Howdy Again, Ladies and Gents,


I was wondering if you guys have any good communications skills or drills to do with the troops?


I read through all the training threads and found at least one that was mentioned a couple different times and it's one that I have actually done and it seemed to work pretty good and that was the one that you worked with Legos and two different teams and they have to communicate effectively to build two similar Lego structures using only radio communications? That was ALONG time ago that we did it and I'm trying to remember the details of the drill? Do you start out with a built structure for one team and the other has loose blocks and they have to assemble a similar structure or do both teams start with a bundle of loose blocks and they both have to end up with similar structures? So as you can see I'm trying to remember the details? Any help with those details would be greatly appreciated?


Also, any other ideas on communications drills would greatly appreciated?


Thanks Again, you guys are Vast wealth of knowledge and I appreciate all that you guys do!!!!


BTW, God Bless America and all those that serve and protect her and let justice be done, Good Bye and Good Riddence to you, Bin Laden!!!!!

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A couple ones:

Write up some scenarios like floor collapse, you lost water pressure, ceiling collapse, you are lost, etc.....make different scenarios to be a MAYDAY situation and EMERGENCY traffic situations. Have FF's gear up, go on air and have these scenarios written and placed over a maze course, so you are working a bit. Have the members differentiate if this is a MAYDAY situation or EMERGENCY MESSAGE situation and have them call it. HAve other crews listen and you will learn the best way to call, mike placement, controlled breathing etc.

A simple drill is set up cones in the apparatus floor, etc and bring a member out. Have the person walk the pattern like starting at the AB corner.....walking towards the CD corner.....Have them estimate distance etc and relay this info to other members in another room. Have those members draw the pattern being described.
In our Lego exercise each team consists of 4 people. Each pair has a radio and an identical set of loose Legos (I have the giant blocks that are about 4 times larger--Wal-Mart $19.99). The two teams build their projects simultaneously during the exercise, then compare results. Tons of fun. Be sure to have a nice prize for the winners. Credit: Eddie Bartlett, TEEX HazMat instructor
WOW! Those are great ideas! Thankas Again!!! Also, Norm, thats exactly who (Eddie Bartlett) taught me that over 20 years ago!!!!!!
We used to do a similar thing using flat-pack furniture. Two teams, each with a flat-pack. One member from each team takes the instructions and moves out of site of the rest of the team. The one with the instructions then talks his/her team through assembling the flat-pack. First team to complete correctly wins.
A word of advice, NEVER* attempt to use the furniture once constructed but you caqn dissemble it an re-use.

*Has anyone ever got one of these kits right first time?

After reading the lego building example we came up with the attached. The sheet I don't have saved was the "assignment". The training combined SCBA/Communications.

After thoroughly instructing each crew on the background attached they went on air and went for a short walk and up stairs with tools to a work station and had to await instructions. On air all the time. Their assignment was given to them by scene command over the radio and was to build a spaghetti and marshmallow tower. The tallest tower, measured at the flag, wins. It must stay up for 30 seconds+ on its own. Full protective envelope 100%.

Five minutes into it the lights went totally out, five more minutes the music blasted so loud communications became difficult. They were being asked status every 5 minutes or so. We decided the smoke machine was a bit too much!

Not surprising the crew that won talked it out and worked together to come up with the strongest design, they made a plan. They had the lowest air consumption and were first team back to command. The team with the tallest tower lost their flag in the maylay (looked like Mardi Gras at their table!).

I should have hyped up the prizes a lot more but it was still fun. I have some video of it I'll see if I can post it.

Amen-BTW. Sadness for all who lost someone in the fight these last, and very long, 9 1/2 years.
Wes and Andy,

Thanks for your contributions!!! It's guys like you and the rest of the fellas that contribute to these training threads that allow us to trade great training ideas that keep our firefighters safe!!! You guys are the best!
another one we do a lot on our station but has to be at least 5 people or more its called the broken phone consist that you tell one person something for example

Fire engine 55 requesting tanker to location X and X code 3 for structure fire say just once can repeat it and whoever ''F'' up put him to drop and give 25 so they will not try to fuck up now you can do my version two teams make a series of commands pass them to the leaders and whoever wins get a real nice prize its fun cause even with 5 people someone mess it up.

I like take the crew to practice SCBA runs in the kids play park around the neibourghood, we blind the masks and pass a rope through the run. it s unfamiliar, are the kids in the neibourghood have a blast watching this !
Thanks again, Fellas!!! Those are all great ideas!!
First of all, let me compliment all of you on those ideas. Very creative, and certainly a great way to get members to communicate better. So OS, here's my theory:

Communicating on a fireground is already challenging. Adopting standard identifiers that are task-associated seems to be the best bet. Our companies each have 6-man crews, each of which has a position:

Title : Radio Identifier
Chauffeur : Engine 2 Chauffeur
LT/Capt/Boss : Engine 2
Nozzleman: Engine 2 Nozzle
Backup: Engine 2 Backup
Control/CanMan : Engine 2 Control
Doorman/Irons: Engine 2 Door

Those positions are universal, and each position has different roles depending on apparatus (engine, rescue, truck) and type of incident.

We developed the use of this system by doing basic search and engine company operations drills, with no live fire or massive chaos. We encouraged the use of proper identifiers and basic survival skills, such as being able to quickly relay exact location using ABCD sides, floor numbers, etc. Once you feel the company is operating at a competent level with those communications skills, add some mayhem. Throw a few different tools in a smoke-filled room and have a team pick one and describe it over the radio. Send the second team in and have them retrieve the described object. When they get good at that, hide shit and add the location description to it, then repeat. Hope this helps. And thanks everyone for your ideas. I'll be buying some mega-blocks for our next drill because legos are too expensive.
For an even cheaper twist on the communication drill, I took an officers class once where the instructor made us all do a neat comms drill.
He gave one guy a picture that had multiple rectangles arranged in a pattern. This guy had to go around the corner and yell out instructions to the class on how to draw the picture he was viewing by giving directions that would be used on the fire ground like east-west, Sides A, B, C, and D, exposures, etc.
It was hysterical to see some of the pictures we drew while trying to interpret their instructions.

I will be having a drill at our dept soon, where I will take one firefighter and have them dress in full PPE including pack with blacked out mask. I will make a course/maze using our meeting room tables on their sides. Have the firefighter start at the entrance with another firefighter directing them through using basic commands from across the room, so they cant lead them physically through, it will have to be verbal only. I will see how it goes. This will be a good communications drill as well as a team work building excercise.
WOW!!! Great Stuff!!! Keep the ideas coming!!! I appreciate all the responses.

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