I have recently been awarded my Graduate Membership from the Institute of Fire Engineers, and what a learning process it has been in regards to studying the fire service. Much emphasis is placed on advanced studies and the compliance with firefighter safety and fire prevention. Re-living previous studies and classroom presentations are a must in this business in order for you to progress as a firefighter, company officer, and as an incident commander.
Just yesterday, Captain Jason Hoevelmann made an interesting statement in regards to the studies coming from UL, NIST and IFSI studies of recent. As he writes about some in the fire service not being happy with some of the information and the emphasis placed on tactics and terminology, I have to echo his words...don't let it push you away!
It seems as if "change" is unacceptable to some in the fire service, and we know this! "Change" as we know it should not drive you away if you have the heart and passion for the fire service.
But...these changes, believe it or not, is not something new. The changes that are occurring, in my mind and from my studies, are those simply to add a bit of information to your brain as a reminder of information from "occurrences that have gone bad". There have been many departments over the years who have been re-setting fires and talking about flow path, just in different terms. It just so happens, that I work closely with a very aggressive city fire department running with limited manpower, who have been re-setting fires for many years. This does not make you un-aggressive, it simply buys you time when your manpower is limited.
Basic Essentials of Firefighting from as far as I can remember, teaches the students entering the fire service about flow path. No...in 1995 the fire service instructors did not use the term "flow path", but instead we created a learning environment in acquired structures to show the variations of fire growth and behavior in rooms with doorways open versus closed. This realistic training gave the students, "me at the time" a real life scenario of what we might encounter in a real house fire.
Times have changed, and acquired structure training has gone away where I live. But, it is the undefined dedication of some that are concluding their studies in acquired structures at the expense of their businesses with the very important information we need as a whole, to grow with ever changing building construction features globally.
These studies are being conducted to remind us who have been in the fire service, that what we learned years ago is still relevant in today's business, but with a different twist of terminology. Change isn't bad!
For the younger generation entering the fire service...Stick with it and pay attention to what these great fire service leaders are doing for the business! It takes a myriad of us to work together, bringing valuable information to the fire service community in order to operate effectively and efficiently, saving our lives in the end.
Again...Stick with it, and don't let it drive you away! As terminology changes...it doesn't mean the business has changed. I sometimes think we should label our business as "Aggressive vs. Stupidity"