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  • Fire Fighter's Survival

    I read the article about the Fourteen members of South Whidbey Fire & Rescue of Langley, Washington. As stated in Firehouse.com they "...are going to test their teamwork capabilities by fending for food, water and shelter together on a deserted island for 8 days and 7 nights.
    Unlike other island "survivors," this group's goal is to keep everyone on the island, rather than vote each other off.
    The 14 volunteer firefighters will stay on North Finger Island, a 35-acre island located in the Puget Sound, from July 6th through July 13th."

    I think this is a great idea! What a way to learn together and challenge yourselves. There are many members of my fire department that I know have much they could teach some of us newer folk. This type of setting forces you to work together or be sent off the island by "not surviving". So not only is it in your best benefit to participate and do your best, but it is in the best interest of your whole team. What a great idea! I would love to participate in something like this with my fire department and rescue squad. What do you think of this project? Would you participate in something like this? What do you think you could learn by going on a fire fighter survival week?

    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

  • #2
    I think that any training they get out of this is very limited for what they will use in the fire service. Yes, they will have to work as a team. I don't know too many (actually I don't know any) people that last long in the fire service without committment to team work. What they will find out though, which may be the most important thing, is the true character of everyone in their department. Who are the real leaders, and who are the slackers and whiners. That in itself would be intrumental in running a smooth fire department.

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    • #3
      My understanding is that they will also go through some rescue scenarios where they will have to work together to save one of their own. I think this does apply to what we do on the fire ground. Working as a team to save our own butts and that of our fellow fire fighters. I like the idea a lot!
      Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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      • #4
        I'm not saying it's not a good thing. I'm sure they will come away with a better attitude. I didn't read anyhting about rescue scenarios, just that there will be rescue equipment available. I don't think anything can prepare you for survival in the fireground. How is staying on an island for 8 days training you to find a downed firefighter, or how to keep your cool when you're trapped under debris and you only have 800 pounds of air left and there's fire all around. I still stick to my point about it being character building, not fire ground training.

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        • #5
          Just live in the station 72 hours a week with your shift. That is SURVIVAL!!! I don't need to go to an island to do that.
          Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

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          • #6
            Working as a team is fire ground training. I have never done anything on the fire ground without my partner. I don't go in alone, I don't pull hose alone, etc. We are there as a team to get the job done. It builds better relationships, teaches them about each other's strengths and limitations. I would much rather know that someone couldn't lift 50 lbs. then to find out after they drop their half of the victim we are removing from a house fire. It is all a learning experience. Anything that teaches teamwork is part of fire ground training.
            Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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            • #7
              "Anything that teaches teamwork is fireground training?"

              Sports teach teamwork...is that fireground training?
              Scouts teach teamwork.....is that fireground training?
              Heck, three legged races teach teamwork..is that fireground training?

              The only thing that prepares you for working a fire is training with fire scenarios. Throwing ladders, practicing SAR techniques, forcible entry techniques. Trying to catch a rat with your buddies and eating it isn't going to do diddly squat for you at the next worker.
              This is just another example of some "new age" chiefs idea (or whoever) to do some funky kind of stuff with their dept.
              so they can make the headlines somewhere.
              Departments need to get back to basics. They need to practice their bread and butter operations. How to advance hoselines, how to ladder a building, how to perform a good search so as not to find out you missed something when it's all over. THAT is fireground training. You can find out what they can and can't do at drills. I want to know that when I'm on the nozzle and we force entry and are faced with a room full of fire that my backup guy doesn't bale. (and it's happened)
              I reiterate the point from my last point. Unless they are going to put them in a life and death situation, there is nothing they will do on that island that will prepare them for the fireground. (unless they set the island on fire).

