1. #1
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    Default A culture of training

    A little over a year ago I was tasked with training on my department. I was promoted to Captain and given the keys to a rather snappy and well appointed office. The Chief then said, " make a change". You see we were in a transition time on our all vollie department. The troops were not only apathetic towards training but had actually had been de-motivated by the previous Captain.( me included). I have been able to establish great drills and have enjoyed watching the culture change on our department. My guys show in mass for training. They come early and stay late, without complaint. We train twice a week, if not more. The last few weeks we have been in some form of training four nights a week. This is at thier request. We only require one drill every two weeks, to stay active on role. I am very pleased as you can imagine but I have concerns. I am concerned on how to maintain this culture for the long haul. I feel that I have been able to establish a great training program, with alot of help and support, but fear that the "honeymoon" period might end. I do not want to rest here because it is going well. I want to continue to raise the bar of acheivement. So any ideas from y'all (yes I am from Texas) would be great!!

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    Keep varying the topics. Ask for the members for their ideas and assistance in setting up drills. Tell them 1 drill per month or every 2 months will be a drill of their choosing.

    I'm curious how you changed the culture. Please elaborate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13Truck View Post
    A little over a year ago I was tasked with training on my department. I was promoted to Captain and given the keys to a rather snappy and well appointed office. The Chief then said, " make a change". You see we were in a transition time on our all vollie department. The troops were not only apathetic towards training but had actually had been de-motivated by the previous Captain.( me included). I have been able to establish great drills and have enjoyed watching the culture change on our department. My guys show in mass for training. They come early and stay late, without complaint. We train twice a week, if not more. The last few weeks we have been in some form of training four nights a week. This is at thier request. We only require one drill every two weeks, to stay active on role. I am very pleased as you can imagine but I have concerns. I am concerned on how to maintain this culture for the long haul. I feel that I have been able to establish a great training program, with alot of help and support, but fear that the "honeymoon" period might end. I do not want to rest here because it is going well. I want to continue to raise the bar of acheivement. So any ideas from y'all (yes I am from Texas) would be great!!
    Just keep doing what you're doing. Make things a little bit more challenging for them. But most of all keep to the basics of what we do. It seems like when we get away from the "basics" people become complacent and get injured. How you and your fd train is how you'll act on the fireground. Sounds like you're on the reight track so keep it up.

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    Have you tried getting together with your neighboring companies? Might be a good way to get to know them, their people, apparatus, and foster mutual respect and understanding before you need to actually go to work with them on the fireground.
    Besides that, more people and more apparatus means more opportunities to do more elaborate and different drills.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    Sorry to interlope, but it is always (well almost always) interesting when an outside speaker or instructor comes in and gives a class on something worthwhile. It might be something you could do a few times a year.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default Some ideas

    Reps from your local power and gas companies could give an informative class on how to respond to gas/electrical emergencies.
    A fire investigator could give a basic firefighter role in investigation class.
    You could organize a drill at a fire training facility.
    Pre-plan different buildings in your response area and practice on that plan.

    The possibilities are endless.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Thanks for all the helpful information. I am sorry I did not respond sooner but I am out of town working ad the internet here is scetchy at best. I will elaborate on the culture change in the next day or two. Again thx for the input.

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    Right now I am working on a comprehensive list of training programs we have offered in the past, and plan on offering to our members sometime in the future. I'll probably end up with about 300.

    Shoot me an email with your addy to Firesafetyed@aol.com and I'll send it to you when it's finalized in a couple of weeks if ya want.

    By the way, where in TX? I'm on the LA/TX border up in the northwest part of the state (LA) and we go to east TX quite often for training. It's just as good, if not better than LSUFETI training and a lot cheaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
    Reps from your local power and gas companies could give an informative class on how to respond to gas/electrical emergencies.
    A fire investigator could give a basic firefighter role in investigation class.
    Ya know, those are such simple basic common sense things...but they are outstanding ideas that are often overlooked.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Ya know, those are such simple basic common sense things...but they are outstanding ideas that are often overlooked.
    Yes, our Natural Gas Company will come in and give a class. Usually they give a gift certificate to go out to dinner on them to one lucky person who attended. So, if 15 people show up, you have a 1 in 15 chance of going to a restaurant on them... better odds than the lottery!

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    Default Better than a gift certificate

    Our local electric cooperative sponsored a class on dealing with electrical fires-poles and substations-and fed us all barbeque first. Some of us liked it well enough to take the class again in a neighboring county...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RHB312 View Post
    Our local electric cooperative sponsored a class on dealing with electrical fires-poles and substations-and fed us all barbeque first. Some of us liked it well enough to take the class again in a neighboring county...

    After eating all that barbeque, you probably slept throught the first class Hopefuly the next class will have the dinner afterwards.

    Just kidding......sounds like a great idea. The only food we were offered after a class dealing with electricity was the burnt weenies used for the demonstration!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    13truck

    pm me if you still need some help.

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    I second all those ideas, especially having neighboring depts. come. We have multiple training nights, but only one a month when the whole dept. convenes, the rest or station trainings. One neighboring small dept. that we are on automatic response for on most calls (they only have 1 engine) uses that as their monthly training. It's worked out well. They enjoy the training opportunities and everyone seems to enjoy the opportunity to get to know each other and work together when something's not on the line. We also have a lot of regional training sessions where neighboring depts. host a class and the surrounding depts send people. This can be good because it spreads the cost of outside instructors and programs 4-5 ways. plus helps mutual aid cohesiveness.

    It's tough to get everyone on board. In my dept. we are experiencing a different situation. We have a lot of firefighters making trainings but not enough officers showing. I worry that FFs (especially newer and younger ones) will begin to learn by their example.

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    In our dept. we go to the county fire academy for drills once a month April through Oct. Then once a month a specific company in our dept. does a drill,the companies rotate each month. Once a month we take our trucks and packs completly apart and inspect them. We do the same after we have a worker. The other night each company is free to do whatever their officers decide to do.

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    Sounds like a great turnaround! And it allows me a suggestion. Maybe it's time to think about cutting back a bit on the training before there's a backlash from family members? And the members themselves could suffer from burnout too, if it keeps up for too long! But you're definitely doing something right, to get all the members back and interested. And I think every comment above mine has given some good ideas. I'm going to pass them along to my Brigade's training officer.

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