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Thread: Sorta What I have Been Thinkin'

  1. #276
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    Just checked the latest LSU Firefighter I Practical Testing Requirements.

    Standpipes are no longer a listed skill - required or optional.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Just went through our practical skills checklist for NJ FF1, from 2009. No standpipe. But we do test on washing hose, 3 ways to roll it, and 4 ways to pack the hose.
    Proving that FF1 is entry level...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    They very well may be an option, based on the needs of the AHJ. Since we don't have any standpipes, there would be no need to use them on the test.

    35' ladder work is also an optional skill that once again, we don't use, as we have no 35' raises in the district.

    There are several skills that rural departments do not use. there are also skills, like water shuttle operations, that urban departments choose not to use in the testing process.
    You continue to detail great reasons for me to be extremely happy that I don't live in any area that embraces your mindset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Life is about compromises, and what we train our members to do is one of those compromises.
    But what you're proposing isn't a compromise, it's a bet. You're betting that your training is adequate and using your men and citizen's lives as collateral. We both know the education for volunteers in this state is abysmal at best but while the obvious answer is promoting growth, you're asking for the standards to be lowered. You aren't lowering them to a lower level, you're lowering them to YOUR level and that is outright disgusting. I have not met a good volunteer firefighter who had more trouble than I in obtaining FF1 certification. I am currently working with a volunteer department with a ISO rating of a 3 or 4 and are just as adequate (if not more) than a good amount of career departments. They didn't lower standards to let everyone play, they raised them to push people to meet them.

    When the **** hits the fan, we don't rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training and you're betting peoples lives that just enough is good enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    They do get taught all the skills in the classroom. We review the all skills.

    There are skills that get more attention because we use them. There are skills that get less attention because they are less relevant as we don't use them, such as standpipes. They are fully prepared for written testing.

    LSU practical testing for every certification has mandatory testing skills. They also have optional skills (Pick 4 of 8, as an example) that the evaluator will choose based on the department and it's district. As an example, he would likely pick water shuttle operations for a rural district and standpipes as an optional skill for an urban district. The 35' ladder raise is an optional skill that he would pick for a department that has a 35' and wouldn't pick for a more rural district, especially if they didn't carry a 35' or stated that it's never used.

    LSU's accreditation testing always test a percentage of what's taught. This is normal to almost 99% of all test in any field of study. While testing on a 35' ladder raise is optional, learning the skill set is not. Please, stop running the schools name through the mud, you have proven to know very little of what is taught, what is practiced, and what is tested upon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    How realistic depends on the state. Maybe a basic 80-hour course, not including Awareness, Operations and NIMS 700-200 (so now we are at about 110-115 hours) but for those states that goes beyond the 80-hour mark the realistic becomes more and more unrealistic with each additional hour. One state has a class that goes 240-hours for entry level. Realistic for a volunteer? Hell no.
    We're wrapping up our first Firefighter I class of 2012 in my volunteer county this week. We'll have 28 students attending our live burns on this Sunday - not bad for a 176 hour program wouldn't you agree? Furthermore, we've already got folks signing up for our next FF1 program which will be held in September. Considering we have only 200 volunteers and 5 stations in the entire county, we're not that much more developed than your parish.

    Wanting to see what the "new guys" had to say about this thread, I put some of your posts up for the students in the class to read yesterday afternoon - I told them nothing of the reputation you've gained here, or where you're from. Several of them actually thought that your post was satire! Amazing....
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 05-07-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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    Please sir, for my sake, explain to them that he is not indicative of the entire state's mindset. We actually have smart, competent, and great firefighters here. He just happens to barely work a computer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    We're wrapping up our first Firefighter I class of 2012 in my volunteer county this week. We'll have 28 students attending our live burns on this Sunday - not bad for a 176 hour program wouldn't you agree? Furthermore, we've already got folks signing up for our next FF1 program which will be held in September. Considering we have only 200 volunteers and 5 stations in the entire county, we're not that much more developed than your parish.

    Wanting to see what the "new guys" had to say about this thread, I put some of your posts up for the students in the class to read yesterday afternoon - I told them nothing of the reputation you've gained here, or where you're from. Several of them actually thought that your post was satire! Amazing....
    And in your area that 176-hour course may be simply accepted as the norm, which, beleive it or not, I actually consider a wonderful thing. In this area, that is not the norm and we would have very few vilunteer either choose to or be able to make that type of time committment.

