I got to thinking about what training evolutions are the most critical for the Probie firefighter (point one: I'm not talking about Firefighter 1, that's a given, point two: the first one who pipes up with "ALL training is critical" is going to get smacked in the head with a dirty sock---we already know that) ---meaning, if YOU were the Training Officer and you just landed yourself a rookie, which training programs would be in your "Top 10" to get him or her started.
Well in my opinion i definiently agree about donning your gear and getting on the truck should be one of the first things to learn...also where as a rookie you sit. I know atleast for my station as a rookie you sit in the middle of the piece and are the last one on and the last one off unless told otherwise by your officer. next i would say that the rook needs to know the rig from tom to bottom, because when they first start ridin they are basicly the goffer for the driver and the crew. Then i would say Ladders!!!! Im a truckie by heart and the first thing i was tought before i even had gear was how to throw ladders. Some people just brush it off but if your ridin a truck, tower, quint, or what have you, you better not leave that truck without a tool and a ladder. The reason this is so important is so that if your ridin any piece and roll up on a workin job and you cant go in you still can throw ladders and give the crews inside multiple ways to get out.
I have to agree with what has already been posted here. Learn the basics in your own house. What is the proper way to respond to the station? If your already in quarters, what do you do? Tour the station, learn where things go. Which apparatus is which and what do they do. What is expected of you, and what you can expect from the department. Are there minimum standards that need to be met within a certain amount of time. Introduce the officers. Explain YOUR chain of command. Is that enough to avoid the sock?
I'll shoot for 10, but here is my list in no specific order.
1) where is the equipment located on each apparatus
2) ropes and knots
4) cpr and first aid
5) donning and doffing ppe
6) hose rolls
7) radio operations
9) incident command
10) safely entering and exiting apparatus
I am still fairly new (4 years) and often find myself being the probie tour guide, maybe because it's still fresh in my mind. Everyone's input is useful- here's mine in no special order: 1. let them know how your dept works- from the application and getting in process, to the response, training, new gear & uniforms- give copies of by-laws and SOG's/SOP's or whatever you use 2. have someone hold their hand (at first) maybe a probie whose been there a little longer- but only for the basics and everyday stuff (like where do we keep the t paper?) 3. ICS & OSHA- it needs to get done anyway, have them do it early- in my part of the world we might get one ff1 class offered once per year, so get the in house training done early 4. trucks & tools- make sure they know what it is, where it is, how it's used 5. what will be expected of them at the station, during drills, & at a scene during probie stage & maybe some run throughs- like how to change an air bottle, ladders, hydrants/water ect whatever your probies can do- show & tell 6. how to properly don/doff gear and when to wear gear/class a's, ect- nothing like a probie showing up for an ambulance call in full turnout (we don't - unless mva) or flip flops- or a brush fire in shorts 7. who's who in the dept & company- chiefs, lt's, cpt's, ect.... and who is the experts in different areas- this guy is great with this truck, if you want to learn search & rescue see so & so, ect.... this will help the probie find his/her niche & give someone not so intimidating as an officer to ask "stupid" questions to 8. let the probie decide who he or she likes.... i hear so many times- stay away from this guy: he'll stab you in the back, borrow $$ and not pay back, whatever- let the probie choose & learn on his or her own!! 9. response- personal vehicles, trucks ect... some depts don't allow response in pov's, some do, sometimes is varies- i had a probie ask me if he was allowed to ride in the firetruck- he thought only the interior ff's and captains could ride in the trucks; when actually in our dept the chiefs and captains drive their pov's to a scene (usually) and prefer the rookies to ride in trucks. 10. always offer training and classes that do not have a pre-requisite- a probie can take wildland search & rescue or firefighting (or whatever) without ff1-at least they are learning something! 11. that the job can get ugly, there are sometimes severe injuries or fatalities and it's ok to be bothered by it- don't be afraid especially at first- to step back and tell the officer in charge that you need to step away from a scene that you can't handle and you won't be punished or picked on for it. these suggestions might be a little beyond what we might think of, but the probies typically hold back questions so the more we tell them the faster they learn and the more confident they become.
