Company Level Training: Honoring the Charleston Nine by Training

What is the best way to honor these men who gave their lives while doing their jobs? Learn from them. Not blame them, not second guess them; learn from them.

The point is this; we should all be using the incidents that occur around the nation as training tools. It doesn't have to always be a line of duty death incident. On Wednesday, June 20th, three Houston firefighters were hospitalized after having to call a mayday inside of a three-story house fire. Three Boston firefighters were injured on June 19 when a third floor porch collapsed on top of them as they stood on a second floor porch. These are all incidents that we can learn from. Use them as a training tool to discuss the different topics that you are currently training on. These incidents will give your training a different twist and should make the points that you are trying to make, hit home even more.

Once again, I'm not saying and I'm not going to say that anyone did anything wrong. I wasn't on scene, I wasn't on the hoseline, and I did not have command of the incident. But ask yourself this, if we could talk to the Charleston Nine and ask them if they would want a different outcome, what do you think they would say? We all know they would want an outcome that sent them home at the end of their shift, to their families and loved ones. So what would they do differently? Unfortunately, they will never be able to answer that question. It is up to each and every one of us to answer it for them. That way, if we are ever presented with a similar set of circumstances, we take the appropriate actions and hopefully have a different outcome, one that would make them proud of each and every one of us. Don't find fault in them, they were doing their jobs just like you and I do everyday. There is no fault to be found of the men that went into the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, SC. Just learn from them. May their souls rest in everlasting peace.

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Larry Manasco has been with the Fort Worth, TX, Fire Department for 13 years and has served as a lieutenant for the past three years. He holds the classification of Fire Officer I and Hazardous Materials Technician. He currently works in one of the busiest engine companies in Fort Worth. He has worked for Firehouse World in San Diego where he was an assistant instructor for FDNY Battalion Chief Salka's "Get Out Alive" H.O.T. class. View Larry's recent webcast: Company Level Training on Firehouse TrainingLIVE. You can contact Larry by e-mail at