    Again, I never have stated that I diidn't support training, and I never stated that I opposes members taking FFI, FFII and any other certification course they have the time a desire to take. In fact it's just the opposite. And we, on my combo department, actually reward our members that pass certification tests with points and a pay increase if they work part-time.

    The reason that we do not require it is that for our members to get off probabtionary status, they must complete a skills checklist composed of applicable and relevant FFI skills, a FFI computer-based course, NIMS 100 and 200 and pass a test composed of applicable and relevant FFI questions and department-oriented questions. The system works very well without a requirement of FFI, some of which is inapplicable to our operations.

    My VFD encourages certification as well. In fact we have enrolled 4 of our members in LSU's on-line FFI class as we feel that is the best way to deliver that course to them. But again, we feel that FFI is overkill as a entry-level requirement.

    Again, my issue is not with FFI as a non-entry level course. My issue is with FFI as a mandatory requirement replacing department-level entry level courses, if the department wished to train their members initially in-house to thier standards and needs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    LSU's accreditation testing always test a percentage of what's taught. This is normal to almost 99% of all test in any field of study. While testing on a 35' ladder raise is optional, learning the skill set is not. Please, stop running the schools name through the mud, you have proven to know very little of what is taught, what is practiced, and what is tested upon.
    Never said they didn't learn the skill.

    What I did say was that since it not a skill that they will utilize in our operations, we may spend less time on perfecting the skill as compared to a truly relevant and applicable skill that they will use which we will take more time to perfect.

    Train the way you operate. It's really that simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    But what you're proposing isn't a compromise, it's a bet. You're betting that your training is adequate and using your men and citizen's lives as collateral. We both know the education for volunteers in this state is abysmal at best but while the obvious answer is promoting growth, you're asking for the standards to be lowered. You aren't lowering them to a lower level, you're lowering them to YOUR level and that is outright disgusting. I have not met a good volunteer firefighter who had more trouble than I in obtaining FF1 certification. I am currently working with a volunteer department with a ISO rating of a 3 or 4 and are just as adequate (if not more) than a good amount of career departments. They didn't lower standards to let everyone play, they raised them to push people to meet them.

    When the **** hits the fan, we don't rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training and you're betting peoples lives that just enough is good enough.
    No, it's not a bet.

    You propose perfecting every skill in the book, which is fine if you beleive that your personnel have the time to do that. And by doing that you are limiting the manpower pool to members that have that amount of time to committ to a part-time advocation. Great, if it works for you.

    The fact is our members do not need to know every skill in the FFI cirriculum as either we don not and never will respond to the struture type that requires that skill or we simply do not own the tools for that skill. To me, that's not a bet. That's realistically looking at your operations vs. the cirriculum and evaluating what skills you need to effectivly conduct your operations.

    It's the same with the emphasis that we put on vehicle extrication, which following the logic of some of the members here who define FFI as the basic skill set, would not be considered a basic skill as it's in the FFII cirriculum. yet we have determined that for us, based on the number of extrications we perform, it is important enough to be a basic skill. Same with industrial operations. And the increased emphasis we put on wildland vs. the pitance covered in FFI.

    Yes, training volunteers is about compromise. That being said, if you are smart about it, it can be extremly effective and still not overly tax their free time.
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    Agreed, and if you want to be an operating firefighter, train to be a firefighter, not anything less. I understand that your locale requires specialization in certain skillsets but not at the sacrifice of BASIC skills. As an instructor, your duty is to make a firefighter first, and a bossier parish firefighter second. You don't teach a kid to do a back hand shot skating backwards before you teach him how to ice skate. You're sacrificing the integrity of your education to take the easy way out and that is not acceptable.

    So what if you don't have the structures making a 35' ladder raise likely, do you know for a fact that you never will? What do you expect to happen when all of your rookies are the officers 10-15 years from now and you actually have larger buildings and standpipes and none of the men know them? If you aren't teaching your men with the future in mind, you need to get out of teaching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, it's not a bet.

    You propose perfecting every skill in the book, which is fine if you beleive that your personnel have the time to do that. And by doing that you are limiting the manpower pool to members that have that amount of time to committ to a part-time advocation. Great, if it works for you.

    The fact is our members do not need to know every skill in the FFI cirriculum as either we don not and never will respond to the struture type that requires that skill or we simply do not own the tools for that skill. To me, that's not a bet. That's realistically looking at your operations vs. the cirriculum and evaluating what skills you need to effectivly conduct your operations.

