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Thread: Explorer Training Ideas

  1. #1
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    Default Explorer Training Ideas

    Our explorer post has meetings ever first and third Wednesday of the month. Most of our meetings are training. We take tours of larger stations and dispatch centers also. However lately our explorers have been getting bored with repeating trainings. We have done pumper operations, RIT, Ladder training search and rescue, and CPR/First Aid. I would really appreciate suggestions for future meetings. We are on a strict budget though.


  2. #2
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Use a smoke machine to fill up a part of the firehouse. Have them put on full gear, packs, and tools. They don't need to be actually on air if it isn't allowed for training. Have them execute proper entry, S&R, hose line advancing, etc. Your call on charging the hose line with water... depends on where in the station you're doing this, how much your couplings leak, and how much you trust them not to open the line in the office.

    Another thing I've had them do is the above exercise, but have them come out the back door to a pile of burning pallets. Gives them something to actually put out, makes even more fun.

    If you're allowed to use hydraulic extrication tools for training, get junk cars and go to town on them. This is always a big hit. Then after a few evolutions chopping them up, you can always light them on fire and put out the car fire too. Exercise due diligence in keeping them out of IDLH atmospheres when doing this, and don't do it if you can't.

    If water rescue is something you do, that's always a blast to do in a local lake or pond.

    We also have a large 600+ acre forest used for recreation. The land conservation trust has started asking us to do controlled burns of various sections each spring. Makes for a great brush fire training exercise for the explorers and anyone else who participates since you will need a lot of firefighters to help.

    I am unfortunately of this business now since I moved last year. But I ran our explorer program for many many years and I understand the challenge you face.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
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    Default website

    today's kids are really computer savy - use the resource!!!

    if your dept and or psot doesnt have a web site or facebook page - get them working.

    the first issues will be the rules - - let them draft them with your (adult) input. tell them to make them strict with severe repercussions if rules are broken.

    look around at other post sites - some really great ones out there

    they can devote part of each meeting to this topic - it will take them months to set up and then maintain and improve

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Oh, here's another thing I started doing. The computer thing reminded me. Homework.

    If for example the next drill's topic was going to on hand tools, I tell them to use any and all resources on the internet they can find, pick a power tool that we have, and write a 1/2 page report on what the tool is, how it works, and what it's common uses in the fire service are. Then we'd start the next drill spending 15 minutes having everyone talk about their report.

    Another example, I would give them a specific fire service website to browse, pick a topic you feel is import to our department, and write a half pager on the topic. I used websites like fh.com, fire engineering, venter-enter-search, etc etc.

    This accomplished several things quite successfully:
    - Kept them engaged outside the firehouse and drills
    - Forced them to teach themselves new things
    - Resulted in them teaching eachother what they learned
    - Showed them the many resources out there on the internet
    - Showed them how the fire service differs everywhere
    - Proof I'm not full of $hit when they see things I've taught them
    - Even taught me some new things and new techniques!
    - When combined with the next drill topic, the drill was even more successful
    - Clean apparatus... Trucks were washed by everyone when one person forgot
    Last edited by nmfire; 05-27-2011 at 09:24 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Here is our training program. Maybe it will help you out.

    A suggestion is to not only do fire department stuff. Have a night where you as a group go out to dinner or go to Dairy Queen for Dilly Bars....catch a movie or some other activity as a group without being fire related or at the station. It will promote team building and lets them get to know each other outside the FD. Just an idea.



    Overview
    This training program is developed from a combination of the Boy Scouts of America Fire Service Explorer Manual, the Altoona Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines, and the IFSTA curriculum for basic firefighter training in Wisconsin. After Explorers complete the training listed in this program, Explorers can respond to calls with prior approval.


