I couldn’t have said it better myself!
I am a student of history and have been since my early years. If it was a milestone marking a significant event that changed the course of the world’s civilization, then I had it in my hands reading about it. Pyramids, Cradle of Civilization, American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korean War, Vietnam, Civil Rights Movement, Kennedy Assassination, Space Program, 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago, the shootings at Kent State College, the Manson murders, Desert Storm and on and on. My favorite was American History, including the struggles of our Native Americans. Gathering from what I have read, if you were to ask students about Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud (Lakotas) or Geronimo (Apache), perhaps a very small percentage could tell you anything about them. But if you ask them who Tonto was, they most likely would answer “Johnny Depp”.
Brandon Dutcher is with the conservative think tank and said the organization wanted to find out how much civic knowledge Oklahoma high school students know.
They're questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen," Dutcher said.
A thousand students were surveyed by telephone and given 10 questions drawn from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services item bank. Candidates for U.S. citizenship must answer six questions correctly in order to become citizens.
About 92 percent of the people who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, according to immigration service data. However, Oklahoma students did not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of the students surveyed would have passed the citizenship test.
Dutcher said this is not just a problem in Oklahoma. He said Arizona had similar results, which left him concerned for the entire country.
So; is history being taught, but not learned or is it not being taught? Has our education system diminished the importance of our history in favor of classes in Recognizing Smartphone Function Keys or Optimizing Your Google Searches?
My point with all of this is that, the same students that are coming out of our learning institutions with a weak understanding for the significance of historical events, are joining the fire service where history MUST be a part of their fire service education.
Many of the skills that are gained from the lessons learned come from the history and traditions that are a huge part of our fire service.
Obviously, recruits that have been raised in households where a parent or relative have a fire service background tend to clearly understand the relationship between the history and the training that is needed to build their foundation as a firefighter. It would be unfair to say that ALL new recruits are unappreciative of the part that history plays in their professional growth.
It will always be the work of our fire service leaders to continue to teach our history to every new firefighter who enters our occupation. It is important that they learn to understand significant fires that killed firefighters and civilians, such as the Great Chicago Fire, Peshtigo, WI Wildland Fire, Great Fire of Boston, Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire, Texas City, TX Explosion and Fire, Our Lady of the Angels School Fire, Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire, Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse Fire, Charleston Sofa Superstore Fire, The Station Nightclub Fire, West, TX Fertilizer Plant Explosion and Fire, Mann Gulch Wildland Fire, South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain, Yarnell Hill Wildland Fire in 2013 and of course, 9/11.
I also believe that ANY training exercise that resulted in firefighter deaths should be required reading.
We have to train with our eye on history so that it isn’t repeated.
The opinions and views expressed are those of the article’s author, Art Goodrich, who also writes as ChiefReason. They do not reflect the opinions and views of www.fireengineering.com, Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell Corporation or his dog, Chopper. All articles by the author are protected by copyright under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella and cannot be reproduced in any form without expressed permission.