    It's the same with the emphasis that we put on vehicle extrication, which following the logic of some of the members here who define FFI as the basic skill set, would not be considered a basic skill as it's in the FFII cirriculum. yet we have determined that for us, based on the number of extrications we perform, it is important enough to be a basic skill. Same with industrial operations. And the increased emphasis we put on wildland vs. the pitance covered in FFI.

    Yes, training volunteers is about compromise. That being said, if you are smart about it, it can be extremly effective and still not overly tax their free time.

    Perfecting every skillset? Your ignorance and lack of quality instructing is glaring. No one in the feild of instructing expects first time students to perfect anything. What actual instructors do is build a foundation for the students department to build upon. We know they'll catch plugs differently, we know their apparatus are set up different, we know there are things we cover they'll never see again and things need to be learned that we don't even touch upon. We deliver line ready firefighters, when one finishes his training, we deem him ready to join nearly any department in the state and he can operate at a basic level, he can go to Baton Rouge and they can polish his skills to be a Baton Rouge firefighter, or he can go to a small rural department and be a small rural firefighter but he learns the very basics in school. It is no different from elementary to high school to university to beyond. You don't go to college to be a lawyer or doctor and only receive classes pertaining to your specific field, you specialize and take courses in your field of study but no university allows you to cherry pick classes that only pertain to your job of choice. This should be no different. Sorry your guys had to learn 35' ladder raises when your tallest structure is the 20 foot high house down the street, sorry they had to learn standpipes when you don't have any in your district. Sorry they were made to be basic firefighters by the lowest of standards and that is just too much for you. Keep degrading the quality of volunteers in your area and try to hold back your tears when you become disregarded and looked upon with disdain by other areas who knew better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Agreed, and if you want to be an operating firefighter, train to be a firefighter, not anything less. I understand that your locale requires specialization in certain skillsets but not at the sacrifice of BASIC skills. As an instructor, your duty is to make a firefighter first, and a bossier parish firefighter second. You don't teach a kid to do a back hand shot skating backwards before you teach him how to ice skate. You're sacrificing the integrity of your education to take the easy way out and that is not acceptable.

    So what if you don't have the structures making a 35' ladder raise likely, do you know for a fact that you never will? What do you expect to happen when all of your rookies are the officers 10-15 years from now and you actually have larger buildings and standpipes and none of the men know them? If you aren't teaching your men with the future in mind, you need to get out of teaching.

    Actually, functioning as a department instructor teaching a department level class to department personnel, my obligation actually is to teach them to function within my department first.

    If I am teaching a FFI, or any other certification-level class, yes, my job is to teach to a broader scope of skills and knowledge as outlined in the that particuliar certification cirriculum.

    You obviously have a different view regarding volunteer training than I do. I beleive in teaching the basic relevant and applicable skills when you are teaching entry-level classes in the most reasonable time frame. General broader knowledge skills and knowledge are taught post-entry level. That, IMO, is the purpose of department-level weekly training, FFI/FFII, other certification training such as D/O and Officer, and optional advanced/specialzed skills training.


    Volunteers members have a limited amount of time. The larger you make the required committment, the fewer members you have that can make that committment. Obviously the committment that is accepatable will depend on the area and the nature of the volunteers in that area,as well as department culture.

    There will always be those that excel and there will always be those that are happy with the minimum. And everybody else will fall someplace in between. I accept that reality and understand that it is part of having a VFD.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Perfecting every skillset? Your ignorance and lack of quality instructing is glaring. No one in the feild of instructing expects first time students to perfect anything. What actual instructors do is build a foundation for the students department to build upon. We know they'll catch plugs differently, we know their apparatus are set up different, we know there are things we cover they'll never see again and things need to be learned that we don't even touch upon. We deliver line ready firefighters, when one finishes his training, we deem him ready to join nearly any department in the state and he can operate at a basic level, he can go to Baton Rouge and they can polish his skills to be a Baton Rouge firefighter, or he can go to a small rural department and be a small rural firefighter but he learns the very basics in school. It is no different from elementary to high school to university to beyond. You don't go to college to be a lawyer or doctor and only receive classes pertaining to your specific field, you specialize and take courses in your field of study but no university allows you to cherry pick classes that only pertain to your job of choice. This should be no different. Sorry your guys had to learn 35' ladder raises when your tallest structure is the 20 foot high house down the street, sorry they had to learn standpipes when you don't have any in your district. Sorry they were made to be basic firefighters by the lowest of standards and that is just too much for you. Keep degrading the quality of volunteers in your area and try to hold back your tears when you become disregarded and looked upon with disdain by other areas who knew better.
    It's almost amusing.

