Taking fire department training videos to a new level...

My daughters boyfriend just graduated with honors from the prestigious Pasadena Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Film Production - Editing, and with honors. Being the dad, attending the graduation, I had no idea that the guy dating my daughter was so damn talented. Needless to say, I still feel amazed knowing that this kid has a really bright future ahead of him. Don't you just love creativity and brilliance?

Unfortunately, the fire service is not really known for being all that 'creative'. What a shame. The attitude of 'we do it this way... because!' just doesn't cut it for me. Company officers who stifle their younger firefighters instead of cultivating new and innovative ideas should step back and ask themselves if their attitude is really a good one for the fire service. Allowing creativity, and I want to specify that I am talking about training and multi-media communication to both the public and in house, should be current, designed to capture the attention of today's generation.

Teaching methods used 30 years ago don't have the same relevance anymore. Our world is multimedia orientated, and we need to embrace this to capture the attention and minds of today's generation of firefighters.

We need to strive for excellence, knowing that we can always do better. My friend Dan taught me this through his passion for excellence as an up an coming film editor. Here's an example of his work and where I think fire service training should be headed.


Emmy Award Winner: Best Commercial 2010
An all out game of war using Canon cameras. CANON Cameras were handed out to various people and many of their shots made it in the commercial.

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Comment by Norm Tindell on May 3, 2010 at 8:45pm
Great stuff, Cbz! Anything that grabs and hold the viewers' attention is a good medium done well. If it helps get the message across I'm all for it. If they hear it they remember 25% of it. If they see it they remember 50% of it. That's if it's interesting...
Comment by FETC on May 1, 2010 at 8:43am
Self made creation of video (verse) editing raw footage from an incident are two different things. Using the second I would caution due to the liability. Using the first though, and I have tried recently but it is extremely time consuming. To make a 30 minute video takes many, many hours...

The idea of changing formats is welcomed, as multimedia has evolved with the times and would definately compliment an "experienced and educated" instructor.


For example: What I see is less experienced instructor's teaching from (the former hot multimedia - .PPT) When an instructor is reading verbatum from a slide, I will challenge he or she too see if they are BS... just ask them a question off topic to expound on the subject.... if it is not on the slide, they are clueless.

So with the advent of newer multimedia, I caution instructors to maintain a level of professionalism.
Comment by Ben Waller on May 1, 2010 at 8:07am
"Teaching methods used 30 years ago don't have the same relevance anymore. Our world is multimedia orientated, and we need to embrace this to capture the attention and minds of today's generation of firefighters."

I can think of several fire service curriculum writers who could benefit from a deep understanding of that statement.

Nice post, Cap!
Comment by Beverly on April 30, 2010 at 7:47pm
Nice job...Training videos available for critique are another good tool as long as errors, issues are addressed and corrected. I see Chief France's point though. Some person who feels that their incident didn't go as well as they thought it should has a lawyer ( adjective deliberately deleted) that gets his/her hands on an in -house training video and all good intentions are now public fodder for those who don't understand that training is a learning experience. Unfortunate and very sad that we live in such a society where this has to be one of our first thoughts.

Good luck to your daughter's boyfriend.
Comment by Mike Schlags (Captain Busy) Retd on April 30, 2010 at 3:24pm
Mike, I can't see where a training video that you made during a training session would ever be an issue. After all, it's training, right? Seems like an excellent question to post.

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