I was wondering who out there regularly drills/trains with their neighboring Fire Departments. Are there special circumstances that need to be trained on such as non matching hose threads, special adaptors, different radios, etc.? Do you provide map books to your mutual aid F.D's so they can find their way to incidents in your area? Do they do the same for you?

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We've done a few drills with our neighbors over the past two years. It's really essential to get together and learn what equipment they have, how they operate, etc. One has a new aerial so we've done some cross-training with them, setting up the truck, operating the bucket controls, and such.

So far the payoff includes using common radio frequencies for command/water/interior ops, and standardized tag systems.
Yeah we've all got the same accountability systems. Our biggest issues are adaptors for hose fittings/connections.
we work really good with our cuty department, and since they have all hydrants and we dont we do a lot of tender drills with them and pretty much if one of use get a big structure fire we call one another any ways, their been a lot of times we've had to use our tenders for the city due to hydrant failure. As far as radio's we've got a channel that is good for the whole county and if's just for mutial aid calls
we have tried to train with neihbors but never could get them interested till about 8 mo s ago they had a chief change and now we have a good repore and have done 2 classes and have one sceduled now im so happy about that too
we actually bought some adapters for a couple of our mutial aid departments, that way we know they got them, now if they remember they have them and use them right, thats a different story
I'm actually on a department who has the same training officer with the neighboring department, so we literally train every shift with them. We know every truck they have and they know our trucks and capabilities. It makes for an excellent and highly efficient team on the fire ground. high-five mutual aid.
since i been on the department we havent drill with other fire depts we do take classes with them when they host them
My paid department does not train with the outside neighboring volunteer departments.
We train with our neighboring depts. and those throughout county. we have not had to deal with any special circumstances so far. Our biggest dilemma is usually manpower and SCBA qualified personnel if we have a "big" incident.
Training with the neighbours and also inviting their instructors to train at your department is a great way to prevent the boredom that many feel with current training.

It opens up new relationships, it's a different instructor blabbing away up front, it's often a new perspective on the way things can be done, it assist with interoperability, etc.

The benefits far outweight any negatives....
Hi Brian, Great question. Hope all the answers you get are helpful
We're a small volunteer fd in Vermont and having to rely on mutual aid most of the time we train with our surrounding departments. We invite them to our town and we go to theirs. We also invite each others departments to any specialty training any department may sponsor.
It is a very good way for our members to train with them and them with us. It helps put a face to the name on the officers and each departments members.
We recently sponsored a RIT training class and a simulated burn in a vacant mobile home. There was five depts. involved and the class room training and hands-on was worth th time. { You can see photo's on my site.}
This training paid off at a mutual aid structure fire call to our neighboring town. They requested I set up the RIT team, be the RIT officer and they knew how everything worked because we worked together.
We've also done a pumper operation/tanker shuttle with area departments at a local business and on one of longest drive ways in town.
We have pre-plans for our town and when the drill is set-up all participating departments get a copy. When we plan to have a tanker drill we do all the info. exchange at our fd. A plot plan is laid out showing where the drill is, each departments position/assigned task and where we will shuttle water from and any other special info.
We have a very successful mutual aid system in our county and it's been growing with sharing training/ drills/knowledge. It's been great to be a successful part of our growth and knowledge.
Best of luck in your quest for knowledge on how other departments work and play together. It can be done, be successful and work very smoothly in time of need.......like the early AM incidents. It's very relieving as IC to know what your incoming mutual aid has, how they operate and knowing that you can operate together as pre-planned.
Awesome, Norman. That's about how it should be. The time to figure out what problems we have while working together are while training together, not while working an incident together. Thanks Norman, stay safe!

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