1. #1

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    Default Dealing with Fear

    I am a relatively new member to the Volunteer Fire Service with slightly less than 5 years of time in. Although I've been to numerous calls and worked numerous fires I have yet to have the knob on a interior attack line.

    It's seems the longer I wait the more apprehensive I have become. How do I deal with the fears so that if the time does come I won't freeze up.

    Thanks and stay safe.

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    Just read my qoute in my signature. Best thing I've ever read.
    "Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the lack of fear." Mark Twain
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Uknown

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    maybe try to focus your attention on something ,sing a song in your head or something which can reduce your stress.stress can make your fear more important and that is not great on fireground.

    just my 2 cents.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    If you're focused on the task and doing your job, freezing should not happen. There is nothing wrong with a healthy level of fear. In my opinion, it's the fear that keeps you safe, it's like respect for what you fight, you know?

    Don't fret it, trust your training and trust in your crew.

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    Higby's right,

    I have "fear", but I'm not so scared that I can't perform my dutie's. I always seem to reflect on the incident after the job is complete. I always think to myself that I possibly could have been injured while inside or been killed. But it's what I "we" do. If you have so much fear that you can't complete the task at hand maybe this isn't the career for you. *****PS this isn't an attack on you**** Just my personal feelings on FEAR.


    AZFF
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    Post Dealing with fear

    That may be one of the toughest things we do is to deal with our own emotions. I do not know who said it, but to paraphrase a quote "The worst enemy we can have is ourselves".
    ffscm72 and Higby916 got it right. I have always said that the ones with the "No Fear" stickers on their helmets are the ones to worry about. They are likely to get you in to trouble. They have no respect for our external enemy and in battle when you lose respect for ones enemy, they could win.
    Have I been scared while on the nozzle inside? You bet your butt. What kept me from panicing? The idea that I had at least one or more of my fellow fire fighters depending on me to do my job to make sure we all made it home after the call. I was not about to let them or myself down.
    I actually find it a bit tougher now that I am a safety officer on the outside looking in. I am ultimatly responsible for every ones safety at the scene. Since I no longer do interior attack, I have to depend on not only what I see from the outside, but what I am told by my people inside instead of seeing it for myself. It definately increases my level of worry.
    I hope this helps you Frangouch
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    I'm scared *****less of heights, but I just concentrate on the task at hand...(and never look down!!!!)

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    Picture everyone naked?


    I normally sit back and close my eyes as were on the way to the call. Only problem is the rest of the crew gets scared sh1tless when I'm driving


    But really, thats what I do when i'm not driving. Think of what makes you happy.... in my instance, I think of boobs and Charles Whitman. Puts a smile on my face everytime.

    Just be confident in yourself and your others. Its when you arent confident of them or yourself that you either work to improve that or think about moving on. If you cant trust the men you work with or you cant trust yourself, then you have a problem. You mention you have a lack of experience. Well, get off your arse and go get some. I'm sure there are some classes for vollies or even paid guys somewhere within reasonable distance that you can go to.

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    One thing that seems to be true with fears like this, is that it almost disappears immediately when the situation happens. One of my biggest fears being a Rookie is messing something up that would trouble, or even hurt, one of my fellow firefighters. However, when something is actually happening, I have way too much adrenaline going. I'm too busy thinking about the right things to do in the situation to be nervous and think about any fears. So my bet is you'll be fine.

    Also, everyone has fears. So never feel stupid saying you're scared about something. Look how many firefighters are out there working right now. I highly doubt any of them went through their entire career without fearing anything. Yet, they are still doing the job that they love without any problem. So good luck!

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    Good advice above, but one thing that I would add is train, train and then train some more.

    You will still get those butterflies in your stomach on the way to a call, but once you get there, your training and instincts will kick in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    I'm scared *****less of heights, but I just concentrate on the task at hand...(and never look down!!!!)
    Same here.That's why whenever we'd train with a MA department's ladder,I'd take the opportunity to climb,even if only to the roof of the high school gym.
    I don't have to like what I am told to do,but if the IC tells me to climb a roof,I've gotta do it.At least this way,I get sort of used to being off the ground and doing something beyond clinging for dear life to the aerial as the news camera crew records my falsetto screams for posting on Youtube(and that AIN'T gonna happen).
    My "real" job is a Mate on a towboat.There's plenty of chances to fall to my untimely death climbing around barges and docks.As before,I don't gotta like it,I just have to effing do it,as Richard Marcinko writes about in his "Rogue Warrior" books.
    Being on the attack line hasn't bothered me yet.At least I am at ground level there and can feel support around me.

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