The official release of our Associates Degree in Fireground Operations is scheduled for April…it’s been a long time coming but will change the face of higher education in the fire service! Let’s face it…there really is only one way to Learn the Job…by Doing the Job!
Don’t forget…Join FDTN this month and receive a copy of our best-selling FireNote – Firefighter Survival – as our gift to you!
FIRE TRAINING is FDTN’s no-nonsense monthly training magazine designed to get you thinking about an actual fire — today! That’s right, none of the extra fluff, just meat-and-potatoes firefighting like stretching and advancing, forcible entry, searching – and what it takes to be ready to perfom those skills when the tones go off.
In addition, Members also benefit from, and become a part of, the collective voice that is influencing today’s firefighting, fire training, and fireground strategy and tactics across the country. BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
The Fire Department Training Network has released the 2013 calendar and registration is now open for 2013. If you haven’t made it to FDTN’s National Fire Training Academy then it’s time to mark your calendar, round up some friends, and make the trip. This year is sure to be even more exciting than last year.
In case you’re wondering what to expect:
Let’s face it, you never know when or how it will happen! In fact, when you least expect it — expect it. Responding as part of the RIT — to a known firefighter MAYDAY — will be one of the most stressful situations you’ll ever encounter as a firefighter. All previous training and preparation will be put to the test!
All members must be proficient with the skills used to search for and rescue a firefighter so they can focus on the bigger picture if an actual MAYDAY occurs.
This is what it’s all about, why you’ve done all the training and preparation. A firefighter is trapped, missing, disoriented, or has simply declared a MAYDAY with no additional information. When it happens it won’t be textbook. What’s important is that the RIT is deployed — immediately — to begin their search for the firefighter.
Where are you going? Who are you looking for? Where will you enter the building and begin the search? When the RIT is deployed it must get as much information as possible — LUNAR — and, combined with the previous information it has gathered, determine the best entry location. Once determined, the entry location should be announced — for Command, other members of the RIT who may have been performing proactive tasks, and additional RITs who will stage at the location awaiting further information. (more…)
It seems to be happening more and more, injuries and deaths during live fire training. Not for nothing but most, if not all, of the injuries — AND ALL OF THE DEATHS — are preventable, period! The knee-jerk reaction that comes after any injury or death during a training session is always the same – suspend all training and in some cases discontinue it completely. That is not the answer.
You know the saying…Firemen are their own worst enemies. Nothing could be further from the truth as it relates to live fire training. Why do we constantly make things more difficult than they really are…and, more importantly, why are we adding to the LODD numbers while trying to teach firefighters how NOT to become a LODD?
It just doesn’t make any sense, light and fight fires that we don’t see on the street. Sure, we get some tough fires on the street but they usually go defensive in a relatively short period of time if we don’t get a handle on them and then we’re on the outside looking in. For the occasional tough interior firefight that we encounter there is some true street-experience to be gained. Those chances are few and far between. (more…)
FDTN is getting ready to announce all of the details of the first-ever Associates Degree in Fireground Operations! That’s right, finally a degree program that you earn on the fireground. Exciting news! Here’s a taste…
HOW MANY FIREFIGHTERS IN A RAPID INTERVENTION TEAM (RIT)?
The answer to this question identifies the difference between theory and reality. In an ideal setting, where staffing is not an issue, the ideal Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) size is four (4) members, with multiple RITs available on the fireground. This allows one team to stand-by for deployment, while additional teams perform proactive fireground tasks. Where staffing is not ideal (which is in most departments), there should be a four-person RIT put in place to deploy. The bottom line: You must have a team ready to deploy immediately, or you really don’t have a RIT in place.
During actual fireground rapid intervention operations, multiple RITs are needed. Any time a RIT is deployed, additional RITs must be established for their relief and safety. Rapid intervention operations take two or more teams to actually remove a downed firefighter. If everything falls into place, the first RIT may locate, package, and remove the downed firefighter. More likely, however, is that the first team will work to locate the firefighter and secure his air supply, while additional teams will work to extricate him.
There are many individual tasks that members of the RIT must perform. Remember this: If you do not have a RIT immediately ready to deploy, you don’t have a RIT — you have a team doing support functions. RIT tasks can be broken down into proactive tasks before and while responding to a Mayday. (more…)
Constant training is required to remain proficient at any job – firefighting is no different. The excuse that “we don’t need to train – we do it every day” is nothing more than an excuse. Most of the busiest fire companies train on a continuous basis – staying prepared and keeping up with the latest techniques and technologies. What’s this got to do with firefighter survival gear, right? Basically, if you can’t take care of the basics during an emergency then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take care of yourself or your crew!
What Could Go Wrong?
Who knows! It’s really not about what could go wrong as much as it’s about what you’re prepared to do about it. What do you carry, on a regular basis, that you consider survival gear that will help you survive? Are you proficient at using the survival gear? (more…)
Here’s a look at what we’ve got planned for 2012 at the Fire Department Training Network’s Academy. For more information, to become a member, and to register for a class visit us at www.fdtraining.com. Hope to see you there!
There’s only one way to improve your performance on the fireground — realistic fireground training! The FDTN Academy is as close to the real thing as it gets. Sign up today!
Here’s the 2012 FDTN Course Schedule. Hope to see you! For complete course information or to register go to www.fdtraining.com.
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!
One of the first things that you need to do when you’re planning a training session is to decide why you are doing the training. Is it to review skills that most should know? Is it to simply develop proficiency? Is it to introduce something new — equipment, technique, procedure? There needs to be a reason and the reason must have value to the students.
Next, figure out who will be participating in the training — is it the normal crew, is it new guys or guys not familiar with the material, is it a combination of the two? This is important because you’ll need to make sure there is something in it for everyone.
