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    How hard do you train? My training officer just issued terrible news. I asked for more training and he replyed he did not want to make us work to hard. All we ever do is go out and spray a little water and call it quits. I believe this lack of training plays a large role in why we lose structures. Is this the norm or are we lacking with our training?


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    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickofit View Post
    How hard do you train? My training officer just issued terrible news. I asked for more training and he replyed he did not want to make us work to hard. All we ever do is go out and spray a little water and call it quits. I believe this lack of training plays a large role in why we lose structures. Is this the norm or are we lacking with our training?

    Yes, you are lacking, and yes (sorry to say) this is the norm in some places. Sounds like your training officer is burned out. If this is true, then your department needs a new training officer. Training should be number one. Our lives and the lives of our community depends on it.

    Does your state have standards for training? Here in Texas we have standards for both volunteer and career firefighters. This would be a great place to start. And if not, just follow NFPA 1001. This pretty much goes nation wide with Firefighter I & II. If nothing else, buy a firefighter manual (whether IFSTA, Jones & Bartlett or Delmar[the new ones are out]). This way you will know what kind of training you need.

    Good luck with your department.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    MembersZone Subscriber XRaysJL's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by sickofit View Post
    How hard do you train? My training officer just issued terrible news. I asked for more training and he replyed he did not want to make us work to hard. All we ever do is go out and spray a little water and call it quits. I believe this lack of training plays a large role in why we lose structures. Is this the norm or are we lacking with our training?
    It's difficult to find motivated (& Qualified) training officers for volunteer departments that don't pay for this position. Sad to say this is not a isolated issue.

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    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XRaysJL View Post
    It's difficult to find motivated (& Qualified) training officers for volunteer departments that don't pay for this position. Sad to say this is not a isolated issue.

    You mean I should be getting paid????

    I know, I know, the check's in the mail
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Quote Originally Posted by sickofit View Post
    How hard do you train? My training officer just issued terrible news. I asked for more training and he replyed he did not want to make us work to hard. All we ever do is go out and spray a little water and call it quits. I believe this lack of training plays a large role in why we lose structures. Is this the norm or are we lacking with our training?
    Being a volunteer is not easy. Not only do you have to perform the skills, but you have to prove to the paid staff that they can rely on you when the chips are down. The best way to do that is individual training with the one of the paid staff, as often as possible, with as many as possible.

    Of course, if you are in an all volunteer dept, then 'paid' now changes to 'experienced.'


    Group training is fine, individual training supplements that and builds a working rapport with the experienced firefighters.

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    I've been training officer for my department for almost two years. Let me me give ya a lil history to it!!! Our current chief, when he was Asst. was our training officer, and he did a good job at the trainings themselves. Paperwork got handed to a "training committee." It worked. Before him was an older gentlemen, who in my mind, LIKED TO PUMP WATER. Unfortunately, the chief then wanted him to PUMP WATER all the time because you have to learn the basics. So, here I am in PAPERWORK HELL!!!! Do I like the position yes, would I give it up to take a lateral position as a truck capt., IN A HEART BEAT!!!!! Granted, truck capt's don't receive any compensation like I hopefully will in JULY.....YAAAAHHHH!!!!! As everyone knows it is hard to keep EVERYONE captivated with training. I try really hard to break it up and keep everyone moving doing something. And every few months, the trainings are fun. Like Scavenger hunt night, Firehouse Jeopardy, and the SCBA Relay. I do have to say it is a really fustrating job at times because of the paperwork, and how hard it is to get people MOTIVATED. But, when you see one of the juniors that you helped train get a phone call to go fight fire out west, it makes it all worth it!!!! Another thing that is hard is there is SOOOO MUCH stuff to train on. So trying to get everything into our training nights is hard sometimes.

    If your training officer isn't motivated as you are, I suggest asking him/her if they would mind if you conducted one of the trainings. I don't care how long you have been in the fire service, but I am sure you can find something to do with it that you could make fun and have people work HARD and not realize it. We just did our annual SCBA refresher, and in the 15 years that I have been here, I have never seen a large area search and rescue. Good training, people had fun, but they worked really hard!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

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    At my company, we try to train as though it is the real thing as much as possible.

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    We lose structures because people try to put the fire out themselves, then call their neighbor/uncle/dad/barber before someone thinks it's a prudent idea to call 911. Then, by the time we get to the station and drive the 8 miles to the "stove fire" in their mobile home, the roof's collapsed.

    That, and the Oklahoma Legislature's gutting of the Fire Service Training program budget so that formal training is nearly non-existent AND when it is available, they increased the per-student cost to the point that the smaller municiple departments can barely afford it, makes things pretty darn tough for us rural VFDs.

    Okay, enough of my rant!

    Guess you can try to become the new training officer...you know, shake things up!
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Talking Training

    My department has a training problem. We are a low budget department with not much funding for training. We have a new training officer that seems to be working out well. But we still lack equipment for training.

    I feel it is my responsibility to also go out of my way for additioinal training. I will go to train where ever, when ever, and with just about what ever department I can to keep my skills up. I think I probably train with other departments just as much as I do with my own. I want to be as safe as possible so that's why I do this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XRaysJL View Post
    My department has a training problem. We are a low budget department with not much funding for training. We have a new training officer that seems to be working out well. But we still lack equipment for training.

