Team building drills?
Anyone have any ideas on Team building for the department. We are going thru a transition in leadership and morale is down a little and split. We are trying to get thru the morale issue but, I think we could use some team building to get trust built back up between firefighters. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
I think what you should look in to is setting up a team competition similar to a FF challenge. This would hone your skills used on the fire ground and bring a since of team cohesiveness. You donít have to do all of the single competive events. Try having normal staffing (for us first arriving may be 2-4 on an engine) Pull up to the plug and drop 100- 200' of fill line and flow water from a 1 3/4 preconnect. Set up to ladder a building. Set up a portable tank. You donít need to fill it just hook up all the proper hoses.
All of these evolutions require at least 2 FF. You can pick teams or rotate in a round robin format so all members must train together.
The trick to it is to get a senior or well-versed member paired with one that is weak or challenged in that evolution. That way the Strong can teach, and the challenged can overcome his or her weakness.
I recommend teams because all good FFís and Officers know you should be paired up (at the very least) in a hazardous environment. Single events may make members uneasy as you are putting them on the spot. I would recommend video taping the evolutions to discuss at a later date. These tapes may are may not be shown to the members. We (the officers) use them to see where more training is needed. I tend not to have the event timed because then most members get sloppy. Smooth is fast and fast is smooth. I much rather have catching a plug take an extra 30 seconds, than have a member trip, fall or forget the wrench just because he or she was rushing to beat a clock or another teamís time. This will only lead to unfriendly rivalry in the ranks of the Dept.
P.S. You might even get a few good bloopers to run at the Christmas party.
Team Building Drills
For some team building skills, and some airpack training, we played sports such as Soccer or Basketball while wearing SCBA. It was fun, got our members to really take a look at how long it takes them to breathe down a bottle while doing a physical activity, and also got a team building aspect in there. We actually had people drive by and stop from our community to watch us play. Got some good bloopers for the Christmas Video as well. I felt it helped more on the team building aspect because your not so much worried about being put on the spot like you do in a challenge course. Plus its just plain fun and could help boost your morale.
Another idea if you do any rope rescues, might want to try a ropes course in your area. You really have to work as a team, and you can get some knot training in along with it. Participants have to work together to complete challenges, and everyones got to get through.