We have some new probies that are green, and when I mean green, they are as green as leafs. We have noticed that over the past few months, that we need to get all the way back to the basics. We have done "go get me" (going and getting a tool, bring it back and explain it) but it seems that this does not set into their brains. We are afraid that if we start to let them go on calls, they will be asked to get something and not know where it is, or even worse, not know how it works and end up hurting someone. We dont have alot of funds to go and purchase alot of items for training. I am just looking for some easy ideas to do around the fire house to get these basic skills and information that are necessary to every firefighter into these guys' heads.
I have noticed that since I have started instructing, it forces me to get back into the books and learn the subject matter again. Each time I review the material, I pick up a bit more. I have also been asked questions that I was embarrassed I did not know the answer too.
If you are like departments around here, you do not frequently review hand tools and could use a class on the proper use and handling on the fire ground, as well as care and maintenance. How about having your new recruits learn an exercise in humility by having them teach the class on hand tools? Give them each a tool and a week or two to prepare. Bring them in front of the members and give them a trial by fire. Have them present the tools as if they were teaching new recruits. Ask them to recite where there tool can be found on each apparatus. Get the regular members to ask questions about using the tool in a particular situation.
These recruits will either raise to the occasion or will fall on the back side of their bunker pants. This will give your members a chance to evaluate the newer generation and will allow the newer guys a chance to prove themselves. It is tough work and it is not for everybody. Your regular members need to be able to trust these guys, but before they can, they need to prove themselves. We have all been the rookie, and we have all had to prove ourselves.
it is nice that some one has got this topic going. I was starting to think i was the only one having this issue i try to get the new guys to get me a tool from the truck tell me where they found it. also tell things they know about the tool and three to five things it can be used for. if they seem not to know basic things about it i well ask them to look it up in a book and/or on the internet. the next shift if i ask the about same tool if they can not find it or tell me about it they will carry it all day and sleep with it that nite they learn quick sometimes.
James, we do a scavanger hunt with our new members after they have been on for 4-6 months. They need to bring us back a few certin tools and tell us how and when to use them. Also a great one that opened everyones eyes on my dept. was from the guy that did my FF1 class. A few months ago we split into teams of 6. 1 guy for the pump, 1 IC, 2 person attack crew, 2 person RIT or mix it however you want. We went to the pavilion at the park and came up with different scenerios(sp) to see how everyone would attack. Rotate everyone through each position if you can, then after each run talk about it, you'll be surprised at the POSITIVE feedback everyone gets. You also get to see if everyone is up to date on running the pumps, keeps radio contact, everyone gets to deal with the pressure of being IC. Charge the hose lines set the picnic tables in different positions to make rooms and hallways, set a football on a block 15 feet away and make them hit it or anything like that.
I like that.I've been trying to come up with different ideas to make it somewhat fun.We all need to work on the basics in our dept.,partly because we just don't run that many calls.Like to keep the point of the pear at least reasonably sharp,so to speak.Just like in football it all come back to blocking and tackling,in this business it all comes back to hoselines and handtools.Work on getting the basics right and the rest will eventually fall into place.
I will commit to bringing one idea to this forum in the next 30 days, anyone else take up my challenge? Old new borrowed or stolen from another department is O.K. just as long as you give credit to whom you stole it from. If a few of us commit to the challenge we could have 4 or 5 new training ideas for next spring. Bring it on.......... anyone interested. Lets try to use another web site since we have all seen what there is currently on this web site, I will say I used a few ideas and my FF liked the training. Such as the aeriel ladder training with the traffic cones.
You can build a low cost roof prop. We built one last year with a steep pitch and used it for night training
( roof vetilation)
We started with a 7 minute talk about why we ventilate, (can you think of 5 reasons), we talked about the difference between lightweight and old style roof construction, we talked about the BTU's put out by older construction versus the BTUs put out by the lamintes, plastics and foam rubber, petroleum based products in our homes today, look it up, its almost double the BTU's versus fires years ago. We went over the proper way to start the saw, when to choke, when to use the compression button, saw safety, and we let each FF cut and flap a pitched roof working off a roof ladder. We showed how to set the axe as a foot hold, proper sounding of the roof, and this was all done with SCBA on to add another dimension.
I just wanted to give you start, I will find a new topic within the next 30 days. anyone want to join me?
Set up a ground ladder to a 2nd or 3rd story window, have the crews in SCBA, someone butts the ladder, one FF takes a rope and climbs into the widow, throws down the end of the rope and calls for a tool to be tied off and he raises the tool. We used an uncharged hose line. Go to IFSTA book and they show you the steps to tieing it off properly. first FF comes down the interior stairwell carrying the tool back down.
2nd FF climbs into the window, 3rd FF ties off a diffeent tool, and you rotate the crew so everyone has to tie off something and everyone climbs through the window and everyone butts the ladder.
Now your job is it to make sure they are doing it safely, proper knots, and in full PPE and SCBA.
If they are new spend a few minutes showing them the proper knots, even better let them know what they will be doing ahead of time and they can practice the knots ahead of time. Two training sessions tied together.
The objective is to practice FF skills using full gear including SCBA, they actually place the ladder raise the ladder and remove the ladder as a crew. They individually climb the ladder and enter a window while carrying a tool. KNots are tied on teh ground by all personnel, another basic operation. You should be watching to make sure they work as a team, somone is calling commands and they are operating safely. If this is too easy make it a 3 or 4 story window.
HHHHMMMM well tying off the hand tools is a start. Maybe you could talk about whatever hand tool they tie off, maybe 3 uses and where it is stored on the truck.
We have a major interstate or two in our area, they all have fences, here is a trick I learned years ago, take a haligan bar or short pike pole and push it through the cyclone fence and let half of it hang out the other side about 3 ft off the ground, use the tool as a step to get over the fence and then the side sticking through the fence can be used as the step on the other side of the fence. most of the fences are 6 ft tall in our area. Trust me it works. Better yet try it yourself.
If they are as green as you say, you might not want them to learn to use an axe or a saw on a rooftop. Try this: get a bunch of pallets, wood, or anything you can bust up. Then just let them go at it. Have them try to remove boards from the pallets with the haligan. Have them chop the pallets into pieces. Set the pallets up against walls or in ditches whatever you can find. I've found that letting students handle tools and just do something with them works better then trying to explain or have a classroom type setting.
Well, as you say, start at the basics. To me the basics are PPE. Properly doning them, especially SCBA. Getting used to wearing full PPE is important. So that is where I would start.
Make it challenging. Have them run through putting on PPC in under a minute, then add the SCBA and increase the time to 90 seconds. Simulate a room search (Right hand and Left hand), put objects in the room and black out the masks. Have them identify the objects.
Have them take an inventory of the truck (all of them) with an experienced member. If the probie does not ask questions, have the experienced member ask them. Then a few weeks later, make individual notes of the tools and the engine number (e.g.; Halligan from Engine 1). Have the members pull a note and retrieve the tool. Then explain the uses of the tool. The next member pulls a note, they take the current tool back and retrieve their tool. The process starts over again. Have an experienced member by the trucks to help out.
Hose lines have them demonstrate the different hose rolls. If someone has a pickup truck use it to show the different hose loads. The bed of the pickup as the hosebed. Have them extend a charged hose line. Have the use 2.5" hoselines and have them advance it.