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  • #46

    I have nothing against safety... hell I preached it everyday. But you also have to use your head. I have seen guys doing everything right, but leaning to cautious and safety, still get their butt handed to them. If we do not try to push the envelop, then why bother at all? We cannot save everything, but that should not cause us to migrate to a platform of "let it burn.... I don't want to risk getting a hang nail."


    I agree with a lot of what you say, but the section highlighted in red causes me concern, especially for small rural VFDs, which is truly my interest in terms of this discussion.

    Bottom line, if you truly beleive that any department should be pushing the envelope, it should only be departments with the best training, significant experience and some damn fine equipment. The fact is most small town and rural departments do not have those. They are generally less well equipped, have limited experience and limited training. Expecting them to push the envelope if they want to be considered firefighters, as compared to firesitters, is simply not a realistic expectation and could get them into some serious trouble which I doubt they would have the training and/or experience to get themselves out of.

    It takes no particluar knowledge or skillset to position for a defensive fire posture. Humans have been doing that for thousands of years. That is not what we were meant to do.


    Again, disagree. Fact is many departments do not possess a significant interior skillset, due in part to limited, inaccessible, distant or overly expensive state-level training and limited in house training capabilities due to limited state training (see above) and incidents to gain experience. Is this an excuse? I guess I would call it a reason as they can do little to change that reality.

    We can talk about the value of internet training, but the reality is without significant hands-on training to reinforce or practice it, it has limited value. Even a well-planned series of dry drills covering the basics still does not prepare personnel for the heat and smoke of interior operations, which are almost impossible to replicate without a burn building. And the sad fact is that even a burn building is beyond the financial capabilities or many departments, or even groups of departments.

    Knight, I know nothing about your background, which in all of our cases shapes our views. I have a background in busy suburban volunteer and combo departments, as well as a couple of stints in rural areas with very limited resources. I know what it's like to try to develop a knowledge and experience base on 2 or 3 fires a year, or running a training program with a budget of less than 1K.
    The simple fact is any firefighter that has an expectation od interior attack beyond a single room fire is simply not connected with the real world, and while it may sound like an insult, it is not meant in that way. It simply is not realistic to have that expectation.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-29-2010, 09:49 AM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
      That was actually Colerain (OH) Township.
      Thank you for the correction.

      I'm probably listening to too much jazz.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
        Thank you for the correction.

        I'm probably listening to too much jazz.
        I get it....
        ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
        Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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        • #49
          Thank you

          Thank you for all of the excellent and thought provoking questions and answers.

          Jim Gower, NNFD Virginia
          Jim Gower
          Newport News Fire Department, Virginia

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          • #50
            Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
            I agree with most of this, however my comment was directed specifically to the "low opportunity" for experience crowd. Without the regular ability to get that "real world" experience, training is the only avenue that can start to overcome that.

            Mentoring is great, however if your veterans have little real world experience, then you likely won't reap much benefit from the process in terms of relaying that real world experience.

            I would tend to agree with the recognition-primed decision making theory and the lack of "slides" to pull from for some. To me, this is clear in some of the "what would you do?" threads that come up. A picture gets posted of a decent sized SFD with fire venting from a couple of windows and a lot of smoke pouring out and we see initial tactics being thrown around like hitting it with the deck gun or pulling a 2-1/2 line when more than likely this fire could be (and has been) quickly knocked down by an experienced attack crew and a single 1-3/4 line.

            If you don't see much fire, then I suppose having 2 rooms off upon arrival is a "big fire" and you may not realize just how much fire the smaller line can put out when properly applied.
            This is where "good" training has to take place of that experience. As an career training chief, vollie chief, and an instructor, I have to find a way to build those slides. We have the ability to use things like the Fire Studio software to simulate fires, burn buildings/trailers to simulate the heat of fire, and on occassion (fewer occassions, thanks to people who can't do it safely) we can use a structure for live-fire training.

            Beyond that, it takes a lot of trying to build those slides however we can. YouTube videos, pictures and discussions on here, and things like that are one way. Sometimes it takes a lot of creativity, but we have to do what we can.

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