Fireground Skills: Perception versus Reality

One of the things that we all fight in training and on the fireground is our view of perception and reality—especially when it comes to our individual and company performance. When things go really well we’re excited, we high-five, we feel good and we’re pumped up when we get back to the firehouse. When things don’t go so good we usually make excuses! That’s right…it was usually somebody else’s actions that caused our problems, right? Sometimes that might be the reason—but in all honesty even if somebody else did something to cause us problems we should have been able to overcome them, don’t you think? And there lies the difference between perception and reality!

When it comes to analyzing our skill level we all suffer from this Perception problem. We think we’re better than we really are. The problem with this attitude is that it affects our ability to become better. We resist training on the basics because we think our current skill level is over the top (then we come up with an excuse on the fireground!). Instead, we should train more on the basics—repetition is the key to successful performance, period!

Your worst critic should be yourself! How did you perform? What could you have done better? There’s always something you could have done better! Not different, just better. That’s the toughest thing for guys to realize. It’s not that you didn’t do a good job, BUT how could you have done it better? One less step, a quicker thought process, more awareness of your crew (of the other crews). Every time you perform you should critique your performance. You should also let others critique your performance.

The bottom line…the only one that can close the gap between perception and reality is YOU!

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