I have been in quite a few fire houses where the troops are just sitting around watching sportscenter or shooting the breeze with conversation. At some point one of them will say "what are we going to train on today?" or "what’s going on next drill night?" At that point someone will say either don’t know or that there wont be a training officer around so we will just talk about football, hockey (Go blackhawks), or our latest adventure on ATV's. As much as I love hockey, trade updates and the nights game will not help me with my job.
What will help me is training. So whose job is it to train me for my job? Yes the training officer is a big one, but why cant we train on our own?
Think about it there are countless amounts of information out there on the web, books, magazines, etc. It is so easy to obtain info on subjects today there is no reason we cant "explorer" fire service topics such as ventilation, handline handling, forcible entry, the list goes on!
So what’s stopping you from getting the crew together and drilling over a topic such as one man f/e with the irons, or what about sitting at the kitchen table and going over the latest UL/NIST report that deals with vertical ventilation?
Often times its "we are just firefighters we are not the training officers" who cares if you dint have a piece of paper saying you can teach. What’s so wrong with just getting the gang together and going over some of your tools and such.
I don’t feel it is the sole responsibility of the training officer or company officer to educate you as to the newest techniques, I feel that its up to you, the firefighter to make sure your training. Don’t wait for a free handout lesson, go out and dig up some info, pull the canvas off the trucks, go over saw operations and the different cuts you can make and when to use them.
See not only do you owe it to the citizens you protect, you owe it to yourself and your crew to be on your A game. If you are having problems understanding something, then go to your training officer or company officer and inquire about the topic, ask your peers if they know anything as well and get there thoughts on the topic,
See all this adds up to self thinking firefighters and fire officers down the road. There toolbox is loaded with info and they are able to mitigate situations much easier than if they sat around watching daytime dramas or sportscenter. So what if you don’t get certificates regarding the time you spent self educating, you come out that much smarter than when you started.
So what are you going to do this week? Are you going to sit around and wait to be hand fed some education, or are you going to go make it happen?