    I have no idea who the "we" is in your posts, but I suspect you are referring to the LSU instructors at Baton Rouge teaching the academy, who by the way I have the greatest respect for, but I do have one very simple question regarding the students ... What percentage of them are recieveing a paycheck while at the academy? What percentage are in the academy as a training requirement for a full-time position?

    That is an importamnt question as my posts have been referring to volunteers who are choosing to attend training without compensation and not as a prt of thier full-time employment.

    THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS.

    Most of your recruits are full-time personnel, which sorry, by the nature of the fact that they are being paid to train does render them to a different standard.

    Should they be trained to perform the skills they will ned to perform as a member of that fire department? Hell yes, and I have never stated otherwise. But we are training them to work in our district as well as our normal mutual aid districts where we know what the skills they will and will not be performing.

    We know that they will not be operating on the third floor of a hotel or in a Sam's Club using standpipes. We know that they will not be raising a 35' ladder. We know that they will not be using tool X,Y or Z because we don't own them. And we know that they have afinite amount of time to commit and teaching them all that will not have any relevancy in day to day operations.

    This isn't about cheating them out of training or holding them back. This is about making good use of the time they have decided to donate to us to voluntarily, without compensation, assist in protecting the community.

    If they have a desire to learn more and have the time we'll teach the class or pay for the class and we'll reward them with points. But it's simply not fair to require that level of time committment given the generic nature of FFI. it isn't fair to them and yes, it will limit our manpower pool.

    This is a discussion that will never end as you believe in a differing level of professionalism for volunteers. If you believe that they must have skills they will never use to be professionals, have at it. I beleive that they need to knowthe skills required by the community and department resources to be professional. Driving members away because of unreasonable training requirements is never a good thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Again, my issue is not with FFI as a non-entry level course. My issue is with FFI as a mandatory requirement replacing department-level entry level courses, if the department wished to train their members initially in-house to thier standards and needs.
    I don't know how much clearer I can make this..........none of us are suggesting that a mandatory FF1 requirement replace department level entry level training! We're saying that it should be the foundation upon which your department training is built.

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    Less than 75% are full time instructors. Adjuncts make barely enough to call it a part-time gig. I have yet to see burns and other classes where it wasnt a 3:1 ratio of guys coming in and volunteering help to guys on the payroll. Also, guess what, we are paid the same amount to train as we are to do nothing here. The volunteers here receive a great deal of training from members of the department who are career elsewhere and are not paid to teach. I spend my extremely limited off time reading and attending classes under my own free will and on my dollar.

    I truly don't care if you're paid or not. With the title "firefighter" comes a list of expectations. Any one who carries the name and fails to meet those expectations is a danger to the integrity of the fire service. Label it all you want but don't try and pull the wool over my eyes. I've seen first hand what stricter expectations and higher standards can do. Don't have time for class? Then they don't have time to respond. That's one less set of bunker gear you have to pay for and outfit a professional pager holder.

    Train the way you operate? Sure, but don't forget you have to make firefighters first. Your men and your community deserve that much at least. You are a very big liability, a LODD contributer waiting to happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Proving that FF1 is entry level...
    No one (reasonable) ever stated different...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Actually, functioning as a department instructor teaching a department level class to department personnel, my obligation actually is to teach them to function within my department first.

    If I am teaching a FFI, or any other certification-level class, yes, my job is to teach to a broader scope of skills and knowledge as outlined in the that particuliar certification cirriculum.
    Right and this discussion is about that broader scope of skills and knowledge and not about local level needs.


    You obviously have a different view regarding volunteer training than I do. I beleive in teaching the basic relevant and applicable skills when you are teaching entry-level classes in the most reasonable time frame. General broader knowledge skills and knowledge are taught post-entry level. That, IMO, is the purpose of department-level weekly training, FFI/FFII, other certification training such as D/O and Officer, and optional advanced/specialzed skills training.
    WOW! You really shouldn't be teaching anybody anything if you think this way. General knowledge and skills ARE entry level training NOT post-entry level!

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    I apologize, due to your horrible grammar skills, I was referring to the instructors. As for class participants? On site? 1/4 of the average participants are volunteer and that's a very conservative figure. Hell, I had 10 out of 30 guys in the recruit academy pay their own way and live on their own dime. For all of the classes I personally attended, I was forced to use vacation time, was paid according to shift schedule, not given lodging or food per diem, and paid for my testing fees. So how was I compensated? Are there career ff'ers who are paid to train? Sure. But they aren't an overwhelming majority. I'm paid the same amount no matter if I'm fighting fire, sleeping, or if my nose is in the book. Your excuse for money being an incentive to train is bull****.


