- Are you prepared for the changes of tomorrow?
- Are you prepared for what you are destined to face?
- Are you willing to change to meet these new demands?
- Are you meeting your current training needs?
- Are you preparing to meet your future training needs?
- Are you innovative, resourceful, and willing to supersede all existing boundaries?
- Does your company have the right attitude?
- Is your training really something else...just killing time or a paper chase?
These questions will tell you quickly if you have a training program for the company of the millennium or if your company is living in nostalgia. The fire service as a whole must bring training from the past to the future. Times have changed significantly in the last decade and will most likely change even more in the next.
Each year, over 100 firefighters are killed on duty. How many of these were due to inadequate training? Could training make an impact of the reduction of these deaths? Could your company be the catalyst that starts a new profound trend in your department?
So, what does it take to have a company training program that is ready to meet the demands of the new millennium? First, we need to address three areas -- leaders, instructors and students.
Leaders -- better known as officers -- must take a proactive approach towards training. Instructors -- officers plus other members of the crew -- must set the tempo in changing the traditional mindset of training. Students -- all of us -- must be willing to be open minded to new types and styles of training.
Officers will need to develop a proactive rather than a reactive approach towards training. The efficiency of this direction is controlled at the company level. If you, as an officer, foster the proactive approach it will be contagious. This will set the appropriate attitude of the group. Along with being proactive, it is necessary for leaders to be innovative as well as traditional in today's world of budget cuts.
Officers must find new ways to provide premier training under limited budgets and time constraints.
This leads us to being resourceful. You will need to utilize all of the resources at hand to ensure that the training program is progressive. Finally, they must be supportive of the training program and not detrimental. This support will carry along way and will guarantee that the attitudes are progressive and proactive.
Remember, company officers are the true trainers of the fire service. Knowledge is power...share it!
DOUGLAS K. CLINE, a Firehouse.com Contributing Editor, is a 28-year veteran and student of the fire service is the training commander with the High Point, NC, Fire Department. Cline is the first vice president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and is a well known international speaker presenting a myriad of programs. Chief Cline is also a highly published author, including Company Officer Test Preparation Guide Book with a scenario training DVD and served as the technical content adviser and contributing author for several Delmar Cengage Learning texts. Chief Cline is the host of Firehouse.com's Training & Tactics Talk podcast series and was a guest on The Leader's Toolbox podcast on Radio@Firehouse. To read Douglas' complete biography and view his archived articles, click here. You can reach Douglas by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.