I'm still young but one of the big things in my department as well as surrounding departments is changing bottles out quickly, yet efficiently, too many mishaps if the bottle is not attached properly regarding safety, knowing where every tool, light, ladder, bag, fan etc is without thinkin comes next. Everything needs to be second nature it helps a lot at 2:30 in the morning. How to wrap, hookup and charge a hydrant, one of my lesser fond ones would be repacking the hose after a job, because most of the active members (non-probationary) usually just want to get home, or to bed and as the low man on the totem pole the probie needs to know how to pack the hose the right way so that when the time comes theres less a chance of an unfortunate event I know thats not 10 but those are some of the ones I've had to learn and know from the moment i was accepted
We regularly train on Tuesday nights and then only three times a month. either the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesdays or the 1st 3rd and 4th Tuesdays (I work out of two stations, one on each schedule). the 4th Tuesday is EMS training. I'm new (will be two years in Oct) and my primary Station is new as well so we've been hitting the regular training kinda hard, and most all of us show up for it.
There is one thing I might suggest as far as additional learning opportunities goes, depending on how your district works. Find out if your department has a training library. Pick a subject and research it. Work on it as if you are going to be leading the training on the subject. So, approach it like you need to be able to train your fellow members on it. If you can't do anything with the actual equipment, mentally go over what you would use and how you would use it and demonstrate it.
My station officers believe that we should all have a part in the training process so all of us have been assigned topics to lead in the monthly station training. My last one was Accountability (passports), Fireground Safety, RIT and Fire Shelters. I learned a ton in the process of preparing and teaching it. About a month later I was the designated Safety/Accountabilitty person on a residential structure fire. I knew how to use the system better because I'd just studied and taught it. It was great to really apply on the ground what I knew, and had recently learned so much more about.
One of my EMT instructor's favorite sayings "learn one, do one, train one". Learn something (head knowledge), do it in practice (hand knowledge), and then teach someone else how to do it also (pass it on).
the radio issue isn't just for the probies, It took me over a year to get the officers to follow through with the radio channel procedures that they told me to follow (ie we are dispatched on county wide and stay on county for medical calls, but go to private for fire calls, and something else for M.A. calls)
Beinbg new to the fire dept..The training I think that has been the best is....
1, Learning the SOP of the Dept..
2 Learning where everything is in the attack, engine and Squad..
3 Learning how to properly don the Gear
4 SCBA Learn how to put on and take off and clean properly.
5 learning and showing responcibility of fellow firefighters..
6Learning how to operate a Hydrant safely.
7Learning the in and outs of putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.
8 that everything is done for a reason...dont ask why just do it and do it well...Learn learn learn..
9 attend as many functions as possible. fundraisers, training.
10respect is earned not given!!!!
this is my list...
Excited tonight got my helmet and some other gear..then got to go play with the wet stuff..
When we get past all the basics of learning the sops,trucks,ladders knots etc where in fact does FF survival, and rit or ric come into play. At what point to you tell the probie ok now on your left side is your bail out bag, webbing etc and they are here in case you go down, well there are so many things you can do with webbing, rope, block and tackle etc. How Often do we train on FF survival, Rit ops ? Should There be more training into rit and survival at the probie level. Shoot me some feedback on how important you think these issues are.
Lets face it todays construction of homes and buildings are burning faster, hotter and giving us in the fire service less time to put the wet stuff on the red stuff. In my opion i feel that rit, and FF survival are two important issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. example ( for the probies,by a probie) you approach a two story residential home with light smoke second floor a side, after doing a 360 u find smoke coming from the basement, no one inside. you make entry on the first floor heavy smoke rolling up from a door you move ahead and the floor gives you and your partner are in the basement u have the hoseline to keep the fire back your calliing mayday and now how do you stay alive so you can go home to your girlfriend or wife?
good question thomas. i think that ff survival and rit ops would come into play once the probie becomes an interior ff and is trained to do so. i know in our dept if you are not atleast a ff1, your butt stays outside doing exterior work and as an interior ff myself i can tell you im not taking anyone who dosent have training in with me.
know your SOPs,your gear, your rigs and where the tools are, and what is expected of you as a probie on the fireground. and dont be afraid to said "i dont know how to" when asked to do something if you really dont. Also something that helped me throught the probie period, FIND A MENTOR and listen to what the "old timers" and the guys who have been around awhile have to say. theres alot they have seen and experianced and can pass along advice that might save your life someday
I Agree I wouldn't take anyone who doesnt have the Training in with me. I Want to ask what Training does your department undertake in FF survival and rit? Do you train with mutual aid departments,If so what trainings do you do (room orientation, breeching walls, lifts,and drags ). My department had a house giving to us to train in, we did everything metioned above and hosted classes with other departments in our county. getting everyone on the same level and presented ideas into the minds of some smaller depertments.