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  • What else can I study?

    I joined my vollie department 6 months ago, and I am an Industrial Firefighter with the oil refinery I work for. I already do the following for the vollie department:

    * Drive and operate the engines and tankers
    * Assist on hose lines with certified FFI nozzlemen
    * Set up and operate master streams
    * EMT:First Responder on medical runs and MVA calls
    * Put out grass/trash fires

    On the industrial department I can operate the engines, work the nozzle, work the master streams, or I am usually a hose team/strike team lead or RIT team lead.

    The chief is trying to set up a FFI class, but it isn't going too well. Don't know why really, I am just trying to be patient and not ask too many questions.

    I have read through the "Essentials" and done the practice exams and self study guides. The practicals are hard for me to get practice on since the department does very little hands on training.

    Should I read anything else, do anything else, or just keep pounding on the Essentials book? Training seems like it will be very slow in this department. Not really what I am used to after training with a large company (employer).

    Also, he is pushing me to go EMT:Basic this year also. If we get the FFI class going, I wonder if it will be too much with 2 classes and a full time job? I don't mind the medical side, but the fire side is what I really enjoy.

    We don't get very many structure fires, but we get a lot of MVA calls and a few car fires.
    Last edited by SWLAFireDawg; 12-29-2006, 11:12 AM.

  • #2
    I would reccomend taking the EMT-B class. Begin to study the material before taking the class. It souldn't be to difficult since you have everyone down at the department to help. You would also have easy access to all of the equipment whenever you needed it.

    Train by yourself. You don't always need others.

    *Throw ladders to the point where you can throw a 24' extension ladder by yourself.

    *Practice your knots such as the overhand, figure eight, figure eight on a bite, bowline, clovehitch, waterknot, modified truckers hitch, etc.
    Make sure you can do these with the gloves you would expect to be wearing when needed to tie these. That would usually be your structure gloves.

    *Inventory your apparatus. All of them at the station you work in. Know every piece that is in each cabinet. Know what it is used for. Know the length of the pike poles. The weight of the sledge.

    *Make sure you know your power tools inside and out. Start them. Run them. Clean them, Dissassemble them. After that put them all back together.

    *When your just about think you know it all begin to read and never stop. Learn how your department does everything. Then begin to read about others. I read the tactics section on this website everyday. Get a subscription to Fire Engineering and JEMS magazine as well. Always read.

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    • #3
      Sounds great.....and I have started inventory on the trucks. The big drawback to that is they never come back the same way they go out. Tools usually get thrown back into whatevercompartment is convenient for the member putting up the tool. Maybe I can take "ownership" of the two trucks in my station and keep them setup, cleaned, maintained, inspected, and organized....I'll clear it with the chief. I knever thought about the length of the poles though!

      The practicals I will most have problems with are going to be Forcible Entry and Ventilation, mainly because we don't have a training area for it.....but I may have another option.

      Our parish (county) has an emergency training center for law enforcement and fire fighters. They off specific hands on training one night of evey month from 6 pm till they finish. The problem with attending it is that it is always on the ame night as our first dept meeting of the month. The chief says nobody from the dept attends it because it is too far away and goes too late into the night. He said I could go if I wanted, but I was not sure if it would be a good idea to miss the dept meeting. But, he did say if it was for training that should not be a problem. I just don't want to step on toes.

      I'll check into the two magazines mentioned, and I have started reading the tactics section already. Any other good forums?

      The book I have is "IFSTA Essentials of Fire Fighting 4th Edition" along with the Study Guide.

      I also picked up "IFSTA Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operato Handbook 1st Edition" to become more proficient with the engines, especially since that will likely be my primary job until other operators get trained and I get FFI.

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      • #4
        I would not recommend taking the B class and FF1 and having a full time job....Its a chore. Concentrate on 1 thing at a time. I started out with my B class and will be taking FF1 after I am done with that. Will more than likely go for my P-med and FF2 as time allows
        Buck
        Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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        • #5
          I agree with waiting to take B or FFI. Both at the same time is a big committment, if you are gonna attend all the classes, and be proficient.

          I'd be wary of training alone, because if no one is there to help, no one can tell you what you may be doing wrong. Some things though, you can do by yourself, like the knots, and all of that.

          Good call on the checking with the chief first on the trucks, and reorganizing them. My department, and most others I know of, are very particular about where the things go. We all know each compartment, and all can tell you what's where... most of the time. When someone just throws something in whereever, you can tell, and it gets brought up at the next meeting or drill. Having an organized truck really helps out, because then everyone knows where a tool is, and not just the last guy that used it.

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          • #6
            Hello everyone, i am just getting into firefighting i have applied for a Vol dept. and this fall i will be starting my fire fighting classes. SWLAfiredawg i was just wondering where you purchased those two books. I would like to get a hold of them and start reading up on my stuff. This post has really helped me think about what i should read and learn about companies.

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            • #7
              I was given the books by my employer, but you can find them on Amazon.com, and other sites. Do a search for the titles, or buy them directly from IFSTA.

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              • #8
                Ebay..............
                Buck
                Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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                • #9
                  If you're having issues with practicals the best way is to practice more. Even if your department isn't doing any skills practice, do them yourself. Practice does make perfect.
                  Local 2068

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HenryChan View Post
                    If you're having issues with practicals the best way is to practice more. Even if your department isn't doing any skills practice, do them yourself. Practice does make perfect.
                    Its not "issues"......it is lack of departmental training with experienced firefighters to give pointers and critiques. I have some other options working.....I have been offered the chance to train with some neighboring departments, and we are going to incorporate some of it at my place of employment.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure what your entire scope of response entails. However 2 really great books to read are:

                      1. Collapse of Burning Buildings by Vincent Dunn

                      2. Responding to Routine Emergencies by Frank Montagna

                      The collapse book is an excellent read to learn additional info on the effects of fire to building materials.

                      The Routine Emergency books gives you insight on how to efficiently deal with "routine" alarms and adds some good safety considerations.

                      If you read the IFSTA Essentials....check out Jones and Bartletts Fundamentals of Firefighting. 100 times better then the Essentials in my opinion. www.jbpub.com
                      They also publish many other books for the fire service, ems and other fields.

                      Another great book resource is the Faculty-Student Association Bookstore located at the NYS Academy of Fire Science. They often have discounts on all major publishers books and I believe in certain conditions shipping is free. All out of NY orders according to their website is tax free.

                      www.fireacademyfsa.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just thinking quickly here, my response scope includes the following:

                        Residential 1 story frame houses (Average 2000 sq ft)
                        Small mom and pop groceries / restaurants
                        A public school (Grades K-12)
                        Very little industry
                        Rice Silos / Driers
                        Farm houses / barns
                        Oil Well heads / Gas processing plants (I have extensive training on this type of fire)
                        Manufactured Housing (trailers)
                        Automobile fires
                        Large amount of Tanker truck traffic, including gasoline trucks

                        We have no strip malls that I can think of in my district. The neighboring department we mutual aid with does though. Very few 2 story homes. Most of the residential structures are spaced very far apart, so exposures usually are not too much of a concern........usually. Most people have propane tanks at the house though.

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