    Oh, and for actual company training, I can count on one hand the times they weren't cut short by a call. We face limited training time just the same. Except we might hose test all morning, train on portables till 8pm, all while running calls, and then deal with a major structure fire that night. So again, how are we so lucky?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We are discussing fire departments. And there are fire departments that rarely if ever go interior for a variety of very valid reasons, most of which are well beyond their control.

    And they are still fire departments staffed by firefighters.
    The rest of us are discussing fire departments staffed by firefighters. What you are talking about is a type of modern day bucket brigade.

    The bucket brigade of the past was not much more than a group of people moving water from one location to the fire and dumping it on it and repeating until the fire burned itself out. The organizations that you describe are just using more efficient means to move that water and put it on the fire.
    Last edited by FireMedic049; 05-07-2012 at 01:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Most of your recruits are full-time personnel, which sorry, by the nature of the fact that they are being paid to train does render them to a different standard.

    Please enlighten me...

    I fight fire the same way, to the same standard from my career, to my part time, to my volunteer department. How do the standards change according to pay?

    You're contradicting yourself. If I'm held to a certain standard because my city PAYS me to be a firefighter, how is that different than a city (even if partially) funds the local volunteer station to be staffed by (volunteer) firefighters? You get what you pay for, firefighters. The amount you pay should not diminish what you get, firefighters. Bigger departments, bigger set of issues, bigger amounts of money, bigger demands, that's all it boils down to. You opt for basic, you get a basic firefighter, nothing less.
    Last edited by tajm611; 05-07-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    So again, how are we so lucky?
    He's not your training officer?????
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    He's not your training officer?????
    He wouldn't last a day. Our training leaves MUCH to be desired. Our training officer was never even a line firefighter (came from state fire marshall office) and even he would laugh bobby out of his office. I've seen some really lackluster departments and even they wouldn't take this guy seriously. Unfortunately, he's a prime example of the downside to civil service. Some people are just too much trouble to get rid of. It's been proven he's ignored so widely in his departments that this is the only place for his backwards ideology to gain an audience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I don't know how much clearer I can make this..........none of us are suggesting that a mandatory FF1 requirement replace department level entry level training! We're saying that it should be the foundation upon which your department training is built.
    No, that's not what you are saying. There are several stating the the firefighter should be taught every component of FFI'FFII as basic training so that the firefighter will be well rounded, evebn if the department does not utilize that tool or operation.

    I strongly disagree.

    Yes, the applicable and relevant parts of FFI/FFII to that department and district should be the basis of department entry-level training. That being said, if a department has no standpipes, as an example, and does not nor ever will perform standpipe operations, that training is not relevant and not applicable to the operation, and simply does not need to be taught at the department level for the firefighter position. Same with a 35' ladder if a department never throws one, and certainly if a department doesn't even carry one.

    FFI/FFII should be a guideline where the department selects the applicable components and teaches them. If a component is not relevant to thier operations, rookie firefighters , especially volunteers with very limited time, do not need to train on those components.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  25. #300
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Right and this discussion is about that broader scope of skills and knowledge and not about local level needs.

    And that is the crux of the disagreement.

    I really don't care if my rookie firefighter has a clue about a NY roof hook, as an example if we don;'t carry one. I am going to need him to know how to identify a fubar, a halligan, a 4' pike pole, trash hook and a sheet rock tool because thata is what we carry and that is what I am going to need him to be able to locate when I ask for it. That is where I need his attention. He needs to learn the tools we have, as an example, not on tools we do not possess.

    I really don't give a damn if he knows how to load a horseshoe load because we'll never load hose that way, and if we get a new Chief that for some reason wants to, we'll train everydoby on it.

    Rookie firefighters need to know what we do, how we do it and when we do it, and yes, it may be simplistic but that is what entry level training should be.

    General knowledge training are the alternatives - the NY Roof Hook - and the decison-making skills that they need as they take more responsibility and begin to move into some level of responsibility. That is where FFI/FFII comes into play.


    WOW! You really shouldn't be teaching anybody anything if you think this way. General knowledge and skills ARE entry level training NOT post-entry level!
    We disagree. A rookie does not need to know the advantages and disadvantages of tools that we do not own. Yes, they need to know the pluses and minues of the tools we do own, and if you want to call that general knowledge, fine, but to me that is still simple entry-level knowledge stuff.

    Keep it very simple as time is limited. Then with experience, teach them more.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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