Whiteboard Drills Simulate Tactical and Leadership Skills

The next time you come back from an incident, try using the whiteboard in the fire station to critique the incident. You might be amazed at how helpful something as simple as the whiteboard can be to enhance the message.


From time to time, individual members may pick up some new tactics, either from a training course or from a friend in another fire department. Once others in the station hear about this additional training or information they are eager to share it. Again, this whiteboard comes in handy for drawing the important items that these particular firefighters want everyone on their company to grasp hold of or to reinforce the importance of the tactic they learned.

And, as a final thought, one of the nice features of these whiteboards is that you can use a variety of color markers to enhance the pictures and points. This makes it easy to identify different hose diameters that are being used. If need be, a color key can be plugged in at any one of the corners for a quick reference.

The next time you come back from an incident, try using the whiteboard in the fire station to critique the incident. You might be amazed at how helpful something as simple as the whiteboard can be to enhance the message. If you don’t have a whiteboard at the station, consider getting one. The benefits will far outweigh the cost the very first time you use it for diagramming an incident or for reinforcing your ideas. Sometimes it’s the simple things, like a whiteboard, that get overlooked yet can have such an impact.

RUSSELL MERRICK, a Firehouse.com Contributing Editor, has over 30 years in the fire service and has been with the Rochester, NY, Fire Department, since 1986 where he serves as a captain and station commander. He developed and implemented the health and safety program for the department and held the position of incident safety officer before leading the department's special operations command. Russell authors the Firehouse.com Weekly Drills and speaks at Firehouse Expo, the New York State Professional Firefighter's Annual Safety Seminar Series, and for the New York State Association of Fire Chief's.