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  1. #1
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    Default Training Instructors(No Training)

    I just met one of four new civilian Fire Instructors hired by my Department.He is a retired Police officer W/No fire related experience.Is it me or is something wrong here.Does anyone else out there have this happening in their Dept.


  2. #2
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    The states here in New England that I'm familiar with require at least firefighter II certification and several years experience before you can become certified as a fire instructor. I would think that using instructors who are not certified would create a huge liability issue for a department, and in todays world where everyone sues everyone else for anything, I would certainly want to protect myself from that liability as much as I could. Firefighters who are not instructors teach other firefighter "on the job" every day, but I haven't heard of someone who is not an instructor being hired for an instructor position.

  3. #3
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    WOW!

  4. #4
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    That is an interesting topic! Why hire someone with out firefighting experience to train and teach firefighters. I guess you should take into consideration on how good an instructor he or she is. A good instructor or teacher should be able to research and process any subject and give a good class on it whether or not he or she has no experience to draw on. I would rather have an instructor with field experience in the subject matter he or she was giving me a class on.

    Even with firefighters with experience that are instructors... I have seen them worthless in trying to convey points and important subject matter in classes that I have attended.

    One of our probies here at our dept. was prior USAF firefighter and has his IFSAC Fire Instructor certification. He was asked to give a class on wildland firefighting and was given two shifts to get prepared. Well he was not prepared on the day of the class and it was cancelled. Three weeks later we had a class. It consisted of two videos and no lecture. The few questions we had asked him he did not know the answer and did not have any outline for his class.

    So would I rather have a Police Officer instructor give a class on Wildland Firefighting? He probably could not of done any worse in this case.

    Dan
    Mmmmmm, Beer

  5. #5
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    You should thank your lucky stars that you have someone with any insrtuctional background. Our Training Officer picks out a firefighter and tells them what to prepare for. Then they try and teach to others. Talk about a mountain of futillity.

  6. #6
    RJE
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    There are two factors here, and you've hit both of them. There are those who are very knowledgeable (either through experience or training (theoretical/classroom) but don't have the communication skills (I think it's a gift) to be a teacher. Ever sat listening to some Ph.D. talk endlessly in a monotone seemingly never pausing for a breath?

    On the other hand, any teacher, regardless of how gifted they are at getting a difficult concept through to a person slow to catch on (the real challenge every teacher must conquer - sometimes daily), MUST know their material thoroughly. If they misunderstand the concept, they could be teaching it exactly backwards and not know the difference.

    So, does a FF trainer have to have fought fire? Does he even have to have been a FF?

    Maybe! Depends on what he's teaching.

    Here's a couple of (non-fire) examples:
    At my trucking company, we have regular defensive driving training. They are taught by a professional driver training school instructor (you know, the orange sign on the roof "warning - student driver"). BUT, he's a retired truck driver. One time we got a sub - waste of time. He'd never driven an oversized vehicle, so he had no concept of some things. Like, "it's always better to move (change lanes) than stop (panic brake) to avoid an accident". Good in theory, but... 1/2 to stop a 90,000# rig at 65mph, and you don't do snap lane changes pulling triples, and you damn sure don't take the shoulder, it's soft and when your tires sink in your going to roll the back trailer (even if you're stopped!!)

    Another: Hazmat handling. We have one class (on video) w/a professional DOT trainer going over the paperwork, placards, where you can park, etc. But we do a separate session w/a local chemist from an oil company. That guy really knows his stuff. Ever hauled hazmat? Nope, never even driven a rig. But he knows chemicals, what's dangerous... what's not, when to wash down and when water will cause an explosion, what can be stored next to what... and what shouldn't be in the same BUILDING let alone the same trailer. And he's a gifted teacher.

    But there's no way I'd let the chemist teach defensive driving!

  7. #7
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    You've got to be joking right?

    No fire dept in it's right mind would have firefighting instructor's who have no firefighting experience.
    I would think at least 3-4 years in busy companies would be a prerequisite, as well as being a certified fire instructor in that juridiction.

    If this is true, I sure wouldn't want to get a proby out of the next class.

  8. #8
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    Holy cow! No matter how good an instructor yhe retired officer may be, how can he teach anyone about firefighting? The agency I work for is a public safety department, so, we do fire/rescue and law enforcement. Since I've become a cop (no doughnut jokes, please ), my firefighting and ems skills have suffered greatly. And from first hand experience, I know that cop and firefighter mentalities are two TOTALLY different animals. I hope this officer was hired due to his abilities and not as a "favor" to somebody with a friend who needed a job
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

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