Before I start I would like to say that this is my first post here, however I have looked at a lot of posts people have placed on here and I think this will be a site that I will be checking and reading close to daily.

You would think that after 10 years on the job I would have learned to keep my mouth shut during a staff meeting....anyways....I have now been tasked with revising our new recruit orientation manual for our department. By revise I think it would be better stated to say create because what we are using now is old and hasn't seen a revision for a while now. We are a small town (around 3 sq. miles, no highway and mostly single family residential) combination department, but we are proud to say that always hire our paid ranks from the inside so our volunteers are who this manual is aimed at. Like most towns our size we get all walks of volunteers, those fresh out of the academy and those who just moved into town and have experience. My question is what do you think should be included in an orientation manual to make it worth more then just the paper that it is written on? Should orientation be something that would include skills that you have to complete to get out of the fire academy?

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My thoughts exactly.
I guess I could have been a little more specific...I am sorry.

I think you are on the right track as to what I am looking to do, although honestly I am not all that sure and the more I work on it the bigger it gets and the more it seems to be taking on a life of its own. When I started out with the thoughts in my mind i had these few points that I wanted to cover and as I worked on it I ended up knee deep in the DGP (Directives Guidelines and Protocols) doing a massive cut and paste of things I hadn't thought were in there but since I had put this in there I needed to put that in there.

I guess before I get too far with it I need to draw the line as to what is an Orientation Manual and what is too much to put into it. I know that I need to put in there something about Chain of Command, but do I need something in there about the anti-discrimination policy? Do I need this to be something that is all inclusive, or should I put some responsibility on the person to read their copy of the DGP?
Ours covers it all, and it works well. Even if you get a guy with certifications, how else do you know if he reallys knows how to do it or if he is full of it. I figure if you cover all the bases you are good from no cert/training through an instructor and anyone who has been around will understand if you need to spend a day or two doing skill check offs to keep from having a bunch of idiots getting off the rig at the next job.
I implemented an orientation process when I was Chief of Training of my volunteer fire department. We also offer an officers' orientation at the county fire academy I help manage.

Check out the documents attached and let me know if they're helpful.

Stay safe. Train often.
www.tigerschmittendorf.com
Attachments:
you are on the right track here Adam... looking for a boilerplate example to copy makes sense. Why reinvent the wheel? come up with a collection of examples, put them together using your department name and create a draft. Once this is done, make copies and hand them out to others who have the same rank or higher for input. Everyone gets to put input into the project. This is a called delegation buddy. and when you are done, you will have had buy in from everyone, taking away the bitch factor... just a thought. bz
Rob:
I understand and completely agree with your comment about checking to make sure that the SKA are there with a guy that comes in off the streets...but is that something that belongs in an orientation manual? We have members who come into the department with no training, or people who come in to the department and don't want to be a firefighter and want to be EMS only. The benefit of being a small town combination department is that we get people in without training as well as people with training, but that makes it hard to have a good orientation manual because you are not always getting people who have been to rookie school or are EMT-Basics. I guess I am still not sure I want to have a SKA section of a rookie manual for someone who only wants to be a paramedic and doesn't want to be a firefighter, or have a SKA section for someone who has never put on a set of gear other then for their physical ability test.

Tiger:
Thanks for the files, I will take a look at them and get back to you. I can't see where those would NOT be helpful.

Capt:
We are in a unique situation here with what we take as persons....we do EMS only and we do Fire/EMS. As I said to Rob we intake those who have never been involved in the fire service before as well as those who are career firefighters who happen to live on our community who still remember what it is like to be a volunteer. Working smarter not harder is usually how I go about my projects, but as far as I know we are unique in our area in what kind of intakes we have. I like the idea of having buy-in input into the project, however as for delegating things that is how it was given to me :)

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