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When starting off in the fire service today it can be intimidating for the new guy. Being at a university like myself I see a lot of new people in the fire service that have no experience at all or have grown up within your family like myself. As a new guy in the fire service, I advise as being new to it to watch and observe someone who has been in the profession for a period of time being 5 or more years. However, don't limit yourself to just one person talk them all. Today the fire service can be very intimidating to the new guys and gals.

When you find someone that you can closely relate to, ask and find out things about them get to know them on a personal level. Maybe you can relate to them in some way and learn from their life as well as they can learn from you. Once you've gotten to know them ask questions and don't be afraid if it's a stupid question because the only stupid question is the unasked question.

Next once you've gotten established and feel comfortable don't forget to keep yourself in check. Always keep up on your basic skills. Once you've learned how to force a door or how to throw a ladder keep going over it in your head and practice with your company or group of friends. The only way you're going to get better is to keep up on your skills. One thing that we do at my university is train every week on something starting out with the basics because of the new incoming people. Then we work up to the advanced skills and the seasoned guys still work on their basic skills and show tricks of the trade to the new guys and gals.

After your classes keep going over your manuals and find more literature to go over to gain more knowledge. Then just do your part and have pride in what you do. Its important to keep up on your skills and earn the respect of your crew and company.

Stay safe, keep training

T Foust

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