I was talking to some of our new guys the other day about mentally preparing for a call as you are going out to it and thought it would be a good discussion to have here.
We have all been to the traumatic scenes and witnessed death & destruction first hand. What we do can be very stressful and can have lasting effects on us. Just think back to those calls that vividly stay in your mind where you can relive every second by second of the call.
I've witnessed a few accidents happen and can say that my reaction is different when I witness them than when I get paged and respond to a call. I think it comes down mainly to mindset. When I witness an accident happen I do not have time to mentally prepare myself and put myself into firefighter mode.
I've reviewed what I do when the page goes off and first thing (right after considering if I have to pee or not before I go) is listen to what the call is. I've noticed many of our new guys rush up to the station and start jumping on the truck not even knowing what type of call it is. They get so excited that the tones go off they fail to calm down enough to listen. That extra second or two that I take to control my adrenaline to listen pays off huge dividends.
When I get to the station and get in the truck my mind starts working a mile a minute. I look at who is in the truck and start assigning tasks, I start to consider the possible resources we may need to call, I listen to the radio for any updates on the scene. All this helps to put me in the right frame of mind to get the job done. When I do this I am able to jump into the bloodiest mess, entaglement, fire ect and function as a firefighter with out letting my emotions get in the way.
Great answer! You have a lifetime to get this all down. Now is not the time to rush in and ruin a potentially great life. If you choose to go into the fire service for a career, trust me, you will still get your heart rate up and you will love every minute of the best job in the world. Like the Captain said, the emergency isn't going anywhere, take your few moments and collect yourself.
I like to think about, if it is a medical call; What three possible things could this be? If its a fire, I already know my response district well, (and I have 45 sq. miles of it) I start my size-up and resource decisions on my way.
But the front thing on my mind? The biggest concern? The safety of my fire department family. On their way to the station, or if on shift, enroute to the call. What are my decisions going to be, that will put them in needless harms way. So bouncing off the walls, and getting there first means nothing, if you aren't alive or whole to enjoy the ride.
i think about the call when they are talking about it on the radio, what kind it is and what its like so when i get there ill know what to expect when i get there. also on the way to the call i gear up just in case the call is big or it depends on what kind it is fire i gear up on the way to the call, if its firstresponder i all ways make sure i put my gloves on,on the way to the call so when i get there ill already have them on when i get there i wont for get them... and a hint is if you put the gloves on,on the way to the firstresponder call you will never forget them when u get there..... but the question ask what do i do to prepare myself for a call. i always make sure we have all our equiment after every call,i always try to keep gloves in my pocket so like i was saying i can put them on,on the way to the call to make sure i dont for get them, and the last thing to prepare for a call is to make sure all ur gear is in one spot together...
how are yoiu doing, here it is very cola and so rainy.
it is the truth what you are saying, here by us we are about 5 km from the station and if we get a call out we must drive from home to work to get our gear, because we are not permanent fire fighter we are only volunteers, but on the way to the station I also put myself in the right mind set to be calm and to accest in the right manner not going of the head on the scene.
But this is really very good tips for the new comers.
Here's a tip for calming down to share with rookies and veterans alike. When arriving on a medical call or any trauma, take time to take the patient's pulse. Just put your fingers on their wrist. Even if you don't count the rate, this does two things: It gives you time to calm down and take in the scene. It also calms down the injured and their families because it looks like you know what you're doing. I've been a nurse for 20 years and a firefighter for 8 years and I've taken advantage of this trick on numerous calls and in the hospital.