To all interested,
Recently our department trained 6 FF1 candidates for their certification. Our department has 35 active ffs and soon 24 of 35 will all be certified to the FF1 level. We do have a ways to go, but we believe that to be a great accomplishment. One of the ffs, who participated has over 35 years in the dept., had some doubts. I share his e-mail to me with you. This ff set a fine example to our younger members and even a greater example to the older members. One of the problems that I believe is affecting the fire service is the necessary "buy in" to the needed training, certifications and to overall safety on the fireground. This ff, who is our president gets it. And here is that e-mail with his permission;
Just some thoughts on my firefighter 1 Test
After more than 35 years in the service I spent last weekend at the county fire academy taking the firefighter 1 test .Our department had just taken in 4 new members and all were fresh out of the essentials class, so what better time for them to test than now. After a few nights spent at the station going over the skill stations, tying knots and donning SCBA I thought I was ready to go. Friday night was the written test. I told myself if I don’t know this now I never will. Well I passed 100 questions no big deal. Saturday was a long day I keep thinking what did I get myself into. What would I feel like if after all these years I fail the test, how could I return to the station and still respond to calls,would the younger members think I was over the hill ,washed up , ready to hang up my ge ar.
Sunday morning came, 6 AM at the station everyone on time and loading our gear into the truck. On the drive out going over the skill sheets with the newer members.
As we sit on the ble achers of the fire grounds I look around so many peach fuzz filled faces. There are a few older candidates making me feel somewhat better, I won’t be the only one huffing and puffing by the end of the day. Time to get paired up; we had 6 members taking the test. 4 with a year in the department, 1 with 3 years, and myself. I was teamed with one of the newest members. This could work, she should know all the new theory and I’ll pull us through the practical stuff.
As the testing starts we move from station to station running into so many faces from the past, fought fires with this evaluator, trained with that one, know him from the city truck out the road, She’s a officer with one of our mutual aid companies.This makes a relaxed feeling come rushing in, bringing back all these memories now eases the nerves on taking the test. Everything is fine now just do what you have been for the last 30 some years and all will be=2 0O.K. My partner and I did work well as a team playing to each others strengths and helping with the others short falls. Looking at the retest board NOT one of our numbers are not on it. We Passed.
Now the sense of pride and accomplishment sent in.30 firefighters and countless instructors and evaluators giving up there Sunday for a common belief .Proving to ourselves that we have training and knowledge to become firefighter 1 certified. Bringing that back to our departments and more so to our communities that we are swore to serve. Looking at the new members taking the test you see there need to prove there worth by passing, for me it did the same. The whole experience from start to finish reaffirmed that this is more than just being a member it is about belonging to a membership. A membership called the brotherhood. I would like to thank all that were involved in this process for there help and support. I recommend that no matter how long you have been doing this job it is worth the time to take the test. Not for the good of the department although that is a big part of it. Do it for your own mind and feeling of self-worth.
Remember train hard, work smart, but above all stay safe.
Again thanks to all for your time and dedication to the Fire service