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Over the years I have had the privelage to work with many Fire Service Instructors from around our state as well as across the country. Some of them possess their local jurisdictions required Instr. 1 or 2 certifications and some do not. Some come with AA's, BS's or MS degrees, some with the school of "hard knocks" degree and some with just general BS. Some of these "experts" have achieved national recognition and their word has become gospel amongst many fire departments. But what happens if these "experts" haven't had the time and testing of actual fireground experience? Or what about the Instructor that has virtually no college or formalized training center experience but is the best at what they do like truck or engine work?

My question to Mob is what requirement; if any; balances out the Book smarts with the Street Smart experience of actually doing the job? What qualifies your instructors to teach the subjects that they are experts in? Have they done 10 or 15 years on a busy engine or truck company or are they fresh out of college with their degree. In no way am I degrading having a college education (I'm working on finishing mine as well), but where is the balance of books and first hand knowledge that should be required of Fire Service Instructors before they pass it on to other firefighters?

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Replies to This Discussion

Jenn,

Unforntunately this has to be changed at a state level and there currently is not a formal organization that has authority over the Oklahoma Fire service. The only national or state recognized agency we have in the state is an IFSAC agency which does nothing but provide certification exams and the occasional training (ie. OSU-FST) but they have no jurisdictional authority to require anything. COFT is trying to become this agency but they have many issues and are not currently funded by the legislator.

Take care sis,
Brian
Yes Grumpy and I have been friends for a few years now I got to know him through the Worchester guys, hes a great friend. I had the pleasure of meeting his son at Indy last year. Take care
This is just my opinion:

Over the years I've had some great instructors and some down right awful guys who thought they were instructors! I think what makes the good ones "quality" instructors is their ability to "facilitate" the learning environment. I don't think it matters what academic degrees they have or experience. The ones that I learned the most from were good at teaching and making sure the students learned the topic!

Jason

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