08-02-2012, 09:09 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- S.E. Iowa
Shut Up and Train poster
Does anyone know where I could find this poster? I found a pic of it for those not knowing what I'm talking about.
08-02-2012, 09:17 AM #2~Drew
USAR TF Rescue Specialist
08-02-2012, 09:53 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2001
not the poster but::
cannot post link::
FIRE RESCUE MAGAZINE "NOZZLEHEAD COLUMN" AUGUST 2007
This may not be a very challenging letter compared to the many you get. And I am definitely not whining or complaining, so please don’t yell at me. I am writing to see what advice YOU would provide to a brand new, not yet trained, firefighter? That’s all I am asking, Sir.
Brand New Firefighter in Z-Ville
Dear Newbie in, err, where?…Z-Ville?
OK, we’ll go with that. Advise for a new not yet firefighter huh? First of all, you are not a firefighter-yet. You are a fire trainee, a probie, a rookie or whatever your area calls it. I wonder if NIMS requires us all now to call “probies” something else-so we standardize on THAT term?
Well, in addition to me reminding you that you have very few rights, this is NOT always a democracy, we are NOT interested in your opinion and you need to shut up, listen, work and TRAIN, what else can I tell you? Perhaps the fact that you now must do exactly what you are told and you may actually be just a little offended by some of the things you hear or see might get you a bit upset? And if you aren’t able to handle it-this may not be the job-career OR volunteer-for you. Or maybe the part where you have to do more work in the firehouse than you do in your home…might that set you into a tizzy? If not…read on. And by the way, for those of you reading this-don’t get offended when I say the new kid (boy, girl, whatever gender-I couldn’t care less) has little rights, I am talking about the fact that when they are NEW, they need to listen, learn and get ready for the best job ever. Which means they have the right to shut up and listen for a change. They have the right to learn what teamwork is. They have the right to actually get involved with being told to. And they have the right to do their own laundry, clean their own apparatus and prepare meals-without paying someone to do it. And they have the right to get as much training as possible so they increase their chances of “going home” …but they can’t do that if they don’t do the above. Or the below.
So, as you get ready to start, here are some thoughts, ideas, advise and related little “gems” for you....and they are in no particular order. Some of these are original, some came from other fire veterans but it doesn't matter....this might just help you.
1. When getting ready for duty - check your equipment and perhaps other equipment-if that's the tradition or rules....but always check yours. Make sure you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS check your SCBA-without it working perfectly, you can't breathe and that sucks. When the tones go off-it is too late to make sure you-and your equipment are ready. Do it now.
2. When reporting for duty - ask if anything needs to be done - or LOOK and find what needs to be done. The newer you are in the FD, the more you need to be in the truck room looking, touching and learning.
3. Make sure all your personal gear is ready to go. Check your pockets when coming on duty everytime for your gloves, light, rope etc. What should you carry in your pockets? Some of what I carry is a rope, a flashlight, a flat head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver and a wire cutter. Also consider: A leatherman tool, webbing, modified channel lock pliers, door chocks…why carry all that? You’ll understand why very soon.
4. Make coffee if that's what they drink at your firehouse. Me? I can’t stand the stuff. Makes me hyper and then I write weird stuff.
5. Meals & cleaning - find out what has to be done, such as peel the potatoes, cut the onions or even cook the meal (see below). Fill or empty the dishwasher anytime it needs to be done and clean WHATEVER needs to be cleaned. And by the way, clean the toilets...no kidding...and here is a tip: don't flush the toilet once it is clean, leave the clean, soapy water in the bowl. This shows the other FF's that the toilet has been cleaned. How about that?
6. Volunteer and step up to do whatever needs to be done. WHATEVER.
7. After eating, immediately head and be the first to the sink, pots, pans, dishes and get it done very well...as if someone is going to inspect how clean the stuff is. They will.
8. Be proud that you are going to learn to help people who are having the worst day of their lives. Few people get to do that. And very few people are firefighters-real firefighters.
9. Find out what your firehouse or dept policies and traditions are....and know them. Know your department policies and guidelines. By heart.
10. Always say "SIR" (or Maa’m-if your Sir is a Woman) to Chief's, Officers and Instructors. (Or "Chief", "Cap", "Lou" as in Lieutenant...etc). They have earned and deserve your verbal and action related respect.
11. Always get off the rig with your SCBA and apparatus tools when arriving on a fire...once you are trained and qualified. Some won't always get off with their equipment-don't be one of those. They are lazy and lazy is dangerous. You can always take the equipment off...but it takes longer to put it on (or go back and get something) if urgently needed. Be ready....things can turn to **** quickly and if you and your crew are ready-it can matter. If you aren’t, it can suck.
12. When on a run, listen for your Officers instructions and DO THAT. Pay attention.
13. Always stay with your Company...if you freelance or wander, it can kill you or other FF's.
14. At fires - STAY LOW...heat and smoke rises…listen for the sounds and know how to feel the heat. Study and learn FIRE BEHAVIOR and get as much hands on training as possible.
15. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes & ears open....ALWAYS.
16. NEVER GIVE UP. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone screws up. Me. You. Everyone. Don't be afraid of the mistakes and screw ups, they'll happen no matter what you do. What you can do, is to do everything in your power to limit their seriousness. Ask questions when you don't understand. Ask questions if you "think" you understand. Maybe even ask questions when you know you get it, because chances are, the probie next to you doesn't get it, and won't ask.
17. LISTEN. (I know this and some other items here are repeated...no kidding...MAYBE that's for a reason.)
18. LEARN, STUDY, DRILL AND TRAIN-TRAIN-TRAIN - it never ends. Also, it doesn't hurt to be assertive. However, it can hurt you to be "too" assertive. Jump on things like I already mentioned like dishes, bathroom details, and other firehouse duties. However, don't be the rookie who is kissing butt just to get a good review or to "fit" in...besides, you will stand out to the other firefighters and get labeled. Let your skills and actions speak for you....you will be judged by your actions. It's good to try to be # 1. No FF would want to be in a fire with anybody, who's comfortable being less than the best they can be. LEARN, STUDY, DRILL AND TRAIN-TRAIN-TRAIN - it never ends.
19. RESPECT those who have done this job before you. That's nearly everyone. And don't get comfortable.....I have seen a lot of probie firefighters in the final months of their probation get wayyy too comfortable and forget their place in the firehouse, especially with newer probies under them. Don’t be a 6-22…that’s someone who has 6 months on the job but “acts” cocky like they have 22 years experience. Stay active, stay in the books, study the tools and equipment and work harder than the hardest working firefighter....but NOT in a showy "notice me" way. Those last few months of probation will last forever if you screw up. No matter what the problem is, don't forget, this is the best job around and you don't want to lose it..there is no such thing as a "Ranking Probie"...be respectful-stay humble-shut up-train-learn.
20. Take care of yourself, you are #1...be SAFE….CONSTANTLY think SAFETY and remember that the job of the FD is to help people with a problem WHILE NOT becoming part of that problem....the arrival of the FD means things should generally get better. This is a risky job-sometimes we MUST take risks, but do your best to study, train and understand when the risk is worth it, not worth it or dumb.
21. Feel like you earned your seat on the apparatus. EARN THE SEAT. EARN IT.
22. Know that the public, especially kids, are watching you and look up to you. What are they seeing and hearing? How are you acting? Act as if your Fire Chief is on one of your shoulders and your Mother is on your other.
23. Ask your boss about your progress in private-what you’re doing right and wrong....but not in a suckup way. Be professional.
24. What you do when you first start out will set your reputation and follow you throughout your career. If you don't start out on the right foot, they will show you the door one way or the other. The crew already knows more about you before you show up than you think. And if you have a MySpace, FaceBook or one of those “expose yourself” accounts, assume EVERY member of your firehouse has already seen it. Bet that made you happy, Pookie. And, one more thing, stay off those stupid internet fire related chat rooms, bulletin boards and rants. Most of those sites will expose you to nameless clowns who prove that many in this business have forgotten-or never knew what Brother/Sisterhood is.
25. You're a new probie. Don’t get too stressed over that….just keep your mouth shut, work hard, train, study, train, study, be cordial, friendly and humble. You have no time or opinion until you earn it. You can't force it. That will come with time after training and gaining experience from runs.
26. Leave the cell phone in your car until a time (months from now) where all your duties are complete. I repeat: stay off the phone, off the IM's/text messages and focus on your job. You are going to be responsible for lives...other FF's civilians and your own. Focus on that.
27. Before you arrive for your first day, stop at a nice bakery and bring dessert into the firehouse...get a cheesecake or something REALLY NICE. Or maybe even something homemade if you know someone who can cook. Otherwise, don’t partner with Betty Crocker on this one.
28. When you are expected to be at the firehouse, fire training, the academy or whatever you go to, ALWAYS arrive very early and ask-or do-what needs to be done. BE THERE EARLY.
29. There will be certain duties on each day of the week. Tuesday could be truck clean day, Saturday clean the building. Keep track and know the plan. Stay busy around the firehouse-look in ALL apparatus compartments and MEMORIZE what is in each one. When on duty, always be ready to get on the rig and respond in the seat and position you are assigned. MEMORIZE your apparatus duties, what is in each compartment and when you are taught...become an expert in that tool. If you aren't an expert...who will be?
30. The existing senior firefighters might have "their" place to sit around the table or in front of the TV...but don't you do that....besides, you probably have probie tests to study for....I REPEAT: don't sit in front of the TV; you ALWAYS have a test coming up. No more video games either. Get that out of your head now. Stay busy. No matter what the atmosphere, you're being watched....STUDY. Or don’t, and just go work at a bakery or something else where you get to say “Can I take your order please?…and please drive around to the first window”
31. Be the last one to serve your plate since you are a probie-make sure the other members get their food first.
32. A friend of mine was a new chief years ago, On his first day, one of the FD’s in his County was having a fundraiser. He spent time visiting and then he helped with the dishes. If a chief can do dishes, you can too. Always have your hands in the sink doing the dishes after a meal. Be moving out with the garbage and mopping the kitchen floor after each meal.
