I knew this would get attention, especially from the senior members. So, let's hear everyone's rookie mistakes, or mistakes they've seen them make. I'll start...
Probably the biggest mistake I have made, (and yes, I'm still a rookie, so there is likely more to come) was a few days ago. We got dispatched to a vehicle fire, fully involved near another vehicle (boat) and a wood-frame structure.
I was second engine out, mostly because I wasn't at the station when the tones dropped. Anyways, when 2nd due engine arrived, 1st due had the fire mostly knocked down. There was a tree still burning and a few hot spots towards the passenger side of the demolished car.
IC told me to grab a trash line and hit some of the hot spots while others tried accessing the engine compartment. Well I pulled the line around the car, but I was at a funny angle. So I went to swing the line over my head to get a better shot.
Well, I had forgotten one thing, and I kicked myself hard for it. As I swing the line over, bam, there goes my helmet, bouncing around in the mud and foam. Of course I would forget to buckle it around my chin... Since the fire was knocked down, that was the time for everyone to haggle at me, etc. But I got an earful from my Lt. when we got back to base.
Anyways, let's hear some of those stories!
We were at a funeral with our rescue pumper and five members dressed in turnout gear. The chief asked me to shut the truck off and to be sure to kill the battery. I knew that the truck had a kill switch but did not know where it was. So I hopped in and turned the key off, that stopped the engine but did not kill the battery. I found a switch that said kill and flipped it, that engaged the emergency kill on the engine and we had to open the hood and reset it in front of every one in the county! The chief gave me hell for that after we got back to the station.
During my first live training exercise at the burn house I got to man the nozzle. After fluffing the hay the Lieutenant turned to me, held his gloved hands out toward me and yelled, "Water!" I handed him the nozzle. LMAO. I didn't realize he wanted me to cool his hands. I heard about that one for years.
This happen in 1980 my first year.
At that time we were still riding tail board we were responding to a bedroom fire. As the truck was going down the street that was full of potholes. I guess it had hit a very big on and I went flying off the tail board and landed the street lucky for me I just got bumps and bruises. The engine just kept on going nobody had seen me fall off. There was a city garbage truck that was behind us and seen me fall of . The driver had gotten out to check on me and ask if their was anything that he can do to help. I ask him if he could give me a ride and to follow that engine. We showed up to the scene at the same time as the engine did I had gotten out of the garbage truck right behind the engine and walk up ready to do my job. When we had gotten back to the station I didn't tell anybody what had happen until the driver of the garbage truck dropped by to make sure that I was alright . I had gotten a big ear full when they learned what had happen. The moral of the story is to hold with both hands .
when i was a probie on one of my first calls i was assigned to catch the hydrant and cross threaded the hose in a hurry to get it done. When i turned on the water the hose came off and water shot everywhere causing operations to stop because the engineer was refilling the tank water and the tank was only about a third full.
when the call was over i got an earfull and for nearly a week had to show that i could do it right at every training session
everyone has made probie mistakes and if you learn from them and never do it again (so you can do others), you'll be ok
It was in 1991, I was going into a structure fire with 2 senior firefighters in an old 2 story wood frame balloon farm house. Fire on second floor coming down staircase. We were relieving the initial attack crew and told to advance on the fire and push it back up the stairs. As we were crawling in through the mudroom, the one senior man in front of me told me to take the window out for ventilation. I crawled over towards it but my mask was foggy so I took my glove off...(yes, rookie mistake)...to wipe the fog off and ended up dropping the glove on the floor. I started to get a little panicky because the smoke was down to the floor and I couldnt see anything. Now the senior guy was hollering for me because they were advancing the line and didnt want me to get behind. I had a helmet mounted light, so I lowered my head until my face was inches from the floor so I could look for the glove and the smoke cleared just enough for the senior guy to see me for a second and to him it looked like I was "either kissing the floor or kissing your ass goodbye" in his exact words while describing the scene to the others later. Luckily, I found the glove and got it back on, took the window and got back to the others.
We advanced into the living room, just at the bottom of the stairs with heavy black, HOT smoke pushing at us. I remember I just got into position behind the back-up man and all of the sudden two things happened simultaneously; the fire rolled over our heads and it was an amazing sight to see (my first time seeing it like that) and then instantly followed by the nozzle man letting loose a crazy, LOUD dukes of hazzard "yahoo" as he opened the nozzle and hit the fire. I froze instantly after hearing the scream! I almost dropped some cookies in my pants too, but quickly recovered in time to advance up the stairs.
One of my favorite rookie memories...
When I was first hired my shift officr went on vacation for a month and the shift personnel were supposed to do training - none of which occured because it was so busy I spent literally every shift in the ambulance and writing EMS run reports. First shift back for the officer we have an MVA and he told me to get the Hurst tool operating so I pulled it from the cabinet and attempted to start it - of course no one had told me that they had a very specific startup process becuase the machine had issues so I could not start it....
I got an earful for not being familiar with the equipment which I deserved - what I really head about was why I questioned why the piece was not fixed properly instead of being jury rigged to make it run properly. I spent 20 minutes working on it to get it to start properly after the call yet still got hell for not knowing "the departments way" of doing things
I had been a member for a while and we got a call for a fire at the school bus lot which came out as a Box Alarm that evening. We still rode back step at the time. We came down the street and could see three buses burning in the lot. The engine stopped on top of the ramp of the driveway, so the backstep was higher than it should have been. So my buddy went off the step with the 3" supply line. We had two additional engine companies and two trucks and heavy squad rolling so the next engine was there in seconds. Since I was new I was learning about what to do. Our engine had two intakes on the backstep so the line was broken and connected to the one on the right. I was standing there and the next thing I knew something hit me in the chest and into the ladder. The next engine charged the supply line and I shouldn't have been standing next to it. Good thing was I had my old leather on at the time.