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  1. #1
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    Default volunteer trainers

    This may sound a bit strange to start off with but bear with me!

    Of all the roles in our brigade the one I really admire is that of Training Officer, who co-ordinates the training program – creating scenarios, co-ordinating presenters and turning the Captain’s decisions and goals into practical skills that the crews can use just appeals to me (?)

    Being at the bottom of the food chain as a new member, I’d love to use the aspiration for this position as a motivator. I’m taking extensive practical (and theory) knowledge with excellent conduct (being an example) as a given which requires hard work and time.

    What I’d like to know is experiences of great, good or lousy officers in the roles of ‘trainers”. What things do you count as important in a volunteer, as opposed to a paid or oath (ie military) setting when it comes to a good ‘instructor’?


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Good instructors are good instructors, it does not matter whether they are paid or volunteer, one does not make them better than the other.

    I know a few paid fireman that are excellent trainers, as a matter of fact they started a company that offers firefighter training. I also know some volunteer fireman that are excellent trainers. The teach for local academies along with their own departments. What makes them good? Knowledge, experience, common sense, and the ability to share it. I have seen trainers that are smart and experienced, but could not talk their way out of a paper bag. I have seen others that can talk like champions but don't have anything to offer.

    Knowledge, Experience, Common Sense, and ability to share it.


    Good Luck, being a training officer/instructor is something to be proud of.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    one of the most important hallmarks of a good training officer/ instructor, besides the obvious in my mind, is when there is someone in the group or dept w/ more training/knowledge/experience of the topic being discussed they seek out that person and either get their assistance or have them teach that particular subject. To me it shows good judgement and that you want the best for the members, not just run your own little empire of training.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  4. #4
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    This vol. /career thing must be what a broken record feels like....

    The first thing I can tell you is there is absolutely NO difference in training development and implementation based on career, vol or oath. The subject matter does not change. The only thing that dictates your training curriculum is your response statistics. What I mean is, do you only offer fire suppression or do you do extrication, high angle rescue, swiftwater, and the list goes on......

    Your training needs to be a reflection of your response stats. If you run all of the things I mentioned above, then you darn well better train on each of them, because if you don't it may very well come back to bite you in the *****.

    As far as your question regarding "What things do you count as important...when it comes to a good ‘instructor’?" I will try to answer it from the instructor role that I serve. What I try to offer to all my 'students' is dedication. With dedication comes being prepared for the class and not figuring it out as you stand there. It also means doing a little extra for what may only be 1 student out of 20. If they don't get it right away, find a way to make them get it without isolating them from the rest of the group. With dedication also comes the willingness to go home after a class and find the answer to the question someone shot at you that you just didn't like the answer you gave at the time. Remember it and at the next class, revisit that subject and give that better explanation you researched.

    If you do these things, you will not only have the respect of your students and be a good instructor, but you will also have fun doing it.

    Oh and one other thing to remember... Don't ever think you are better than any of your students. A couple of old sayings apply and they are "Remember where you came from" and "Don't ask a student to do something you wouldn't do yourself"

    Well after that philosophical banter, I think I may just be time to go...

    Hope this helps! Stay Safe!

  5. #5
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    Default expanded question

    Thank you for your replies, in particular FFTrainer.


    FFTrainer states:

    "The first thing I can tell you is there is absolutely NO difference in training development and implementation based on career, vol or oath. The subject matter does not change."

    I certainly agree that subject matter being factual, doesn't change (except with the obvious ie. 'improved' SOP's). What I understand you saying is that you would DELIVER (implement) your training material in the same manner to a paid 'career' firefighter as for a volunteer firefighter.

    Our Training Officer delegates specific topics, like specific Road Crash Rescue procedures to those with the most experience. At other times even the rookies will be asked to research a particular set of fireground procedures (i.e hosework) and present it as a lesson - I may have a lesson later in the year on something basic.

    Do you come over in an authoritative, serious manner with a set way of delivery (which I have been taught) or do you make it more...not less professional but more 'fun'. Sorry I'm not sure if I'm making sense but I'm concerned that if I were to teach lessons in a military format (the only way I know), that may not be appropriate when dealing with volunteers who may expect to be treated differently.

    I guess it depends on the particular group of people involved. Comments appreciated.







    F/F D Kissell
    SACFS

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    If you have valuable information and present it well, then no one should have a problem with authoritative way of doing it. When you supply good information, people are willing to learn. If you try to force it down their throats, you may not get such good results. Make sure to let them know up front what you are expecting to accomplish, what you expect them to get out of this, and keep to it. Here's the biggest problem you have to deal with...are the students there because they want to be or because they have to be? If they are forced to be there, you will have a harder time. If they are there because of want, things will go well. Best of luck.

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