I am the Training Officer for a small rural area fire department with 28 members on our department. I am looking for "outside of the box" training ideas. We do monthly fire training, monthly EMS training, and an online fire training program. Who all has ideas for drill?
Last year on one training night we set up an obstacle course in a field with traffic cones and had two teams on handlines. They raced each other through the course pushing a bowling ball. Not only was it fun but it taught good hose control and teamwork.
After a few times through that we moved the cones to form a soccor field and played soccer with the bowling ball and the handlines. This lasted for a bit and then it turned into a big water fight. Perfect ending to a hot summer night and was the perfect stress reliever too. We all left wet, happy, tired and the best part . . . more united as a team.
My philosophy for training is simple: We are all adults, and therefore are responsible for our own certifications. My job isn't to spoon feed training to my staff, but facilitate, and if something isn't working then I need to adjust how I set the opportunities. In the State of Ohio, we have to document at least 54 hours Continuing Education every 3 years to maintain certification as a firefighter, similar to what the EMS personnel have always done. For my department, I have learned that I will rarely get guys to every training session, and that is something I have to accept. We do the following:
1 hour (before or after) monthly business meeting
2 hour (3rd Thursday) monthly Fire Training
2 hour (4th Thursday) monthly EMS Training
Online Fire Training Program (30 classes each year, my choice)
Online EMS Training Program
Usually quarterly larger training (Haz-Mat, EVOC, Farm Extrication)
I look at it if my guys don't have enough hours then it is THEIR fault, and not mine.