I have noticed that so much time is spent teaching safety and accountability and friction loss and blah blah blah, but it would seem the old basics are being ignored. I had 4 new guys who knew all about every latest toy and gear and can use a thermo cam with the best but they couldnt stay on a wall or God forbid do a proper search of an open industrial space. Being RIT trained (which they want to join) They are a nightmare. Did they stop teaching basic fire fighting in order to teach out of a book?? Sometimes I think we need to start again on Wet goes on hot vent as you go!

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Face it Dan, No one has the fires theyonce had, except maybe detroit ... so the vast experiance levels aren't there, add in the need to justify your existance and bugets by doing any and everything else and as was mentioned the difficulty in doing Live fire training, although less epa and more our own stupidity in many cases getting people hurt and killed in them... with all the various new jobs we havebeen expected to take over and handle, and less in the way of Building fires in general (as Isaid the exception in some urban areas)
the natural focus becomes MVA's, HatMat ops or decon,etc etc.. Marine ops in some places high angle, trench or tech rescue confined space.. blah blah blah.. no matter what it seems most departments are still more reactive then proactive... In the sensability of safety, we often see one step become 25 steps to be safe , making our lives a living hell.. lol ... Years ago we rode the rear step, standing up, etc, and sure there were problems and being reactive we found that its nessisary to enclose cabs andnow a machine needs AC and heat when in the open cab days the rigs had heaters But not as much for "us" as for defrosters.... One of the things I 've noticed this year is many of the career LODD's have been Captains, Maybe More than at any time in history, so I expect NFPA will Ban that rank beginning 2008... lol the other big group seemed to be apparatus accidents LOTS of Tanker rollovers.. as well as other vehicle responses.. I dunno....what the answer is , but we definately need some focus
It's an intersting question.

I travel the State teaching industrial ERT's and I cam across one recently that had been taught when using SCBA, not to do a Positve pressure test, a negative pressure test or a low pressure warning whistle test as all of these consume and waste too much air!!!!!!

These is fundamental, basic, life saving things to do....
You know this is an interesting topic. I whole agree completly that we are getting to much into the book and not enough into the fire ground. We are also getting away from real knowledge and more certification based. Its not what you know it seems but what piece of paper you have. Application doesnt matter just the cert.

This topic however does bring up a question. What way is the right way? You say that these guys are searching wrong....well whats right? I ask becuase I have been all over the country and learned from different instructors and I can't name one who taught search the same way for either SFD or Large Commercial Occupancies. This is the same for every topic from pulling hose to the most complex tech rescue everybody does it different. A guy from FDNY might say you or I do a search wrong. I have noticed that hwo smart or dumb you are depends on what particular piece of the world you are standing on at the time.

My suggestion is to train them to how you want them trained. Place them in situations they are going to be placed in. That way they will no longer be a "nightmare" for you.

DOn't take this the wrong way I agree with most of what you are saying but until there is only one way to do things its up to us as senior firefighters and instructors to teach our dept's ways not depend on the book or anyone else.
That's where we have an advantage over you guys...

In Oz, we have nationally standards for training of emeregency services.

Everyone is taught the same way how to don BA, Doff it, Clean it, etc.

The same goes for 1000's of other topics related to what we do.

Sure you still get variations out there, but not like this....
I have been battling this for a few years with members. Too much reliance on technology, not technique. I took our training room and blacked out the windows. Turned the tables on their sides and made a short maze after entering the door. The maze opened up and the other half of the room was open floor. Directly next to the short maze were about six other tables that looked and felt just like the tables the crawled through. Members enetered the room with it completely dark. They were allowed to use the thermal imager. When they came out of the maze and scanned the saw a victim in the center of the open floor and crawled straight to the vic. As soon as they reached him I took the thermal away and told them it just malfunctioned and they could not use. Now they found themself off the wall in the middle of the floor. If they were lucky enough to crawl back and find the tables there was no way for them to identify the which little maze they enetered through. Use enough tables and or make shift walls. They will run out of air and have to call mayday. Add some entanglement issues in and you really have them. Every member I put through this still uses the thermal, but does not depend on it. If you have some questions email me.

Lt. Christen
Bookwork and classroom work only get you so far. I am a firm believer in BOOKSMARTS V.S. STREETSMARTS, You can only learn so much firefighting from a book but the rest comes from hands on training and dealing with real situations. Compare it learning how to fight... as a kid your dad probably taught you how to throw a punch and to protect your moosh but until you got into a real fight and realized that all rules go out the window it didn't mean squat, the same goes for firefighting. You get in at entry level study and take everything in and it starts to make sense until you catch a job and humping hose at a fire isn't the same as the drill grounds. You have probably learned more from a senior man in the fire house or from different instructors along the way.... how to cut corners, little tips that stick with you. I am not very good at putting my thoughts into written form but I hope you all catch my train off thought. Stay safe everyone!!!!

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