How does your department handle new personnel as in getting to know the equipment,location of equipment on all the trucks so if you need something they can get it for you.Does your department have a time frame to where they should know the equipment? 

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We normally have a training session to show them all trucks and where the equipment is located. As for a time limit, we do not have one.
We use drill night and any time the new member wants to come up to go over trucks. for the first few calls we have them help the engine operators, get equipment thats ask for,pull hose and ask questions.
We have a deck of index cards, each one has the name of a tool that can be one any one or two of the trucks. Each person takes a card and has to go find that tool and bring it back to the meeting room. Once everyone is back with their tool we have them tell us what the tool is called, what it is used for, and where it is located.
Nothing special here. You just do it. Should know where everything is within your first day since you're expected to be able to put a fire out then if one happens. Within my first hour out of rookie school I had a box alarm and was expected to run the line and put out the fire.

If I'm detailed to another fire house or working a trade or overtime, I look over the wagon or truck right when I get there since different companies have their things set up differently sometimes. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
We have a 1 year probationary that year all prospective members have to complete FFI.....and show that they belong or want to be there....we use a mentor system that has worked well in the shows me that there is a strong desire to be there if they spend some time and effort going through EVERY apparatus that we have...knowing what is where AND how it is used....
We have a phase training that the company training officer is supposed to help with. It usually startswith some of us helping with showing the probie where things are located, as wellas telling he or she to take time and just look the rig over slowly. My way of learning it was to take a pic of each compartment and look them over, thats what I tell some to do.
I see two ways to consider this. Career firefighter? It's your job, and you have far more time to learn this stuff anyway. Volunteer (like me), then not quite as quick, after all this is not our 'day job'. But both types off FF must know where their equipment is stored!

We will go over the contents of an appliance with new members, then they are told to make themselves familiar with the stowage, to come to the station as often as they can and learn the stowage. I tell the newbies of the method I used on changing stations. Pick one vehicle, go to each storage area in turn and look at the contents, slowly at first. Do it over and over again; when feeling confident do the same check without opening the locker doors - think of what is in there and were in inside it is, then open up and see how close they are. Repeat. This early familiarisation serves another purpose - a person will look at something and not remember what it is for, so they can ask. Collecting equipment from vehicles is what the newest members do, that also helps to set things firmly in mind.

Another method, one for experienced people as well? Have every piece of equipment on every vehicle written on a piece of paper. Have members pick one at random from a box, then go to the vehicle concerned and get that item. When ready all must explain what they have and what it's for. Works well for the expeienced members who pick those things that are rarely used. Not done that often, but a good exercise for a training night with foul weather.
We have standardized our equipment locations, hose loads, tool and nozzle types, and everything else we could think of on our engine companies, so the new folks just have to learn where everything is one time. We have a task book that includes proficient skills performance within the probationary period. Being able to perform the skills proficiently means that the new firefighters must know where everything is first.

We also have two quints that are standardized with each other and are standardized as far as possible with the engines.

All of the above helps everyone - not just the new guys - because you don't have to learn a different way to do things if you work a swap or a detail.

We have also standardized our medic units as well.

It's part of the plan to make it more user-friendly and easier for the troops to do the right thing the right way.
We have a check list on a clipboard of every article on each truck and where it is(they are) on the trucks. New members do the truck checks with another experienced member. They eventually get it.
Have your probies do a daily truck checkoff every shift they work or every training night. After a few months, they'll be VERY familiar with where everything is.
Just a quick question, Paul.
I like the idea of having to get FF1 within a year, but what happens if the individual fails the test, or misses a class,which results in not being able to take the exam?
I'm asking this because I think we should adopt this as our own terms of probation, and would like to bring it to the training committee, which I am a member of, along with membership.

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