Do You Make Time to Train?

Did you notice in my headline I didn't say, "Do you take time to train?" There's a reason for that choice of words.Taking time to train sounds pretty random to me.Making time means you are in charge. It means you make a decision to conduct training...


Did you notice in my headline I didn't say, "Do you take time to train?" There's a reason for that choice of words. Taking  time to train sounds pretty random to me. Making  time means you are in charge. It means you make a decision to conduct training. Not only do you have to make the...


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Training is the single most important activity officers can provide to their firefighters. Good gear, equipment and apparatus are important, but they are useless without training. If you are a career officer and you are not training for an hour or more each time you work a shift, you are not doing your job. Spare me the excuse that you are too busy doing other required activities. Make the time to train and you will be preparing your crew for the dangerous work they do, and you will be providing a higher level of service to the people we are there to serve.

JOHN J. SALKA Jr., a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a 28-year veteran battalion chief with FDNY, the commander of the 18th battalion in the Bronx. Salka has instructed at several FDNY training programs, including the department's Probationary Firefighters School, Captains Management Program and Battalion Chiefs Command Course. He conducts training programs at national and local conferences and has been recognized for his firefighter survival course "Get Out Alive." Salka co-authored the FDNY Engine Company Operations manual and wrote the book First In, Last Out — Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department. He also operates Fire Command Training (www.firecommandtraining.com), a New York-based fire service training and consulting firm.