1. #1
    Forum Member

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    Dec 2004

    Default Experienced people...I need your advice

    I am still fairly new to this, but everytime I work a bad wreck it bothers me for the next couple nights. It is not the blood, or smell, or anything that bothers me. It is me 2nd guessing myself. Maybe it is because of my inexperience, I dunno, but I don't like it. Sometimes I lay awake for hours wondering why I didn't do something or why I did do soemthing instead of something else.

    Does this go away or do you alwasy 2nd guess youself?

  2. #2
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    RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Oct 1999
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas


    Second guessing is common at first. Once you have the experience and training the job becomes second nature and the second guessing goes away to a degree. There are still going to be calls where you doubt yourself. You didn't mention it but do you talk to anyone about it. Is there an officer or fellow firefighter that was on scene that you can talk to and get any questions, comments or concerns answered?

    Just keep with it and don't give up. You're not going through anything that no one else here hasn't. You are not alone in this.

    Good Luck.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  3. #3
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    Tooanfrom's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    whangaparaoa peninsular, north island

    Default Second guessing

    Every man and his dog is a expert after the event-it is known as the "Kooda-wooda-shooda, done this, syndrome"

    The man on the spot calls the shot--if you get it right nobody says a word --get it wrong and they are all after a piece of you.

    If you can say to yourself "I did as best as I possibly could -and as good as I have been trained" Then you ,my son, have upheld every tradition of this career you have chosen.
    "If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
    Harry Lauder 1981.Me on the left!

  4. #4
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Default Hmmm...

    My suggestion- After you return from the T/C (traffic
    collision) ask your crew to get together and have a
    critique. Not to slam each other or be critical, but
    rather review what each of you did and suggest where
    can each of you improve.

    The best spot I found is away from the people who went
    on the call and at a dinner table or rear of the tailboard.
    Take notes if you need to.

    Study your EMT protocals and standards. The more you
    know them, the better you build a foundation to work
    off of and doing what youre required to do will come
    more natural. In other words, follow the outlined
    directions and elimiate any freelancing.

    Makes sence?

  5. #5
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    arhaney's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Wren, MS Until the forum gremlins pay a visit!


    Remember this, the alternative would be that nothing would be done if you were not there. I believe that we all have those feelings at some point in time, try to talk to others around you.
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    Southern Division


    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  6. #6
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    EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Nippa, KY


    Some call it second-guessing, I call it self-critique. Had the very same thing last night in a heavy extrication. I've thought a lot about what we did and didn't do ever since, and it's proving very fruitful as we consider training, equipment, procedures, IMS, etc.

    You are better off thinking you made mistakes than the other guy is "knowing" he didn't, because you can learn and he can't.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #7
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW

    Default Re: Hmmm...

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    My suggestion- After you return from the T/C (traffic
    collision) ask your crew to get together and have a
    Excellent advice from our CA Brother. Get everyone involved with the incident together, as soon as practical, after the incident. Talk about the would haves, should haves and might haves. Was there a better method of extrication? Were hoselines deployed in the right place? Was there adequate lighting? Were hydraulic tools implemented in the best, safest ways?

    Ask questions. Talk it over. LISTEN to comments and learn from your experience.

    Confidence will come with experience. But...as always...learn from your mistakes!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  8. #8
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    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Good advise from Calffbou, I know that after just about every call as soon as the trucks are in service we have a debrief - if it is a fatality or a particularily difficult call (kids involved, off chance a member was involved) basicallly if we have a chain jerker we have a CISD. Gets everything in the open. We havent had a member go home and not have a good nights sleep!
    Always 2nd geuss and think about what your doing - its all about learning - nothing should become routine!
    Take care

  9. #9
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    RescuHoppy7's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Owego,NY USA


    Second Guessing yourself is very natural when you are new at a field like this, One of my first calls as a new lieutenant was a bad MVA at the same time as a structure fire, the two vehicles were our fellow firefighters responding to the call and colliding at an intersection in their POV's. I was the first officer there and was in charge of the extrication of one of the victims. After that call I played the second guessing and shoulda-woulda-coulda game for about a week, when a good friend pulled me aside and we talked at great length about what happened and how we handled the incident. I takes awhile to get confidence in yourself and your skills but keep at it and it will come to you.
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  10. #10
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    ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!


    BOU makes an excellent suggestion.
    Talking about it as soon as possible afterwards will help the next time out.
    But if you find yourself lying awake and thinking about it, get up and write your thoughts down. It will give you a concise account of what you want and it will also help you to grow tired and go back to bed.
    The worst thing you can do is to try to ignore it.
    And be careful not to let the gory aspects sneak into your subconscience. I know you say that it doesn't bother you, but if you are second guessing what you do at an accident and that bothers you, then I am guessing that it's only a matter of time before the rest of it does.
    You are helping by coming here.
    It will help others on your department if you all talk about it.
    Stay safe.
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  11. #11
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    TCFire's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    Lockport, New York


    Critiques are important, especially for a significant event, but even for your run-of-the-mill, everyday call. As Chief I do my own self-critique after EVERY call: what did we/I do right, what could we/I have done differently or better, safety, do we need to adjust our training, etc? The focus is not on being a nit-picker or looking for something to criticize but on constantly striving to improve our operations and our service. Also realize that there are sometimes just going to be 'bad' calls....no matter what you did it would not have changed the outcome.

    Good Luck!

  12. #12
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    MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly


    Nothing is wrong with you and it will get easier with time. Once the call is finished, you cannot change what you did. If you could have done something differently that you think would have been better, you have learned from the incident and you now have that idea in your "arsenal" of ideas for the next run. You also need to remind yourself that no two calls are going to be the same and no two calls will have the same outcome.

    If this business was easy, EVERYONE would be doing it. You possess special skills that others do not have. So don't beat yourself up. We learn from every response and we get better with everything you learn.

    Since you are talking about a crash scenario, be sure to visit the UNIVERSTY OF EXTRICATION area of this forum and share your experiences with others. Along with the critique at the station after the call, you can also gain some good insight from some critiques right here at www.firehouse.com!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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