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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Let me make this perfectly clear. I am not anti-education for fire fighters. In fact I have an Associate Degree in Fire Science, I have 4 IFSAC Certifications, 5 State of Wisconsin Certifications, more NFA classes than I can remember right now, 3 different Haz-Mat certs, Air Force 5 Level training, as well as many state, regional, and national classes. I also have 32 years in the fire service as a volunteer/POC with 2 different departments, CFR as a civilian firefighter on an air guard base, and now as a career firefighter for a medium sized city.

    I am a firm believer that theoretical knowledge only goes so far, without practical experience to draw from it is only going to remain theory. I do agree with those that said that real world work experience, especially in construction, mechanics, plumbing, HVAC, Ag mechanics and more only make the firefighter's knowledge base much deeper and makes them more useful.
    Exactly. Working in the same patch of land, you and I both know how tough the hiring for career staff is in our state, both requirements and limited numbers. Competition is tough. We use education and training through the process, but it is your know-how and common sense that will get you the job.


  2. #22
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    You can be book smart and still be dumb as a brick.

    I know of firemen that are not only book smart, have a good background, education, and understanding that are good street smart guys as well.

    In the firefighting and law enforcement professions, you should be both. If you canít read, understand and be able to express yourself, you will be left behind by those who can. During competitive exams for promotions you have to have book smarts and street smarts to be able to achieve a high score to even be considered for an interview.

    I have had guys that werenít the sharpest knife in the drawer as being book smart, but they had great street smart capabilities. They had a tough time passing general tests, but if they were shown hands on, they would pick it up quickly. One fellow I remember had a hell of a time taking a written exam on pump operations, but on the drill yard, he could pump his butt off without any errors. I asked him why couldnít he do that on a written test and he said that the written test scared him and the practical didnít.

    So you have them both book and street smart, they all fit in somewhere.


    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #23
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    Fyred Up,

    Good discussion topic. I like to post on an actual discussion before I read all of the other posts. That way I can give my opions straight up.

    I will briefly say that I am a college graduate with several degrees. I do not believe that I am any "smarter" than someone that has not gone to college. In fact I would say that I was no where near as "smart" as some others that didn't go to college.

    That being said, I think smartness are rather intelligence is based more on experience than books. The street smart person has learned the hard way and knows that they do not know everything. There is always more to learn. The book smart person believes hardheartedly that they know it all and there is little or nothing else to learn on a given subject and sees the only way to gin more knowledge is from books. I also believe no matter which way you learned your knowledge it does not make a person intelligent. Being able to take that knowledge that a person has learned and put it towards something productive and also learning from any mistakes which are made makes a person "smart" or intelligent. I am fortunate to have met many men and women in my short time on earth who had very little education at all but could do just about anything. They also tend to be very financial comfortable.

    As for myself I can hold my own but I do not consider myself "smart". I do listen and try to learn from others no matter what they are saying. I am human and a man so I can be hard headed but I do my best to continue to learn.

    I do believe that formal education or training is very important but it does not need to be college.

    Books are only the one possible beginning to being "smart". It takes books and experience to be "smart"

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    There are "whiz kidz" out there who take every fire course they can and have enough "certs" that they can afford to use a few to wipe their noses and their butt if there's no tissues or TP... but put them on the fireground and they have no clue. Being "certified" does not mean one is "qualified".

    There are grizzled old veterans out there who learned their craft like the pilots in the barnstormer years did... by the seat of their pants, yet when the flight and fire business changed, they didn't adapt to new technology or keep up with the changes.

    The ideal firefighter, company officer and Chief officer will remember the lessons of the past, incorporate new methods and technology and forge ahead using both.
    One of the best quotes yet. I've seen grizzled old veterans who were trained in the seventies and that is where their training stopped. They are a danger in today's fire environment but they are now officers training the new volunteers. And yes their are "whiz kids" but often they gain the title from the same volunteers who make fun of their training or who are intimidated by any new knowledge. Neither has a lock on common sense

  5. #25
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    One is not more important than the other in my opinion. The balance of both is the most important. Believing you know it because you read it, is as bad as believing you know it because you've done it. As with most things it comes down to pride.

