We refer to Game Changers in all of our courses and it is the foundational element that we strive to become. However, the first thing that comes to mind is, what is it, who is it, and how do we become one? Before we can achieve anything we must understand what it stands for and what it represents. Game Changer is a noun and is defined as ‘a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.’ If we look at this, one of the most important elements that is not necessarily pointed out in the definition is that it takes a person to implement the change in the situation. We have all been on the fireground and seen people hit the figurative wall, that O sh** moment. This can happen during any portion of fireground activities, but the ability to overcome the obstacle without stopping the progression of operations is a characteristic of a Game Changer.
So what is a REaL Game Changer? It is a firefighter and/or fire officer that understands and performs their tasks to the highest level of efficiency because of their proficiency. They have such an intimate understanding of their foundational skill sets (and equipment) that they subconsciously know how to apply them to the given situation. This allows them the ability to better absorb and process their surroundings to apply significantly higher levels of effective decision making.
A REaL Game Changer becomes efficient through proficiency prior to the event! They take the time to repeatedly stretch lines, force doors, throw ladders, mask up, etc. prior to actual events. Allowing to truly developed muscle memory skill sets that allow for their body to identify, focus, and absorb more of the surroundings and lessen the possibility of tunnel vision on the fire ground.
Our goal remains to take Game Changer from a noun to verb on the fire ground.