Hello? Is anyone listening?
I have been worrying a bit lately. About training. I know, I know, thats all the training officer EVER worries about!
But follow me on this one guys. Are we really keeping up with the times? When we teach building construction at our recruit academies, are we still talking about balloon construction and bowstring trusses? Lathe and plaster? Or are we teaching about the current building methods and practices?
A mix of both would be best, but for most of the instructors out there today, most of their experience is with the older types of construction. Most of the newer buildings have not had an issue yet, so the experience isn't there. Are we as instructors pushing ourselves to get out of our comfort zones and seek out new information or are we regurgitating the same material year after year?
Have we polished our presentations, and added our little funny clips from youtube, until we feel it is as good as it can be?
Or are you looking for new material to present, reading articles in Fire Engineering, Firehouse, the many excellent blogs?
I know I am FAR from knowing it all, and I try to do all of the above. I have been VERY blessed to have a great resource in a little group of folks known as the IACOJ. I have learned as much if not more from these Jakes online just gathered around our cyber kitchen table, as I have learned at any class.
I hope to continue to learn until I am utterly spent in this life. Right up to the last I hope to be able to teach others what I have learned. My goal is to be an empty vessel when my time here is done. I hope that I will have taught everything I know to someone coming up in the fire service, that the knowledge I gained will not be lost to the community.
I am no giant of the fire service, just one man trying to do the best I can with the gifts I have been given.
Are you doing your best as an Instructor to be your Brothers keeper? Are you always trying to improve your knowledge so that you can teach someone else? Knowledge that you gain, but then keep to yourself is useless in many ways. It is also the most selfish thing you can do.
We have a higher duty as fire service educators folks. We may not be in charge when the bell rings, but the lessons we teach, and the example we set, sets the stage for the success or failure of our students on the fireground.
We set the tone, with our behavior when it comes to learning. If our students see that we are students like they are, and always trying to improve, it should register that they need to do the same.
I hope that my rambling, barely coherent rant strikes a chord for at least one of you. I hope that we will become better instructors and mentors. Future fireground results will be the judge of how well we did our jobs..................