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  1. #1
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default The other side of ride alongs

    I know there is a thread going about whether Explorers should be allowed to do ride-alongs and what is expected of them if they do. However, I'm looking for input from the other side of the ride-along.

    Next week, my shift will have three teenagers from a local school "shadowing" us on the job. These kids are not Explorers and, to my knowledge, have little affiliation with the fire service. They'll be hanging out with us from 0800-1600.

    Any suggestions on some things we can do to show them job? They're arriving during truck check time, so they'll get some hands-on with our equipment. We conduct occupancy inspections every morning, so they'll get to see some of our important non-emergency work. You guys have any ideas to fill the rest of the day with?


  2. #2
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    If you have time, have them assist in a school fire prevention/ education program. Afterwards , pick their brain on how to improve and reach the kids better. As bad as we hate to admit it, the older we get , the more out of touch we get with whats "current"
    Kinda use the teens as a bridge.

  3. #3
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    One of the easiest things we've found that will both kill at least an hour and generally be impressive enough for kids is to simply pull a preconnect and flow some water in the parking lot. It let's them feel what it's like (i.e., not just a bigger version of dad's garden hose), gives them a little appreciation of why we need to be in shape, and can even humble some of the most cocky of teenagers, if they need it. If you have a truck, shoot the stick -- even if you don't want to let them climb, they seem to like watching it done.

    Good luck!
    Tony

  4. #4
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    Anything hands on!!

    I teach 7-12 grade students and many of them have been on these job shadowing programs. They usually come back with two opinions.
    1) It sucked - these people usually were lecture at all day or were true shadows.

    2) I can't wait to be a "insert occuptaion here" - these people got to do something. It may be as simple as asking a patient questions in a hospital setting, working with a customer in a business setting, or working with the children in a day care.

    Have them do the truck checks, if you can come up with an old set of turn out drill them on donning the turnout and have a timed competition, ask them questions during the inspection or have them find something. Pulling hose and the ladder is a great idea, from chaplain186. Teach them the basic duties of your crew for initial attack and practice that while they pull the hose. Have the FFs teach the kids their position. People love to talk about what they know, myself included obviously. It would be great if you could have them don and doff SCBAs and let them walk around or give them a task to do while they wear them. Maybe even teach them your radio protocols.

    I know that as a teacher I live in an ideal world and some of this, or most of this may, not be possible due to legal, logistical, or time constraints but the big point I want to make is let them get their hands dirty as much as possible.

    The last thing I would say is to be excited about what you do. Kids catch onto peoples' attitudes very quickly and if you are excited they will be also.

  5. #5
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the ideas! From you guys' suggestions, I had a pretty good plan for the day's activities (they are supposed to come today). However... it's raining!

    So, we'll do truck checks (but no aerial). We'll do inspections. But outside of that, I'm sort of at a loss. Right now, we've got thunderstorms... so, their parents would probably frown on us taking them outside in the lightning.

    Any new ideas?

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb

    cozmosis,

    If you have that spare gear, set up a maze in the hall with tables on there side, and of course throw in a few obstacles along the way. Let them crawl around in there with SCBA's on. Could even time it and make it a competition. I think that would keep them interested for a while.

    Work Hard
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    Work Hard
    Stay Safe
    EFFD131

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    Default

    If you have that spare gear, set up a maze in the hall with tables on there side, and of course throw in a few obstacles along the way. Let them crawl around in there with SCBA's on. Could even time it and make it a competition. I think that would keep them interested for a while.
    If you can, cover the windows, turn out the lights and use a TI camera. Todays kids are so into tech stuff, they will eat this up.


    Tanker
    I.A.C.O.J. Firefighter/EMT-B

    "I'm gonna drill a hole in your skull and pump out all the stupidity"
    Gunny Ermey


    "Never underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"


    Humpty Dumpty was pushed

    Polishing the Chrome on all the IACOJ "apparati"

  8. #8
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    Default

    Originally posted by tanker5117


    If you can, cover the windows, turn out the lights and use a TI camera. Todays kids are so into tech stuff, they will eat this up.


    Tanker
    Tanker I think that is a very good motivating idea. However the newbies have to learn the basics of a search first, you want them to know how to do a search w/out a camera first then move them up to the camera....Maybe make a little competition out of it like whoever can initiate the fastest and most effective primary can move up to learning how to use the TIC.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Any suggestions on some things we can do to show them job? They're arriving during truck check time, so they'll get some hands-on with our equipment.
    Where I come from that means washing the fire truck..lol

  10. #10
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

    In the morning, we did truck checks & practiced with the Holmatro tools. They were issued bunker gear and we covered donning & doffing the gear and SCBA. They also went on air and experienced that working and communicating in that environment.

    While one city department (the job shadowing was city-wide) fed their students McDonald's, we grilled burgers for lunch. I figured that if they were going to "work" at the firehouse, they should experience firehouse homecooking.

    The rain broke long enough for us to let them raise & extend the aerial. Both guys assigned to us had strong interests in technology, computers, video games, etc. I was worried that that would keep them from appreciating the work we do. Working the aerial, however, was "awesome" in their words.

    In the afternoon, they bunked out and we lit a small pan fire. They each got to use a dry chemical extinguisher to put it out. Then they used blacked out masks to do a room search... and each found their victim.

    I've been looking forward to this day since my shift was assigned the project... But I knew it was worth it by hearing our guys describe their day to their classmates. I know a lot of firefighters out there who would have no interest in "babysitting" a couple of students, but everyone involved had a great time. I hope we get the chance to do it again next year.

    Thanks again for everyone's input.

  11. #11
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    cozmosis,

    Thank you for taking the time to set a positive example for our youth.

    Thanks to everyone for their input.

    You guys rock! Taking the time to involve our society's youth, can only benefit us all.

    I can only try to be as good of a FF as you all.

    Thanks,

    Matt

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