1. #1
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    Default How do you teach new members/drivers the trucks?

    We just want some sort of basic reference guide for our trucks so newcomers will know what we have...Any ideas? Input? Are we wasting our time? How does your dept do it?
    Last edited by emsff32515; 03-12-2008 at 12:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default My two cents

    Quote Originally Posted by emsff32515
    We have a bunch of newcomers to the dep and we want to teach them the trucks...nto just where things are located but the basics of pump ops. Any ideas would be helpful. Currently, someone would go to an officer and ask a question on how to do something, then they tell you how to do it.... Well, some officers tell different people different things and nothing is universal. We also do driver training 1x per month, however with 12-15 people qualifying and learning the trucks, you really only get a few minutes on each truck.... We just want some sort of basic reference guide for our trucks so newcomers will know what we have...Any ideas? Input? Are we wasting our time? How does your dept do it?
    If different officers are telling different people different things, then you have a problem that goes beyond training your newbies. You need written guidelines and procedures that all members, not just your newcomers, get.

    We were in much the same situation a few years back. We had the guidelines, but the department was in turmoil and discipline was slack, so some of the "this is the way I do it" slipped in. When we got a new Chief he quite appropriately stomped all over this, and got everyone back to the right way of doing things.

    So yes, write a manual. Make sure the officers read it and commit following it as well (lead by example). If they won't, get new officers.

    Also have you newcomers do your (daily? weekly) regular equipment check.

    One thing I have observed on volunteer departments is a tendancy of more experienced members to bogart all the training evolutions. Make sure this doesn't happen.

    Finally, if you have a dozen new members to train all at once (how did you recruit them all, by the way? I wish we could get a dozen more) your standard once-a-month training just won't do. You need to add significant additional training to you schedule.

    Finally, how about formal training? In addition to the main operator course at our academy, there is a quicky 16-hour version that is not great, but much, much better than nothing.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emsff32515
    We have a bunch of newcomers to the dep and we want to teach them the trucks...nto just where things are located but the basics of pump ops. Any ideas would be helpful. Currently, someone would go to an officer and ask a question on how to do something, then they tell you how to do it.... Well, some officers tell different people different things and nothing is universal. We also do driver training 1x per month, however with 12-15 people qualifying and learning the trucks, you really only get a few minutes on each truck.... We just want some sort of basic reference guide for our trucks so newcomers will know what we have...Any ideas? Input? Are we wasting our time? How does your dept do it?
    1) Figure out what "your" department requires the driver/operators to know and do.

    2) Get it in writing and "signed off" by the Leadership.

    3) DO NOT TRY TO TRAIN 12-15 people at ONCE! Pick a reasonable number that your "trainer" is comfortable with. Get that number comfortable and then pick then next group to train and do it again. Special High Intensity Training will get you Special High Intensity Trained Operators that WILL make mistakes.

    4) Understand, there are just some people that should not be driver/operators EVER! They could / can be great interior guys but you would not want them driving a Yugo let alone your multi-hundred thousand dollar piece of apparatus.

    5) You may make people upset, but that is why "the" man / woman wears the 5 buggles and the FF wears none, to make decisions that are "what is best for the department."

    6) Get the people you are training in the apparatus bay and make the training work for them......

  4. #4
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    Post Good ideas

    emsff32515, every body above has some very good ideas. I would add that since you are in NY as I am, contact you County Coordinator's office and get the training schedule for the next classes on Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) and Apparatus Operartors-Pump courses that are being offered in your county. I would suggest only sending a few of your drivers-in-training at a time. It will make it easier on the instructor.
    If there are none in the near future in your county, look to neighboring counties. The classes are from OFPC, so the material is the same no matter which county it is taught in.
    If all else fails, get on OFPC's web site and find out when the classes are being offered at the State Fire Academy's in either Montour Falls or Camp Smith, which ever is closer to you.
    It is my opinion that a combination of good in-house training and formal training makes for a better learning experience. You not only get the sceince and why's and why not's from the class room, but the benefit of experience of your more senior members.
    Just remember, as was stated above, some people should never be allowed to get behind the wheel of a truck AND some people should never be allowed to TEACH how to drive a truck.
    Best of luck.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    Default

    My old department required at least a year on and then you had to go through an in house EVOC session with the senior driver for a set number of miles with each vehicle as well as the next EVOC course taught at a state fire school.
    Like another poster said,some people didn't have any aptitude at driving anything bigger than the utility truck or a brush jeep so they didn't get fully checked off on it.
    The thing is to have the people most comfortable with driving large vehicles behind the wheel and make sure that they can do something with the truck's equipment when they get there(run the pump panel or set the aerial system up properly.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emsff32515
    We have a bunch of newcomers to the dep and we want to teach them the trucks...nto just where things are located but the basics of pump ops. Any ideas would be helpful. Currently, someone would go to an officer and ask a question on how to do something, then they tell you how to do it.... Well, some officers tell different people different things and nothing is universal. We also do driver training 1x per month, however with 12-15 people qualifying and learning the trucks, you really only get a few minutes on each truck.... We just want some sort of basic reference guide for our trucks so newcomers will know what we have...Any ideas? Input? Are we wasting our time? How does your dept do it?
    I am a certified EVOC instructor through VFIS. We recently conducted a short training for about 7-8 members who needed trained on the trucks. We spent about 2 hours one night driving a small course I set up in our parking lot. I showed them how to do each obstacle and then let them try it, riding with them of course. My advise to you is get someone certified to instruct and then just start hammering away at the newbies. Practice makes perfect. Show them alittle at a time too. Dont overwhelm them. And let them do the hands on in stead of always showing them. They will learn more and retain the info longer.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the input.
    Last edited by emsff32515; 03-12-2008 at 12:36 PM.

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