33. Don't tell jokes until you're accepted. If you are not sure, say nothing. Shut up.
34. Don't gossip. Seriously, don't....and you will be tempted. Don't. Just shut up. Gossip helps no one. Shut up. It’s “golden rule” time for you.
35. Watch your temper. Chop busting is a part of firehouse life. And if they try to get to you, watch yourself and your response-odd’s are-you should have none. Smile and have fun.
36. Help others' with their assignments when you finish yours....that includes cleaning and training. Ask another probie to quiz you, drill with you, practice a skill together. If they think that's BS, find someone else.
37. Volunteer for assignments, stand by's, special details, conferences, fund raising, teams and special trainings.
38. Until you are tested as an expert, or assigned to do something, do nothing at a scene until the officer tells you or what you have been taught and told to do.
39. Never turn your back on the backing up rig and never get in the way of traffic. Stay out of the roadway on runs unless it is blocked…and even then, be very cautious. Don't trust the public...they don't see you. Watch the traffic.
40. One good analogy for your probationary period is that the department is loaning you the temporary title of "probationary firefighter". At the end of the specified time frame your Officers (with input from the crew) will decide if you get to be called a firefighter....no kidding. If you have proven yourself “worthy”, have followed some of this advise and have gotten along with your crew, their decision is easy. If not, their decision is also easy.
41. Watch what you eat. You want to stay fit and you don't want to puke in your mask or at a fire.
42. Work out EVERY day...you will be very glad when you have to climb 6 stories with 100+ lbs of gear and then attack a fire.
43. EMS can be a pain-especially when abused by those who don't need EMS...but that's part of it. In most cases, EMS means someone is having a really bad-or horrible day-and you have a chance to help change that. Sometimes you'll win-sometimes you won't- just do your best. How would you want to be treated if you were in the patient’s situation? Or what if it was your Mom? EMS is a part of being a firefighter these days and it matters. More lives are saved by firefighters in EMS than any other way in this business.
44. When you learn the job of an engine company firefighter-remember that getting water on the fire can do more to save lives than almost anything else. When the fire is under control, the scene gets better (the smokes slows down, the fire stops burning etc). Learn the role of an engine firefighter-like an expert.
45. When you learn the job of a truck (ladder) company firefighter, your job is usually to vent, enter, search and rescue people. Sometimes you won't have a water line to protect you-so learn what to do about that...like an expert.
46. STUDY building construction. The building is your enemy and you MUST KNOW the enemy (Frank Brannigan said that-who is he? Figure it out.)
47. Learn to calm down-relax….no matter how bad it is…and you are going to see some REALLY bad things. We cannot get excited. We are supposed to FIX the problem they dialed 9-1-1 for. Control yourself and THINK about your responsibility on that run.
48. At a fire, have NO exposed skin (getting burned sucks), use all of your protective gear and don't breathe smoke. The smoke of today is deadly poison that will get you either now or later. Look at what is burning: it's all man made and in most cases from fuels (plastics etc) and it off gases cyanide. Don't breathe that crap-use your SCBA-that's what it is there for.
49. If you are lucky and work your tail off, you might earn the right to become a firefighter. Not long after that, you may have the privilege to learn to drive the apparatus, don’t drive like a lunatic. They LET YOU drive the apparatus, it isn’t YOUR apparatus. Don’t hurt your firefighters or the public. Drive sane so you can get to the fire.
50. You will have an elated feeling when you get on the apparatus and respond on your runs! Always seat belt in, smile, and remember how great this job is. And in your first couple of months, when you get back and no one is looking, call someone who knows what you are doing and tell them about the run.
I have so much more I want to tell you such as: nothing counts 'til you are sworn in as a FIREFIGHTER.. don't let the garbage taking, toilet cleaning stuff bug you....train more, shut up…and that you too will carry on the positive traditions. Remember that not all who wear bunker gear are brothers/sisters, some merely dress up in bunker gear and think they are firefighters-they are not-you will figure them out quickly-avoid them.
I could go on…but I guess these first fifty will give you something to think about. Now go study and train. And shut up
Last edited by fire5555; 08-02-2012 at 10:00 AM.
08-02-2012, 10:54 AM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
08-02-2012, 09:44 PM #5
I fixed it so it could be displayed in Bossier Parish, LA.
08-03-2012, 10:03 AM #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
08-03-2012, 11:05 AM #7
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
08-03-2012, 11:27 AM #8
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
08-03-2012, 12:41 PM #9
08-03-2012, 03:23 PM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
08-03-2012, 03:31 PM #11
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