ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Let's Talk Fire: Are You Ready?

Updated on October 8, 2014

Getting prepared means more than assuming.

Firefighters discussing action plans and learning from experiences means a better chance to tackle the issue should it arrise again.
Firefighters discussing action plans and learning from experiences means a better chance to tackle the issue should it arrise again.

Are You Ready?

As always greetings you nozzle heads and hose monkeys. This time around in Let's Talk Fire we are going to address a truly deceiving question. No, not why does the probie smell like cheese and shame, lol. Are you ready? Seems simple enough does it not? Most people would address this with a quick yes or an unassured no but the reality is this is such a deep question we need to really look at it much differently.

Are you ready? Right now the sports fans are thinking of that God awful song aren't you? It is OK I forgive you. We are going to tackle this question from two separate fronts. One being as a question addressed to you directly as an individual. The second will be addressing this question to a fire department as a whole. I want to really explore this question and as always make it very clear that this article is not a direct or indirect attack at any one person or any group of people. As you will see the only firefighter I attack in this text is myself.

To really answer the question completely we must first do the one thing that most firefighters just don't feel comfortable with. We have to swallow our pride and set aside our egos and be honest with ourselves. Let's explain.

Round Table Discussion

Study as much as you can!

Learn everything you can and be a better firefighter for it!
Learn everything you can and be a better firefighter for it!

Getting Ready

Let's say you serve on a small department consisting of about 12 members. It is the height of flu season so some of those cats are under the weather. Tones drop and you are headed to a structure fire. Reports indicate that two family members remain missing. Usually Bob and Sally handle search and rescue operations and you usually handle ventilation and working the truck. Sally is ill and will not be there so Bob needs a new partner to go in and search the residency. Your incident commander assigns you the task. You are really not that trained in these types of operations so you are a bit nervous. ARE YOU READY?

Now an issue arises and it is one that is faced on fire grounds daily I am afraid. What if the person assigned to perform a specific fire ground task is just not that well versed in the way to do it. here are the options that may be available to you.Let pride guide you.

A. Let pride guide you. You can do anything, right? Go on in you got this.
B. Admit your concern in your lack of training on this subject and ask that someone else be assigned to the task.
C. Go in full of fear and doubt and pray for the best.
D. Try and pawn it off on someone else under the IC's nose.

Now let's return to that all powerful question. Are you ready? If this was you presented with this situation what would you consider the best option? Obviously option B is the only logical choice. Sadly however, many firefighters are afraid to go that route and often carelessly choose one of the other options.

There are firefighters killed all the time from their lack of being ready and even more importantly their lack of admitting they are not ready. Some do so because they are afraid of being ridiculed for not performing the task like a manly man or macho woman would others just want to be looked at as competent. A true competent firefighter will admit their lack of knowledge in a certain topic and remedy the issue.

Study!

Test can build knowledge and are vital to advancing your standing in the fire service.
Test can build knowledge and are vital to advancing your standing in the fire service.

How Do You Get Ready?

The key to being prepared is exactly that, be prepared. Get all the training you can get over every topic you can find. It sounds tough but in the end you will be a much better firefighter for having done so. Training at your station is great but ask about other stations that will allow you to train with them. My crew usually attend a minimum of 6 classes a month but in the long run it makes us better qualified to handle the task we are approached with.

Some trainers may be uncomfortable in teaching certain subjects. This is often mistaken as their being difficult. It could be they are not versed in that topic, or it could be they realize that task is a little out of league right now.

I am guilty of being not ready. I was never really good with ropes and knots and at a structure fire early on in my career I was asked to tie off a ladder to a wall to keep it stable. I of course refused to admit my lack of knowledge and tied the awfullest mess of rope that may have ever been. The end result was my chief at the time had to cut the rope.

I often ask myself what if that ladder was needed elsewhere and in a hurry. It could have never been moved that way. I admitted my flaw and now I am actually rather accomplished with the ropes and knots portions of my training but it took me being a knucklehead to get there.

Can you handle this?

Would a chemical spill like this cripple your department?
Would a chemical spill like this cripple your department?

Is Your Department Ready?

Again let me set the scene. Your department has only the required amount of hazardous materials training needed to keep every one certified. You are at the station discussing administration when the tones drop. A truck carrying chemicals has tipped over at the local gas station. You now have a haz mat scene.

ARE YOU READY?

Ask yourself can your department handle this situation. Do you have the resources you will need? Do you even know what those resources are? is anyone on your department operations certified for hazardous materials?
Just because you fail to train and prepare for an event does not mean that event may not happen. It is the duty of the fire department to protect their community and we need to take responsibility to learn all we can learn. I say learn something new every day.

Firefighting Training Video

How Can They Get Ready?

Inform your trainer anytime you find training you want. If they can not handle it than maybe you can find the training at another department. Remember the life of a trainer is not just one that includes the department. They, much like yourself, have lives outside that department.

One thing I have done is to take it on myself to train. I had several of my firefighting buddies express an interest in endurance and search and rescue training. I borrowed a couple of sections of hose and set up hose mazes for them to run. This was great training and we followed a strict guideline so we would stay safe.

We also had several tabletop discussions and ran scenarios to discuss how we felt we would handle the scene and what resources we would need as well as to where we could get them. This training did not put training hours on our records but it gave us knowledge and the ability to determine where our weaknesses were at and how we can make them work for us.

Let your trainer know what you are curious about. Online training is also available from FEMA. I highly recommend this and am often on the site myself.

Train to Gain

Our actions as firefighters are usually a direct result of the training we have received. I have been fortunate enough to take classes under some amazing instructors and am very thankful for that. Never assume you can't learn on your own time. Countless videos are online for you to view as well as tons and tons of online drills and articles.

I am an advocate for training as much as you can and learning all you can. I hope you stay safe and learn from the past for survival in the future.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lorddraven2000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sam Little 

      5 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      Thanks and I agree.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting article. Being prepared is the most important thing when you are a firefighter!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)