    .
    What's wrong with training on the equipment you fight fires with?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Cool Equipment for training?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    What's wrong with training on the equipment you fight fires with?
    Nothing is wrong with that. It would be nice to have equipment to train with. My department doesn't have much. That is what is one of the major limitations with my department. We train with what equipment we do have. But I feel I can increase my skills by going to other departments (Especially ones that have mutual aid agreements with us).

    My department recently had someone come and look at us for a ISO rating. The first thing he mentioned was the lack of equipment. We are continuously working on the situation, but it IS the current situation with my department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    What's wrong with training on the equipment you fight fires with?
    That usually is a good start. And anymore it seems some depts need to get back to the basics of firefighting.

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    A very common misconception is that it takes a ton of money to have good training.

    What kind of cost are you looking at when you put on your SCBA and do search drills in a darkened truck bay? What kind of cost are you looking at when you go out and throw ground ladders on the fire station?
    The past two months for station training we have worked with the two stations we run with the most. Last month we used an acquired structure and a smoke machine to practice search techniques and this month we asked around and got a car to practice extrication on. The only cost was fuel for the Hurst power units. (Thankfully a firefighter who works as a DJ allowed us to use his smoke machine free of charge) In years past we have gone to a nearby county office complex, laid out a couple hundred feet of LDH and did pump operations evolutions. Next month, depending on equipment availability, we are either going to play with our quint or do driver training, setting up the same course that the SC Fire Academy uses to test for Emergency Vehicle Driver Training.

    As for getting the people to come to training...that's where the officers of the department have to step in.
    Still, if you have some fellow firefighters in your department who agree with you....get together and train amongst yourselves. As long as you follow your department SOG and utilize established training practices anything you do, no matter how small, is going to make you a better firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFDLT10 View Post
    (Thankfully a firefighter who works as a DJ allowed us to use his smoke machine free of charge) .
    Idea that has worked for us...go to your local Wal-Mart (or whatever similar you have in your community) right after Halloween (when they knock the price down a bit) and pick up two or three of those inexpensive smoke machines. They work great and will smoke up the engine bay or an acquired structure. You might have to use two or three of the little ones to equal the output of one of the high-volume ones designed for fire training, but they're cheap and they work just fine.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Talking Training continued

    I hear ya about improvising and thinking out of the box for training equipment. My dept is used to thinking like that.

    One of the bonuses that I've found of training with other departments that mine has a mutual aid agreement with is that we develop a good working relationship and when we work a call together, the work flow goes much smoother, the I.C. knows the training and capabilities, and it promotes a greater "Family" feeling among all the departments.

    Yeah, I like training with other departments too.
    Last edited by XRaysJL; 04-10-2008 at 11:17 AM. Reason: grammer correction

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    corkscrewFD, i have to ask what is the SCBA relay? and what do you do for the scavanger hunt? if you have a sop or outline of how these activities are carried out id love to take a look at em! change up some stuff for our dept.

    We did firefighter one Jepordy for our rookies and they loved it, was something a lil extra besides the powerpoints and videos!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterbeau View Post
    corkscrewFD, i have to ask what is the SCBA relay? and what do you do for the scavanger hunt? if you have a sop or outline of how these activities are carried out id love to take a look at em! change up some stuff for our dept.

    We did firefighter one Jepordy for our rookies and they loved it, was something a lil extra besides the powerpoints and videos!!
    SOP, outline....nope. The SCBA relay basically consists of the CPAT test. Throwing ladders up, cutting through a pallet, following a hose on your hands and knees. Stuff like that. On the scavenger hunt, they need a camera. I asked them to get a picture of the American flag, find a certain piece of equipment on a truck, find an emblem or patch of another department, take a picture with a stranger on the streets, take a picture of a certain fire hydrant, go to our dispatch and get a picture with them, fun stuff. There is no end.

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    Our brigade was having problems with getting enough people to turn up to training to make it worth people organizing stuff that was good. this amplified the problem that people who did come jsut did basic stuff for the few newbies that would come.

    However the captain did notice this and with the management committee came up with a plan to roster out the training to diffrent members so A) the training load is spread b) diffrent members who specialise in diffrent areas get to teach those skills.

    We had a meeting with most of the brigade last week and so far the idea seems to be a good one and well supported. But time will tell i guess.

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    We're a combination department and run in-station duty crews with the volunteers. Each duty crew is responsible for running a drill with their crew. The training officer organizes 2-3 drills for the month that each crew must perform. When there isn't a formal drill the officer that night comes up with something based on the skill set of his crew.

    For impromptu drills they can be as simple as throwing ground ladders, pulling preconnects and advancing, search techniques..etc. None of which require any equipment other then what's already on the truck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    Yes, you are lacking, and yes (sorry to say) this is the norm in some places. Sounds like your training officer is burned out. If this is true, then your department needs a new training officer. Training should be number one. Our lives and the lives of our community depends on it.
    I think he said it all. There are so many outlets that are there to get more training if your department training officer is not helping. I do believe that volunteers should train harder than career guys. My department works as hard in training as we do in fire ground operations. We have a large budget to acquire training materials. Training is my division. I have authority to bring in outside agencies like the State Fire Academy, National Fire Academy, TEEX, New Mexico Tech, and whoever else will come and teach. My firefighters are well educated in their jobs. They for the most part are motivated, and we keep getting in more new recruits.
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

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