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What's the difference between training and experience?
Training will always give you the test last.
Experience will always give you the test first.

Train, train, and then train some more, so when experience hands you that test...
you're ready!  

Training is such a vital part of our work. 
I hear firefighters complaining about having to train, and passing up opportunities to train. 
Unfathomable!!  They want to play, but they don't want to train. 
If you're gonna play the game... play the whole game!  

What have you done this week for training?  What have you done today?  
I know that you might not fight fire every day or even every week,
but do you think the fire cares about that?
It doesn't ask who you are or what kind of training you have.
It's not going to wait for you to explain and it's not going to change how it acts just because you're not on the FDNY.  
It is going to expect you to play the whole game!  
Fire is not going to sit back and let you say, "Oh, I don't know how to do that."  
You're a firefighter... do the training and get the job done!

When the test gets handed to you first... be prepared to pass!  

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Comment by Chris Weber on June 29, 2012 at 11:48am

Nice job!!!I'm going to print this and hand it out!

Comment by Mike France on June 28, 2012 at 7:59am

Great post Sister , I told you that the other day.

Comment by Kim Fitzsimmons on June 27, 2012 at 4:08pm

Thanks guys, I appreciate all of your comments and thoughts.

Comment by Skip Knudtson on June 27, 2012 at 2:43pm

I wish our Department had more simulation-based training. Good post Kim.

Comment by Nick Morgan on June 27, 2012 at 1:27pm

Good job Kim!  Keep at it sista'!

Comment by Michael Bricault (ret) on June 27, 2012 at 12:05pm

-Part of the problem, as you point out, is in the mindset. You have inadvertantly uncovered another of these truths in your choice of words; "they want to play". And that is my point... firefighters should never, ever consider responding to an alarm as "play time". To do so is for that person to show just how immature and unprofessional they are and that they truly have no place in the fire service. To utter a statement like this make that person sound like an eight year old on his way to Little League. And I'm guessing that is the level of service I could expect from such a person; childish and immature. 

-Professionalism denotes a level of service delivery not whether a person receives a pay check. And ALL firefighters must perform professionally or they should get out of the fire service. Period. No excuses. "take it easy, we're just volunteers!" Yeah?!? That's your excuse? Then get out of the way for those that believe we can do it well regardless of pay status. Are you an amateur or a professional? Are you a hobby fireman or a real fireman?

-Answering an alarm is NEVER play time nor should it ever be considered as such. You are responding to a victims worst day in their life. And that worst day has the potential to become your worst, and maybe last, moment.

-Every once in a while someone will float in on my shift that will say "time to play" when the bell rings. Or they will give off a nice loud whoop. It does my heart good to hear the rest of the station chime in on this amateurish immature person with very terse directions. "Shut up, pull your head out of your a** and focus on what is happening".

-People that don't like to train yet love to answer alarms, aside from being incredibly foolish and immature, are very often the very ones responsible for getting others into trouble; someone attempting to cover the "big mouth's" incompetence. Invariably these "play time" firefighters end up with a really puzzled look on their face when they get themselves hurt. Watch out for the guy that says, "it's time to play", this guy will get you hurt. All this guy wants to do is spray some water and break things; the very hight of ammaturish immaturity. If these are your goals than stay home, play with a garden hose and smash some rocks in the yard... we'll both feel a lot better and be safer for it.

-You wouldn't be allowed to play major league baseball if you didn't go to spring training. Think how poorly you would play if you refused daily batting practice. Yet this is how foolishly arrogant it is for those persons you mentioned to believe that they can perform properly based on some previous training. "I learned it once, way back in basic training so I'm good". And I'm assuming you're VFD is not in a real "hotbed" of activity. Meaning their should be regular training administered. Training may not replace experience but it sure goes a long way in augmenting experience and preparing you to handle the actual experience. It is an arrogant, immature and foolish delusion to believe that you can perform tactics and techniques properly, safely and efficiently when you have not performed them in months or even years... this is where the training comes in.

-Train hard... because the real world is hard. Train hard because the real world is trying to kill you. Train as if you life depended on it... because it does. 

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