              [ 07-02-2001: Message edited by: ntvilleff ]

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              • #8
                I was kinda amazed at that too.... I think it may be due to the following, feel free to add!
                1. Too many management seminars.
                2. Too many touchy feely "team leaders" (you know there are no bosses in that outfit)
                3. Way too much time on their hands!
                4. Someone sees a few bucks on the speakers circuit or a magazine article
                5. Just way too much dreary weather in Washington to think clearly!

                As long as Im not being sent there.. have fun!

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                • #9
                  Seems to be stretching it abit to say thay playing "Survivor". Has anything to do with learning the fireground capabilities of others.

                  Seems like something to write about on a slow news day.
                  Might be fun with alot of beer

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                  • #10
                    ntville, you know what I meant..no need to be ridiculous. Apparently many of you do not see the "big picture" here. That is fine..not everyone can see the gray areas in life and in training. The scenarios they are setting up are to be used to teach these EMTs and fire fighters to survive and to rely on each other as team members to get the job done...whether it be catching a rat, or building a raft, or lifting a ladder, or pulling a fellow fire fighter out of the building. You are entitled to your opinion, but I honestly believe this week will help this department greatly and that many other departments will start to offer survival weeks and weekends.

                    [ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: hctrouble25 ]
                    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hctrouble25:
                      The scenarios they are setting up are to be used to teach these EMTs and fire fighters to survive and to rely on each other as team members to get the job done...whether it be catching a rat,...
                      Since when is catching a rat firefighting function.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think I'm being ridiculous.

                        Tell me ONE thing on that island they will learn (and don't you dare say teamwork)that when in a burning building they will be able to say "HEY!! I have (this situation) here and I remember learning to (do this) when I was playing survivor".
                        If you can name one thing that is a valid fireground training tool I will sing the praises of your name every time the tones go off for the next week.
                        I reiterate once again, it will build CHARACTER but no practical fireground tactics.

                        [ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: ntvilleff ]

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                        • #13
                          They may also come off the island hating each others guts. They will definately figure out where each stands in regards to dealing with stressful situations such as hunting for your daily food, being away from your family for an extended period, etc. This will do nothing for fire training, however.

                          This does sound like it may be fun and they may all have a blast. But I don't think teamwork needs to be taught this dramatically. Most people in this job inherently are good team members anyway and this survival thing will not change the ones who aren't.

                          You can weed out the good and bad team members at any fire drill or call. Maybe they should stick to drilling on the fireground.

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                          • #14
                            I see this being a good thing for perhaps a brand-spanking-new department that needs to get some common ground. I don't see the purpose for departments with bickering members (as some may try to use it), or even just as a learning retreat.

                            I agree with HCTrouble that teamwork is important on the fireground. But I feel that succsessfull fireground work has to have a perfect balance of TRUST (of each-other's knowledge,abilities, ideas, planning, et al) as well as teamwork. They are not one and the same, and I just don't think they can be forged or fostered in a "boot camp" or "survivor" environment.

                            Yeah, when I played sports, I played on a successful team, as a teammate, with people I wouldn't trust to hold a tippy-cup of water without spilling. Teamwork and trust are not always the same.

                            I've gotten my best training (other than actual working incidents) from organized drills at my fire station and at the academy. As far as reflection and discussion - we go to the pub afterwards in a casual environment, and have honest reflection. And its a heck of a lot cheaper than going to an island. Informal yes. Practical and helpful - hell yeah!

                            My experience with corporate retreats has been pretty bad. No one is totally honest, and the deep-touchy moderators make me want to bludgeon myself with my own body parts.

                            [ 07-05-2001: Message edited by: bgfdchick ]
                            We're all in this together. FDNY 9-11-01

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                            • #15
                              I also agree with HC. Teamwork is essential on the firegorund. I just don't see it as a practical tool for fireground situations. Who's money are they using for this? Taxpayers?
                              You wanna learn how to survive a shipwreck, go practice on an island.
                              You wanna learn to survive in a fire, go practice at the academy.

                              [ 07-05-2001: Message edited by: ntvilleff ]

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