Lastly, before you ever get started, make sure the material has real value — something that they can (and probably will) use during a response. So many training sessions and training start-ups fail because they’re simply textbook-type training sessions that don’t give the guys something that they could actually use on the street. (more…)
DISCLAIMER: Anyone can be mediocre, you don’t even have to try! Company training is for those individuals and companies who choose to be above average. If you simply want to be average then stop reading now and go watch TV or take a nap – otherwise, start training every day!
Company drills should be a part of the daily activities on every fire department – including all stations and all workgroups – but they’re not!
For whatever reason, and there’s a bunch, company training doesn’t happen as often as it should. More importantly, when it does happen the main objective is to get it over with as quick as possible. The objective should be to learn, or refresh, the material being covered.
Training isn’t punishment. Unfortunately, most of the time company training is conducted as a reaction to a bad experience – not to learn from the experience but to point out how the company messed up.
It’s kind of funny that every firefighter in every department uses the same descriptive term to describe the first few minutes of every major incident. What’s even more amusing is that most of the incidents aren’t major they’re just small incidents that seem big because they don’t happen that often. Here’s a simple solution – do more training so that things go smoother when the next incident occurs! (more…)
Here’s some action from a recent Truck Company Operations II course at the Fire Department Training Network’s Academy.
Think about it! This applies to everything, not just fire department training. Remember the movie “Field of Dreams” and the belief that “if you build it they will come?” Apply the same concept to fire department training. Create training sessions that encourage people to attend. It all starts with your approach to the training. There is no reason for individuals to get excited about their next training session if you, the person giving it, are not excited about it. Imagine getting ready to go to training, getting there, and the person leading the session saying, “I know you don’t want to be here, me either, but we have to put in the time.” Sound familiar? Is that you? (more…)
What’s the secret to Jerry Springer’s ability to capture an audience and send them away talking about the show? Even more than that, why is it that he has such a faithful following of viewers – willing to skip even the most traditional afternoon snooze to catch his show? Maybe one of the keys to successful fire department training is entertainment. Here’s a few of the things that seem to be working for Jerry. It seems that he’s always got some kind of interesting topic (even outrageous), the pre-show hype appeals to a whole bunch of people, he’s found a way to make every topic come to life on the stage, and he’s been able to sink a hook deep enough into his viewers to get them to come back day-after-day-after-day. Maybe it’s time that we ask him for some help with fire department training – or maybe we can just follow his lead.
Here’s how Jerry might do it… (more…)
Company (Officer) Training is a two-way street – you must get it and give it. Company officers must continually train to increase their proficiency and they must continually provide training to increase the proficiency of their crew(s).
One of the biggest misconceptions about being, or acting as, a company officer is that solid firefighting skills will get the job done – NOT! As a company officer there’s much more involved. The company officer must remain solid in firefighting skills, make sure that crew members do the same, and make sure that everybody works together – a lot tougher than it seems!
Continuous training on firefighting skills is a given. While every firefighter should seek out as much training as possible, the company officer must go above and beyond. Catch the seat of any apparatus responding to a working incident and you better know what everyone on the rig should be doing – and you better make sure it’s getting done. No more letting somebody else (more…)
We’d like to welcome everyone to FDTN’s new online training blog. Our goal is to provide everyone with simple, easy-to-use, training sessions that you can use the next time you’re at work. From time-to-time we’ll also offer some specials to help you take advantage of more of FDTN’s firefighter-friendly training products.
Today we’d like to encourage everyone to become a member of FDTN. Annual membership is $48.00/year and with it you’ll receive our monthly FIRESCUE Interactive through the mail. Add our new Fireground Search FireNote to your order for only 15.00 plus shipping. Regular member pricing is $19.95. For a complete listing of our products and courses visit our main page at: www.fdtraining.com.
When arriving as the second engine company on a working fire, besides laying a second supply line, you will obviously have to stretch a second handline too. The question for most officers is “which” handline should we pull? For some companies, the question seems to be “whose” handline should we pull?
Those officers are the ones who, for some odd reason, like to pull the second handline off of the first engine. Those officers will often say that by doing this, they have less to pick up after the fire, thus getting them ready for the next one. If you have this mindset, then you are focusing on the wrong fire! The only fire you should be worried about is the one you are pulling up on.
Here are some things to consider. To make an effective stretch, and an effective attack, there are two things that a good officer, and engine company, will want to know ahead of time:
- How many feet of hose do I need to get me there?
- What nozzle do I need for the best attack?
If you’re an officer who likes to pull your line off the other engine, then you will get this information seconds before you begin your attack. If the officer of the first engine decided that he needed 200’ to reach the fire, then guess what…if he was right, then you will get 150’, and likely won’t be able to get to the fire to back them up.
Another thing to consider is if the nozzles on the other engine have been maintained. If you are in a busy company, then your hose and nozzles likely get exercised enough that you know if they are working properly. Can you say this for sure about the companies you are running with? What if the pipe you pulled off the other company has a nozzle with a badly broken stream. Maybe it has a rock in it from the last fire. Maybe the bale is broken. Once again, this is not the time to find out.
One more thing to consider. NEVER pull a second handline smaller than the first handline. In other words, if the first-in officer felt that the fire would require at least one “big water” line, then by pulling a 1 ¾” handline, you have second guessed that officer, changed the game plan, and possibly the outcome of the fire.
And remember, most engines only carry one 2 ½” handline, so, as with all handlines…BRING YOUR OWN!
Here’s a ground ladder training session that provides not only ladder basics but also fireground decision making. It’s simple and easy to set up — find a building with multiple windows, on multiple floors if possible, and put a couple victims in the windows. Start the crew from a staged position where they can’t see the victims. As they come around they’ll have to make decisions on who to go after first and what ladders to use. Give it a try!