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Let's Talk Fire: Even More Free Training

Updated on August 8, 2014

Train to Gain

Training is what makes us the best we can be.
Training is what makes us the best we can be.

Howdy!

Hey all you hose pullers and nozzle noggins! It has been awhile and I am super excited to be back behind the pen here at Let's Talk Fire. Ask anyone who knows me about my biggest peeve in the fire service and they will tell you it is firefighters who never train. I hate that as much as a hairless cat hates getting a new wig. Firefighting is a serious affair and should be taken as such. I am a very keen observer of where my crew is and needs to be as far as training goes and I think every individual in our service should be the same. Training is our safety net.

I decided to extend my previous article on free fire training and add a few really good resources that should help you out in your pursuit of being the best you can be as a firefighter. These sources will make you much more inclined to make the right decision when the right time comes. I hope you use them.

Possible Resource

To Sim or Not To Sim

I will admit the best training is hands on but sometimes that is just not safe nor practical. This means we need to find ways of simulating a situation and using that sim to derive key points and make the choices we need to to see that scene come to a desired end. Sims are not new to the fire service and really in many ways they may be the best alternative to hands on training available to us.

The awesome cats at fire engineering have designed several great sim programs for us as fire fighters that really get the theme across. Some include what happens when we vent the fire the wrong way while others include tagging casualties at a massive incident. Each sim is a good means to acquire some training without putting a single life at risk.

I recommend sitting down with your department and running these. Let the staff get involved and ask where and what they would have you do to see the scene come to that end. You could even design a round table discussion over the sim and let each member tell what they would have done differently in the same situation. These discussions breed a very good understanding of where each member of your crew stands as far as tactics go.

PC games may seem childish but many work the same way and can really help you in the crucial decision making sequences that fire scenes often lead us into.

Ladder Safety

Once again hands on is the best route but you need to know all you can about what you are doing and ladders can be a bit tricky, especially for those intending to test IFSAC 1 and 2. These courses will aid you in identifying the different parts of a ladder and the way those parts come together to form the ladder itself. Ladders are a big part of what we do in the fire service and need to be embraced and studied a bit more than most firefighters want to dedicate.

I am a big fan of people knowing the details of every aspect of what we do. If I yell that I need a ladder to get to a third story for window rescue I do not want some probie running over with a 10 foot roof ladder. They need to know that I need one that will get the specific job I am attempting done.

Training Video

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are often overlooked but when we step back and look at the big picture of what we do as firefighters we must realize that public outreach and safety is a big concern. Extinguishers may not be an item we use daily but we can teach the local schools and businesses the proper way to use them and that will help out a great deal.

It is also a required area of study for most states in seeking certification as a firefighter. Fire extinguishers are also a huge and important aspect of our tradition and past. We need to understand them and let me say this, you may feel with a giant assortment of hoses and water supplies that you do not need to utilize fire extinguishers. This is false my friend. I can not tell you how many times we have resolved kitchen fires or car fires simply by pulling a trusty little red extinguisher off the truck or from a secured area in the scene.

Construction Site

Construction sites present us with some great training!
Construction sites present us with some great training!

Look Around

These are a few nice resources but the net is full of many many more right there at your fingertips. As always I can not express the use fullness of youtube to much. The site has so many great videos that you can watch for free to use as training material. I recommend you browse it a few minutes each day and I am sure in no time you will see it as a great and dependable tool for fire training.

I also am always telling my guys and gals that learn from other aspects of the world as well. If there is a construction site in your response area hit it up and see what is going on. Notice how the pieces of a building come together and also how fast something can go up. This is a great way to get some training and also know your response area a little better. I am also a fan of going to local free classes such as counseling or even support groups. You can learn from the instructors how to handle situations that are very tricky for us to encounter. Grief counselling is a great trait to have if you know you will eventually respond to a scene where someone may not be able to make it out of.

Seek and You Shall Find

Be open minded about how you can better yourself. Sometimes it is not fire training that will make us a better firefighter. Sometimes it is us being willing to go the extra mile or take that extra step. I know for me it meant seeking EMS training. For you it may be different but never stop learning. Being a firefighter is more than just wet stuff on red stuff. It is about protecting our communities and we can not do that if we do not know how.

I am big on every firefighter being as focused and dedicated to training as they can be. I trust some of you will check into these sources and maybe even make use of them. Be creative when you are searching for a means to gain more training experience.

About Let's Talk Fire

Let's Talk Fire is a series of free online articles dedicated to the fire service. Topics covered range from operations to good clean fire humor. The extent of Let's Talk Fire does not end at articles however and is actually on Facebook. You can join in discussions, look for training ops, or just simply mingle online with other firefighters and EMS personel.

Come join us and be a part of a great community!

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