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Thread: Training Ideas?

  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb Training Ideas?

    I have recently been promoted to training officer of a small volunteer dept. Our training programs
    in the past have been poor to non-existent. I am looking for interesting ideas for training sessions.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Try starting with a FF Safety and Survival session. Speaking from a T/O perspective, I say this for a couple of reasons.
    1. FF Survival is something you can absolutely never get enough of!!

    2. Although there can be some more 'advanced' subjects covered in a Safety and Survival class, the class is founded on using the principals and tactics learned in the earliest of FF1. If things such as raising ladders, etc are not being done satisfactorily in the safety and survival session, then you have some places to start for your next training sessions.

    If you need more info let me know. I completely feel your pain. We created the T/O position 2 years ago and I was the lucky one it was awarded to so I have dealt with the struggles of start up, etc of the position.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Grab an Essintials book and dive right in-- everything starts with the basics and builds from there. We all need to review the basics.


    Let no firefighters ghost say that their training let them down.
    Trackhoe71 likes this.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I really appreciate the input. I have however started at the basics, as their was
    virtually no other place to start. I am looking for something a little more specific.
    Thing or activities that TOís have done to make thel earning more effective. For
    example we have done search and rescues in our station with black outs on. what
    I am after is hands on training ideas. We are about to have a competition between
    squads to advance a two hose lines a section at a time, while using only portables
    to communicate with the engineer. these are the sort of ideas I am after. All help is
    welcomed and thanks for responding!

  5. #5
    L.W. Sellers
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with Medic 445, the Essentials manual is a good starting point. We issue the Essentials manual to our volunteers in their recruit academy. I would also suggest you acquire a copy of the "Sourcebook for Company Training Evolutions" or other similar text. This book has evolutions planned out for many basic skills and with a little imagination you can make the evolution fit your department's SOP.
    Another reference would be your state's firefighter certification program. The curriculum guide should set out specific knowledge & performance-based objectives. You could use those objectives to create a drill that fits your members' needs.

    Train hard - Work Safe

  6. #6
    Dave Gifford
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's an idea for firefighter survival. In a training facilty or even your stations bay area stretch 3 or 4 attack lines in every direction possible. Add some furniture and other obstacles. Now have one firefighter in turnout gear with scba and blackout mask be placed in the middle of it all. He has 7 minutes to get out. Have a fast team with black out masks go in after 5 minutes to find him.
    MrMarine57 likes this.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our Lt. came up with this one last day.

    Go to a play ground that has the multi-function play set. One with slides, monkey bars, many different things to climb on and through. Run a rope through the play set like a maze and have firefighters in full gear, nomex hood turned backwards to darken the mask. Have each one follow the rope and go through the maze. We did it at night and it added to the effect. It was good practice and it was fun. At one point we had to go up a slide. It was so tight we had to remove our air packs and push them up the slide in front of us. Great practice.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Does anyone have a basic outline for a training schedule for an entire year?

    I am the training officer for a volunteer department with about 25 firefighters. we cover a township about 50 sq. miles and meet for training twice a month. Our EMS squad is separate from the F.D. although we cross train at least 4x a year for major medical disasters.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our rookies are just finishing Fire Fighter 1 and they are a great source of ideas. The guys are right. Start with ESSENTIALS and when you have that down grow from there. Contact your State Fire Marshall Training Division and see what classes they can provide. Sit back and take a hard look at your department and find the weak spots. Train on those. Do attack drills. Gather your FF's and then dispatch them to "call". It can be what ever you want, car, dumpster, burn room, auto alarm. Can you do a house burn? Lots of good training there. Can you train with your mutual aid departments? Customize the training to meet your department's needs. Let me know if there is anything else I could do to help.

    Lack of attention to detail, "can kill you"

  10. #10
    Capt. Skippy
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Re-post from a previous training question -

    I came up with a way to kill two birds with one stone. We have apparatus check performed monthly using six different crews. These folks had to be there anyway, so I thought, why not make this a training opportunity? This requires A LOT of head end work on the Training Officer's part.
    I developed a training sheet for each apparatus with various questions concerning each piece of equipment. Such as - pump size, tank size, location of various equipment, responses unit rolls on, removing the master stream and setting it up, etc.

    This allows them to learn while working and they receive training time credit for doing it. Helps cut down on the "chicken with it's head cut-off" sydrome on the fireground for a volunteer department. This, I have found, is good for both the old and the new volunteer.

    (I include a cheat sheet with the answers. The OIC is responsible for actually going through the questionaire and marking up corrections when equipment is added, removed or relocated).

    Remember - Safety is a way of Life!

  11. #11
    Aerial 131
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Last week we had the most interesting drill.

    We took (not all showed up) 2 teams of three FF, gave each team a list of items from our aerial(the list were in different order so we did not try for the same equipment) to get to the roof of a building. How we did this was no matter but we had to get it done safely, effectively and with the least time.

