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On October 27th, my youngest son (center) joined the ranks of the Hartford Fire Department, as did his brother ten years prior, and as I did back in 1988.  I had 8 weeks of training and the rest was ON THE JOB as they used to say!  My youngest just endured 16 weeks of comprehensive training, testing, and certification to become the best trained, prepared, and ready to work firefighter that the modern fire service has to offer.  We have come a long way in this endeavor to protect and serve, and I for one am not only proud of my boys, but of the evolution of our mission as well.  Thanks everyone!

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Comment by Leigh H. Shapiro on December 3, 2017 at 5:59pm

I totally agree- but unfortunately what I see as slipping away is the mentoring of the younger generations.  We used to call it war stories when I first started out, and some still are just that: the old 'remember when' stories which seem to get bigger and better each time they are told.  But more importantly are the technical and proven advice that is passed down from senior to junior firefighters. Not so much the 'this is how you do it' stuff, but more of the information, knowledge, skill sets, and common sense that can keep you and your crew alive. Especially for the incident commanders, who may not have much trigger time standing in front of a decent fire trying to figure out all the moving parts and pieces of the puzzle to create a positive outcome, the mentoring is critical: its the stuff they don't teach in classes, but is learned sometimes, especially for me, the hard way.  

Comment by Gerald Burnett on November 30, 2017 at 1:12pm
Congratulations to your son! What a great family tradition for you and your boys.

You're right that we front load more and more information into our recruits every year. They deserve a handshake for taking so much on.
I'm sure sometimes it seems to recruits like we are asking them get married before their first date. Plus, we are not even accounting for the amount of baseline technological training they are bringing now straight out of high school.

Although on the job training is absolutely effective for certain things that can only be learned there, the cost of learning it all on the job is just too high.

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