How to be a good Explorer?
Hello. I'm an explorer with a large career fire department. I've been an explorer for about two years now and have been riding-along for about one and a half years now. I've learned a lot through riding-out and also from talking to the firefighters.
The department I'm an explorer is the department I would like to get hired on with later on in life. I've learned that the first impression I make is really important as any of the people I come in contact with just might be on an interview panel/board later on in when I apply.
I would be interested in learning from some of members here on how I can become a better explorer when I ride out (and in general).
I've established that I am absolutely nothing when I come to the firehouse. I realize that I'm not a rookie. In fact, I'm about a 20 notches below a rookie. I have a good attitude and use my manners (yes sir, please, thank you, etc) and try to learn as much as I can.
Normally when I ride out...my day ends up something like this:
1. Arrive at the station and make sure there is coffee brewing. I'll make sure the paper is on the table and that the table is clean. I'll clean up any messes on the table or inside the kitchen. (We're only allowed to ride from 9AM-10PM so when I arrive, breakfast is already done).
2. After that, I'll immediately start to clean the restrooms and make sure they're clean. Learning from a veteran firefighter...I leave the soap in the toilet...lol.
3. I'll sweep and mop the whole station. After that, I'll usually start to clean windows and make sure that there are no little messes around the station (like ants all over a piece of dropped candy).
4. I'll wash the engine and ambulance and make sure it's clean.
5. After that's been done...it's usually around 3-4PM. I'll find something to clean or work on. If I need a break (which I usually do from working non-stop), I'll read a book like Essentials and ask when I don't understand something.
6. When we do get a call, I'm always first in the engine. I'll go ahead and open up the garage so the driver doesn't have to. I make sure I've got gloves on (provided it's an EMS call) and I'll buckle up. When we do get to the scene of a call, I'll grab our ALS bag, oxygen bag, and AED (depending on the call-type). I'll carry the equipment back out to the engine and make sure no officer is ever carrying equipment.
7. When we get back to the firehouse, I'll jump out of the engine and help back the engine up. I'll plug in the Plymo-Vent and electrical cord. At some point when there is not much going on, I'll ask whoever I can find if they need help with anything.
8. At dinner, I'll wait until everybody has gotten their food (or when I'm asked to go ahead and get my plate). I'll get a little food and be first-up to do dishes. I'm sure to not start washing dishes before everybody is finished. After dishes, I'll help clean and then mop the kitchen again. If there is trash, it will be emptied now.
9. If I get on serious call (cardiac arrest, shooting, etc)...I'll usually leave the scene and walk over to the ambulance. I'll use my best judgement to prepare anything that might be needed. For a cardiac arrest, I'll usually spike two 1000ml bags and set them up, get some various size cathethers out and get some vein-gaurds out, a tourniquet, and lay them out on the bench.
10. While at the hospital, I'll clean up and load the stretcher back into the ambulance.
That is a quick run-down of what I do when I ride out. What do you think? Is there anything I can improve or change on?
What other suggestions do you have to help make me a better explorer? It doesn't have to be somethign I actually can physically do...do you have any advice on how I can have a good attitude?
I usually bring something tot he station when I ride out like ice cream, cookies, etc. I will occasionally chip in some of my opinions and what not but usually I keep quiet and just do my thing...haha.
I would love to hear from yall any advice that you have. I've gotten great advice/tips from both new out-of-school rookies and also veteran firefighters.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!