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The 3 hours is something I live by and try an do every day. I talk about the 3 hours in every class I teach, every person I mentor, and every periscope I do. I have even mentioned it on several podcasts such as the Firefighter Training Podcast with Chief Peter Lamb specifically in this episode

So while I have spoken about the 3 hours several times, I felt I could explain it better by showing what the 3 hours looks like.

First the 3 hours are

1 Hour Physical Fitness training your body for the physical nature of our job

1 Hour In The Library reading a fire service article, reading a fire service book, studying procedures, watching fire service videos to go over tactics etc.

1 Hour Hands On Training actually putting your hands on the tools, or performing firefighter tasks. Throwing ladders, stretching lines, flowing water, forcing doors, etc.

I try to incorporate this into my life every day, however some people want to leave the job at the firehouse and that is OK! You can (and should) incorporate this into every shift or duty day. Lets take a look at what a duty day would like like.

On Duty:

1 Hour Physical Fitness

For my 1 Hour Physical Fitness I did Dead lifts following the Wendler 5-3-1 program, and then a WOD from 5-5-5 Fitness

1 Hour Hands On Training

For my 1 Hour of Hands On Training we just received a new RIC pack, so we went over the bag and all of its parts, and then practiced trans-filling bottles and swapping masks on a down firefighter.

1 Hour In The Library

For my 1 Hour In The Library I read Firefighter Flow Rates by Paul Grimwood from the London Fire check it out here Brigade

I tend do do my reading at the end of a tour right before I go to bed. Sometimes it is a quick article, sometimes it is a chapter out of a book, sometimes it is watching YouTube videos for fire behavior, tactics, and to practice on scene reports.

I will mention that this day was at a busy Engine Company were we also collected for MDA, cleaned the house, several EMS runs, a car fire, and an apartment fire. I do not say that to brag, or show off just to illustrate that it can be done even at busy companies.

Doing this every day you are on shift will start to make a tremendous difference in your firefighting ability. However adding this into your off duty days (even just a few) will make your progress that much faster. Let’s take a look at an example of putting in the 3 hours off duty.

Off Duty

1 Hour Physical Fitness

On this off duty day for 1 Hour of Physical Fitness I did Overhead press following the Wendler 5-3-1 program, and a functional fitness WOD.

1 Hour Hands On Training

I practiced tying various knots on a spare piece of rope that I have. Hands on Training is something that can be difficult while you are off, but you can make it work. Tie knots on a spare piece of rope, practice your MAYDAY and LUNAR (you can incorporate that as part of your fitness regimen as they are harder when your heart rate is elevated) it does not have to be a grand training evolution just keep it simple, and useful.

1 Hour In The Library

I actually doubled this up on this day. While I worked out I listened to the latest episode of the Firefighter Training Podcast.

later in the day I reread the first chapter “Extreme Fire Behavior” out of the 3D Firefighting book.

Again this is in addition to my regular family duties of taking kids to practice, house cleaning, etc.

Nothing I have mentioned or do is hard, and I am far from perfect at it! Sometimes you do run out of hours in the day, but making the 3 hours a priority will allow you to accomplish them more often than not. It really is not about time management, it is about PRIORITY MANAGEMENT! This is also the minimum, sometimes I do more, sometimes this is all I can squeeze in. The point is make this a part of your day and you will begin to see exceptional fire ground performance.

If you want to see more of what my “average” day looks like be sure to follow along on twitter @AveragejakeFF

1 hour in the gym, 1 hour in the library, 1 hour hands on training

As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

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