition of doing a good job. Others are humorous....I had someone knock over a
glass of milk during breakfast two shifts in a row. They got an award for being the best spontaneous hazmat training team leader.
Well said,I could of not said that any better.We train,and when a call comes in ,that is extra hard training that means the most.Our life's depends on how well we conduct our job as and fire fighter.BT
Todd McKee said:
I really don't think this is about being a paid or a volunteer. The question is Should we train on Sunday's? Does it really matter if you make a million dollars or do this for free? I don't think so, because paid or volunteer we all do the same job, we all need to train and train hard. One post said that we should train like our life depends on it, because it does. Well guess what? That is exactly right our life depends on training and training could make the difference whether we make it home or not? We as firefighters need to stick together and work hard with each other, we as firefighters are a part of the strongest family in the world, and we as firefighters need to train everyday of the week. Thank god for everyone in the fire service!

Stay positive, keep looking up , and keep training!

Your friend,
Todd McKee
God Bless you Brenda!
Train everyday!!! The more you sweat in training the less you will bleed in battle.
do you have specific days you train on? I work in a career dept. that does 7000 calls annually out of 3 stations and it's our policy that Sunday mornings are set aside for training. Sometimes it's hands-on, sometimes it's not, but we're doing at least SOMETHING every Sunday for at least an hour. This doesn't mean we don't do any training the rest of the week. We strictly set aside Sunday AM's for training. If a company officer sees a deficiency in a specific area, he may get his crew together on ANY day of the week to correct the problem.

Previously in our dept. we had many more "senior" members than we do now. Our newer young members want to get out and do stuff, so it makes the company officer's job a little easier. It's been my experience that the "senior" guys still on the job actually fall to peer pressure and get in on what everyone else is doing, so the problem takes care of itself, in a way. Please don't get discouraged. Do what you feel you need to do. LODD and injury statistics will support your cause, and it also helps if you have your upper brass behind you. Eventually, they'll see the light. I hope these guys aren't relatively new to the fire service or else your dept. has serious issues to deal with if they'll be around awhile. I tell my guys that none of us are "veterans", we all need to be students of the job. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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 is...how 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.
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”.
Good "outside the box" thinking with a practical application. Kudos!
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”.

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