    Levels of Training
    Explorer training is broke up into two different categories, Class I, and Class II. Class I is defined as a basic trained Explorer. Explorers with this training are able to help with duties around the fire station, base radio operation, prevention, inspection, or any other activity that would not include on scene duties. Class II is defined as an advanced trained Explorer. Explorers build from the Class I training and learn more in depth methods and techniques for firefighting. After being Class II certified, an Explorer is able to respond to emergency scenes according to the guidelines set up. Each Explorer shall complete the required training and be checked off on each topic. The training topics and minimum time required for each topic are listed below:


    Class I Ė 11 hours


    I. Orientation (2 hour)

    A. Station Orientation
    1. Station tour
    2. Parking/traffic flows
    3. Entry/exit locations
    4. Command structure

    B. Apparatus Orientation
    1. Response procedures
    2. Vehicle capacity/capabilities



    II. Safety (2 hours)

    A. Personnel Protective Equipment
    B. Personal Safety & Accountability
    C. Scene Safety
    D. Station Safety



    III. Fire Science (3 hours)

    A. Fire Triangle
    B. Fire Tetrahedron
    C. Classes of Fire
    D. Basic firefighting principals
    E. Fire extinguisher training


    IV. Communications Systems (3 hours)

    A. Types of radio systems
    B. Base radio operations
    C. Phone system/paging system


    V. Incident Command (1 hour)

    A. ICS System




    Class II Ė 19 hours

    I. Water systems (3 hours)

    A. Municipal water system
    B. Tender shuttle
    C. Other water sources



    II. SCBA (3 hours)

    A. Uses and Designs
    B. Care and maintenance
    C. Cascade systems
    D. Filling bottles


    II. Hose and Appliances (3 hours)

    A. Types of appliances
    B. Types of hose
    C. Hose rolls and hose lays


    IV. Tools and Equipment (3 hours)

    A. Power tools
    B. Hand tools
    C. Extrication tools


    V. Ladders (3 hours)

    A. Types of ladders
    B. Uses of ladders
    C. Care and maintenance


    VI. Ropes and Knots (2 hours)

    A. Types of knots
    B. Types of rope
    C. Uses for each


    VII. Fire Alarm & Protection Systems (2 hours)

    A. Types of fire alarm systems
    B. Types of fire protection systems



    Individual Explorer training shall be kept on file and reviewed periodically. Once an Explorer completes the above training, the individual may submit a request to their Advisor(s) to be considered Class II certified and be able to respond to emergency calls. The Explorer Committee and the Fire Officers both have to approve an individual to be considered Class II certified and be able to respond to calls.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  6. #6
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    A suggestion is to not only do fire department stuff. Have a night where you as a group go out to dinner or go to Dairy Queen for Dilly Bars....catch a movie or some other activity as a group without being fire related or at the station. It will promote team building and lets them get to know each other outside the FD. Just an idea.
    Definitely more than one occasion where I issued and executive override and the drill was changed to an exercise in how to properly barbecue in someone's backyard.
    fire_explorer101 likes this.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  7. #7
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    Ventilation training, positive and negative pressure along with isolating large doorways..

    -Damien

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    First of all I want to say these are some great ideas and I want to clarify that I am only an explorer. I am trying to hold interest in this post because I find an explorer post important. However lately there has been the risk of the post being canceled for lack of explorers and we have about seven explorers (only a few dedicated to the post). I figured coming up with more meeting ideas would be something to get more interest in the community. Nmfire had some great ideas but getting the departments chief to approve of this would be difficult maybe impossible. The homework ideas and web page are things that we definitely should use, but I think we need to wait until we have more dedicated explorers. This is a small post right now. The training program with the different levels of certification was what stuck out the most this is something I think would be a perfect addition to the explorer program. I think if I could get the approval by the chief this would be great. Thank you all for the suggestions.

  9. #9
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    Gear racing was a big one. If you cn't get the gear on before going to the truck, you aren't getting it on fast enough.
    Another thing was physical fitness, one time a Sr. FF had me run the stairs while holding LDH in both hands and running to the top, when I got back down I did 10 push ups. I did this for 10 times in a row, good cardio and strength training.
    Unit 71 - Probationary Firefighter / First Responder
    Bossier Parish Fire District #1

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    7 is not a small post. Remember the maximum is 15 per BSA's wonderful regulations. Our's would regularly float between 5 and 14 as people would come and go or move on to college, etc. A lot of places struggle to maintain 5 or fewer. It is also pretty typical to have a smaller core group that is really into it, goes to every call they can, every drill they can, and will probably move on to do this the rest of their lives. While the rest are active at drills and meetings but nothing more, which is perfectly fine too.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
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    Seven is our official count but at a good meeting we only see about 2 or 3 people come and it is usually the same people. Most only joined because their friends joined.

  12. #12
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    If you have any water rescue equipment, even if it's just is a couple of throwbags, I would suggest doing some some water rescue training if you can.

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