    Every quickly it no longer mattered which team was going to get done first. We moved ladders, saws, hand tools, hose, lights, electrical power(not energized), you name it it came off our aerial. Drill took about 45 minutes which did not include about 15 minutes in teaching some personnel the knots and handling of hauling rope to get the stuff up to the roof. The other team even had 2 of the newer FFs move equipment up by ladder instead of by haul rope. Then we had to get the stuff back off of the roof and put it back where it came from.

    We all had a great learning experience from the drill.


  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Check out the Trainging Zone section right here on Firehouse.com. Over 30 great drills with complete outlines.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Great ideas! (Especially the playground idea!) When you are doing the basics, (such as PPE or the SCBA), you can make it a timed evolution or form teams to compete among one another. Another idea I have been working on is an exercise for district familiarization. The instructor gives an address and each company(we have multi-companies participating in our training) responds to the address in the safest and most efficient way possible. Another instructor is waiting at that location to give another address. The firefighters in the back keep track of the route(s) taken and the mileage between each stop. This way it gets the whole company involved. The company with the best time/safest route wins. Hope this helps someone!

    Remember...We are engrained with what we are trained.

    Be Safe!

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I love some of the ideas presented here - especially your Natalie!! That is one I'm definitely going to use. I also use Ifsta's Sourcebook for Fire Company Training Evolutions. And for f.d.'s in KY - you can't beat the on-line classes our state is now offering for a few of the basics!!

  15. #15
    Lea Hayes
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There is a great book out there called "The Sourcebook for Fire Company Training Evolutions" it is available through Fire Protection Publications on the IFSTA web page. It gives a series of 53 training sessions with objectives for the training, preparation materials so you can have everything you need for the drill or training, a lesson plan that follows IFSTA manuals and videos, and of course the drills themselves. They are excellent and I incorporate at least two of these sessions every month into my training plan.

    Also ask the guys in your department if they have any drills that they have read about that they would like to try. Many of them have read something and it sounded cool but they didn't think to ask to put it together for the training plan. You can take their ideas and put them in the format like the book I mentioned above and make your own specialized drills.

    Use the MFRI site and go through some of your previous incident reports and "re-create" incidents for personnel who were not at the original incident.

    Remember that good planning is the key to any good training evolution. Put your training schedule up at least a month in advance so that personnel can study topics they are unfamiliar with or that they haven't done in awhile. It is important that they have time to formulate questions and think about processes before the class just like it is for the instructor.

    Good Luck!

    Lea Hayes
    A/C Training
    NSA Souda Bay

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's a warm weather drill that's fun and gets the crews working together!
    * Have a 4 f/f Engine Co. lay out 200 to 300' of supply hose from a hydrant. (Mark the street with a cone.)
    *Have f/f pull 200' of 1 3/4" preconnect hose(or your dept. attack line).
    *Hit target with hose stream 50' away.
    *** NOTE *** Driver CANNOT put truck in pump gear. He MUST use water from hydrant!!

    We ran this evolution last summer with four crews for three weeks. First week best time was 3 min. 15 sec. The last week best time was 1 min. 12 sec.!!

    The time started when the truck stopped at the hydrant and ended when the target was hit.

    In under 2 min. we accomplished driver training, hydrant hook ups, water supply, pump operations, attack lines, team work AND had fun.

    This year I'm working on variations of this to include 2 1/2" attack lines and ground ladders. Should be fun!!

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry about that last post. Should read:
    ***NOTE*** Driver WILL put truck in pump gear, but, CANNOT use tank water. He must use hydrant water. Just to clarify !!

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Sourcebook for Company Training Evolutions is an excellent text. NFPA 1410 is also an excellent resource.

  19. #19
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here's an aerial ladder drill that can used to judge distances and sharpen skills. I learned about it from a Lieutenant with the Baltimore County FD.

    Take a bunch of 5 gallon pails and set them up in the drill yard. Set up the aerial and tie a 40 foot length of rope to another 5 gallon pail with a 5 to 10 pound weight plate in it. Tie this to the end of the aerial, raise the stick and using the bucket, try picking up the other buckets by nesting them together.

    It's a great confidence builder!

    Thanks, Lt. Guido!

    Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting our tomorrows....
    Captain Gonzo

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    okay let me try again..
    Here is a good training drill..Have two volunteers completely bunker out excluding
    hoods if you so chose, with gloves and s.c.b.a. on all you need is a half-court
    basketball area. The two persons involved play regular half-court basketball for ten minutes,after that time airpacks are removed
    and remaining air pressure in tanks is written down. Then add the points scored by
    each onto their score and the high point scorer is the winner.This drill gives a person confindence to perform in their gear as well as making the person aware of their
    air consumption. This drill can be made to
    repeat whenever your desire, as long as you
    can find another player.

    stay safe

    [This message has been edited by txff_197 (edited 12-02-2000).]

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