  6. #26
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    Great topic!!

    2 things I try to let my guys know is:

    A "certification" is only proof that you knew the knowledge to pass the test the day it was given. What are you going to do for the next 20 years????

    Firefighting is 90% common sense, 9% training, with the final 1% the ability to effectively combine the other 99%. In my experience, that 1% can be a pain in the ***** for some folks!!
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

  7. #27
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    You can really know the theory but if you are not able to do the practice...do you really know anything?

  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Great topic my former cheese making brother!

    I think everyone has some great info and great posts here. Yes, there is a huge difference, like night and day, between the two.

    What is very annoying to me is a young person coming in who has all these degrees and certifications but no experience behind it, or the only experience they have is in a burn tower. Sure, that's a start but it's only a start. Most of these kids come in thinking because they have the wallpaper, means they are entitled to get perks and that they know it all.

    I have also seen the old salty dog who has 35 years experience but stopped training in the 1980's and refused to progress. This is also bad. A wise crusty told me once that "the day you think you know it all is the day you need to retire." I think this is very true.

    The best firefighter has the latest training, tactics, technology, and equipment and can combine what they have learned with common sense, experience, and tradition to get the job done.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    Great topic!!

    2 things I try to let my guys know is:

    A "certification" is only proof that you knew the knowledge to pass the test the day it was given. What are you going to do for the next 20 years????

    Firefighting is 90% common sense, 9% training, with the final 1% the ability to effectively combine the other 99%. In my experience, that 1% can be a pain in the ***** for some folks!!
    I would say your percentages are off a bit.

    For a firefighter on the line
    It's 35% training
    35% Experience
    and 30% common sense

    As you move up the management ladder you need more book smarts in topics like managing people and finance. You also need the street smarts to deal with government and politics.

  10. #30
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    Theres only one problem with having experienced or street smart FF. For a lot of newbies, where do they get the experience? I joined my FD in 1973. My first year I was at about 70+ fires, most of them structure. My Son joined same dept in 2008, first year ending in April, he had attended 11, only one of which was multi station response. Its getting increasingly more difficult for the younger personnel to aquire actual structural FF experience. Its a good thing from the publics point of view as fires are down signifigantly, but the people who come to the next fire may have signifigantly less experience than had it happened even 20 years ago.

  11. #31
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I would say your percentages are off a bit.

    For a firefighter on the line
    It's 35% training
    35% Experience
    and 30% common sense

    As you move up the management ladder you need more book smarts in topics like managing people and finance. You also need the street smarts to deal with government and politics.
    And you would know any of this HOW? You have clearly proven your lack of firefighting knowledge over and over here. You spend more time posting cutesy little off topic quotes, statistics that usually don't apply, and your blatant hatred of career firefighters, Union employess, and anyone that doesn't buy your privatization BS.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    And you would know any of this HOW? You have clearly proven your lack of firefighting knowledge over and over here. You spend more time posting cutesy little off topic quotes, statistics that usually don't apply, and your blatant hatred of career firefighters, Union employess, and anyone that doesn't buy your privatization BS.
    Couldn't have said it any better!!!! Just to also add this on he has over 5,000 posts in under 2 yrs. That right there says a lot about a person, it obviously shows you know nothing and think you know a lot.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglesrule1024 View Post
    Couldn't have said it any better!!!! Just to also add this on he has over 5,000 posts in under 2 yrs. That right there says a lot about a person, it obviously shows you know nothing and think you know a lot.
    DING DING DING!


    Tell em what he won Johnny!

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    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  14. #34
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Well,*** U M(E)ING the the magpie reads the responses,he MIGHT have learned a little something by now.Even in responding to his off the wall responses,you guys always come up with a good tidbit for consideration.I've learned,(and continue to)a lot from some pretty smart people on this site and contribute when I can. I vote STREET smart with some book thrown in.Sorry,but there is NO substitute for a street savvy guy with time ubder their belt in active emergency mitigation. T.C.

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