Company Officer’s throughout our nation are continually looking for ways to provide company level training that is current, interesting and innovative. Essentially they (the Company Officer) are making every day a training day. This positive approach to training develops well trained and engaged firefighters. The firefighter can develop a higher level of situational awareness and can operate in a more systematic way providing the highest level of service to the citizens.
Some examples of this type of training that has been used successfully are:
- Tailboard Talks-At the beginning of each shift, after roll-call and review of any new policy/memos the company officer can utilize this time to review a pre-fire plan, discuss response area target hazards and/or a review of significant incident the shift dealt with.
- Fire Service Magazines-Take the cover of a fire service journal that is around the station and engage the crew in a discussion of the tactic employed, and any safety issues identified, etc.
- During company inspections or pre-fire plan assignments, discuss with your crew the construction of the building, and the hazards to firefighter and the public that are identified during your inspections.
- One concept I utilized as a company office was we would review a pre-fire plan of an occupancy then ladder a building, after requesting permission from the owner/occupants and review roof operations and “sounding the roof”, we would identify keys to firefighter safety and signs to look for of impending roof collapse. For example does it appear that the soil pipe if growing (is the base of the soil pipe on the rook above the level of the roof. This is displayed by a gap between the buildup roof tar and the roof base). Then we would attach some chalk to a broom handle and simulate the areas where we would ventilate the roof depending on the situation. This would lead into a general discussion of roof construction and the associated dangers with each type.
- Review the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives as published by the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s Everyone Goes Home Campaign. A lot of training material can be found on their web site. www.everybodygoeshome.com
- Review the case studies list on the Firefighter Close Calls web site. These are real incident that have occurred to firefighters and EMS personnel. A lot of information can be gained by these brave firefighters sharing their stories. www.firefighterclosecalls.com
Every day should be used as training day. As leaders in the fire service it our responsibility to pass on the knowledge that was passed on to us. Let no firefighter’s ghost ever return to say is training there him down