I see a lot of guys who think they know everything about fire fighting because they have a lot of certifications under there belt. Well that piece of paper you have showing your certifications is not going to put out the fire. A lot of what I know comes from hands on experiences and listening to the senior officers. I wanted to post this to see what kind of responses I would get.

Views: 179

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think they go hand in hand. You need training. You also need experience. I think being teachable is the key here to both. You can't be trained either formally or on the job if you aren't willing to listen and learn. Any kind of knowledge you acquire that helps to keep you and the people around you safe is good knowledge. So don't discount formal training or on the job experience. I have learned a lot of invaluable lessons from both.
Ideally a combination of experience and education equals a well rounded firefighter or officer. If i had to pick one over the other I'd pick experience hands down. A long time ago a Chief told us that this job is about balls and water, if you have the balls to get the water to the fire it goes out. Another Chief used to say that the first 100 gallons of water dictates how the rest of the incident will go. I will add that those are very true statements and knowledge of building construction is a great help also. On the other hand it seems like alot of very educated inexperienced people that I know are well versed at making excuses for failure in the name of safety, experience has to be part of the equation.
well said Art. I believe the two go hand in hand.
very true
To me, the certification shows that you have the discipline and patience to master the subject of the course and to help get you ready for the hands on. Without the class time, I envision a veteran on scene yelling "get me a smoothbore and a hose clamp NOW!!!" and the untrained, uncertified rookie doing his best impression of a member of the "thumb-up-butt" tribe....

Experience is the best teacher, but the cert. tells me I can expect the certified to know enough to be an assett on the fire ground, not a liability.

Like Rick, I have seen situations where folks with lots of certifications produce little action. I have been in situations where the most certified team members have backed out of an otherwise savable situation causing a preventable loss of property. Post action debriefs have shown that, had the team continued their mission, a structure or structures could have been saved without undue risk or hazard to the firefighter team. This is where education gets a bad rap. Just because someone has a ton of certifications doesn't mean that they are going to be a good firefighter, that takes more.

The other side is that, especially in this day and age, it takes knowledge to become a good firefighter. Without that knowledge (notice I am not saying certifications) it is not possible to be effective and safe on today's fireground. Certifications are simply proof that you have that knowledge.

The one thing that I would like to see is more training for line officers on how to impart their experience to the newer firefighters. I am aware of how much it takes to be a line officer these days, but a significant part of their responsibilities is the grooming of the less senior firefighters in their stations. I believe that we are leaving a bunch of valuable experiential information untaught because we don't train our officers on how to impart that experience to others.
It is foolish to think that a firefighter can get all of his "knowledge" from OJT.
A certification process is also a "validation" process.
It validates what you have been taught.
Simply relying on one's memory once you get to an incident doesn't cut it.
You and your officers have to have the confidence in knowing that you have the right skills BEFORE you respond to an incident.
The "paper" some of you seem to detest is every bit as important as a birth certificate, diploma or letter of authenticity to your Dale Earnhardt autographed beer stein.
You are fixating on people that you know is "book smart" but street stupid and I can tell you that I know of only a few in that regard. The majority of people that I hang with have very good balance between classroom and hands-on.
And again; that is how it works. You learn it in the classroom setting, you are tested on your retention of said skills, you go on to the practicals, are tested on said practicals and then, you just might get to use your newly validated skills at an incident.
If you know someone who is book smart only, then they didn't take a state certified class.
I totally agree they both go hand in hand. I am gonna try to get all the certifications that i can throughout the years. Certifications are like toilet paper they keep your ass clean. Having said that some stuff taught from the books is remembered. Thanks for replying to this and be safe out there.
"Certified" does not mean "Qualified".

Reply to Discussion


Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2023   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service