What is the most effective way to train in the firehouse?

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In house training can include photos that you take of hazards located within your response area, includingmutual aid. Take for example the photo on the left...

What do you see going on here and how can you handle it?

A photograph can say a thousand words, use various media sources to touch as many senses as possible.

For your training to be successful, you must satisfy the following:

M - Motivate the students by giving them a reason to be interested in the training, making it real or using the above photograph as an example, an overhead question to your firefighters asking how they would mitigate the incident can motivate folks to want to hear or learn more...

P - Prepare them to learn and receive new information by doing your homework and providing salient and relative information using an executive summary mind set which basically means that less is more. One page bullet points for what you want them to remember and retain. Don't overwhelm people keeping those "facts" per training session, keeping key points down to ten or less things for folks to memorize.

A - Apply the information using simulators, field training, drills on the apparatus room bay, etc. This is the hands on component of the training that helps cement the information into folks heads. Key point here is repetition, repetition, repetition...

E - Evaluate folks, which means provide a testing mechanism to enable both the instructor and student to validate that they understand the information presented.

This should give you some direction...


Hands on.  Getting people training with practical evolutions keeps them awake and involved. 
You need to be a little more specific.  It depends what you're training on and what kind of department you work for.

Just catering to your department. What works best for your department and your firefighters?


I feel that hands-on is the best way to train, overall. It helps me, personally, to help get the information to stick when I am physically doing things.


But bring conversations, experience and open minds into play, too. One of our Chiefs is a Lt. in the FDNY, so he brings a ton of knowledge and experience to the table.


Also, there are constraints on hands-on trainings. Heavy rescue - getting cars. Search - locations. So on and so forth. Luckily, my department has a training house in the back that we use, and a lot of establishments, such as schools, allow us to use their buildings for trainings from time to time (not live fire, obviously).


To top it off, we have the Fire Academy about 15-20 minutes away for our live fire trainings.


But in house, if no training house is available, simulation is key. We had times where we couldn't use the house, for whatever reason, so we'd simulate fire with a flashlight or black out our masks with paper towels to simulate incredibly smokey conditions.

  What works best for our dept. is classroom followed up by hands on training.  Too much classroom has a tendency to make the troops less interested after awhile and it's good to get out and put the classroom work to use to make it stick in the melon for future use.

  Even the mundane stuff like remembering how to follow the hose out can be done in the meeting room with a few couplings and then you go outside to the "hose maze" and put it to use.

  I also agree with Mike, alot of good points.

hands on training definately. we are fortunate our training center is less than a half mile away.
hands on training is definatly a must ,repetitive,make it fun whatever it takes,repetition makes it seem second nature which is what you want,you want to be familiar and comfortable in your knowledge and actions and how to react
Like others have said keep it interesting and dont burn your firefighters out with the same old stuff. Change your training up from one thing to another so they dont get borded out of there minds lol. Also make it fun but at the same time make sure they really know whats going on and learn from the training. Its all about keeping yourself safe and your dressed alike partners safe and to save life and property. Our Dept has a 2 story training house that helps alot with our training and other departments training.Get out alive training,scba using it training,search and rescue, all while having your mask blacked out makes it real.If you dont have a training house pull your trucks out and make one out of tables and desk and chairs or what ever you have so that eveyone can have some kind of training and fun at the same time and invite other depts to come join in and have fun while your doing it, good times to remember and take lots of pics of everyone going through a maze you make for them to get out of.


  Pull up the discussion "looking for different training ideas". It may help

with your inquiry.

For my crew, "hands on" is how they like to train the best and it is how they retain the most information.
We did a "Hose Maze" in full turn out gear in our Dept.  what we do is we set up a mock scenario where we send a 2 man crew in to try to reach another crew that's pinned down.  We have our face masks all covered by a nomex hood so we can't see.  We then have to follow a hose maze throughout the station under vehicles and obstacles while having big things thrown at us  for simulator effects. We're timed on the exercise. We have to reach our objective and exit safely before our air runs out.

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