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Fun Training Ideas for An Engine Company

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  • KatieDownes
    Training is important even for writers. When I started writing my first stories, I always had problems with my vocabulary. I began to write various essays about such works of art as Macbeth. You can see examples of my work here https://tooly.io/macbeth/. It really helps to quickly replenish your vocabulary. Now I am already a professional writer and can give advice to beginners.

    Leave a comment:

  • tbzep
    Several good ones have been listed. Sometimes generic maze style SCBA training can get boring, especially if it is limited to the usual style framed maze in the corner of the bay or the occasional abandoned house that's never available when you have time to train. Hit the local school/community playground. Lay out hose lines all through the various structures and apparatus. There are tons of constricted areas where you can simulate squirming between wall studs, collapses, etc. You can have hoses cross over each other multiple times and have them find their way back to the engine. Though you'd never go headfirst out a window or any other drop off without knowing what's below, you can end your maze at the spiral (or regular) slide for some extra fun. Be forewarned, if the equipment is powdercoated metal, you may chip a little paint, so don't use a brand spanking new piece that your school or community has just installed. Let the kids put the patina on it first! Black out the masks and have fun. Throw in a rescue dummy every now and then. One of the advantages of this is you can do completely different courses each time you train without having to disassemble and reassemble your typical station training props. People stop by and watch, ask questions, etc. It's fun and good P.R.

    Edit: Get permission from the school or city/county first!
    Last edited by tbzep; 12-14-2018, 10:20 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • tree68
    Originally posted by johnsb View Post
    Water ball is a fun diversion that teaches pump ops and hose advancement,
    One of the drills the Georgia muster teams have/had available used three 30 gallon trash cans (filled with water) and a quarter keg. Two trash cans were set up as the start/finish line, the third some distance out. The goal was to push the keg (sitting on it's bottom) out, around the third trash can, and back using a hose line. If you're competing, just keep times and the best time wins.

    While not really a firefighting skill, the drill does emphasize teamwork in keeping the nozzleman in a position to move the barrel in the appropriate direction.

    Some other ideas from that Association: http://www.oocities.org/georgiaffmuster/rules.htm

    Some might be useful drills, some less so. But all of them could be fun.

    Leave a comment:

  • FyredUp
    We have done competition during some drills with a prize like a candy bar or something. The prize is less important than bragging rights.

    The last one we did was a single firefighter crosslay pull. We have 2 crosslays so a single firefighter pulled a crosslay from each side of the engine. How it started was they had to dress out in PPE, climb into the rig, put on SCBA then come back out and pull the crosslay. The hose had to be laid out properly and time stopped when they called for water. We stressed doing it safely.

    The competition was intense and people had fun doing it.

    Leave a comment:

  • Too_Old
    Do a walk-through of larger commercial buildings in your service area. Call up whoever manages the building to set up. Knowing that that door that should get you to the outside leads into another walk-in may save your life one day.
    Agree that most 'games' have limited training value.

    Train your standard engine company evolution, go on air at the door of the firehouse, pull a charged handline down a hallway while on air and close to the ground. Have the younger guys see how quickly they go through their bottle if they have to do work. Leave a dummy, have a crew drag the dummy down a hallway while on air etc.

    Leave a comment:

  • johnsb
    Water ball is a fun diversion that teaches pump ops and hose advancement, you need a level, taut cable that has a free pulley on it with a keg or large ball attached. You basically have two hose teams that are trying to push the ball to the opposite end to win. If you have two engines, you can set up a dump tank in the middle and have a competition to see who can get a draft going and charge the line first two.

    Leave a comment:

  • slackjawedyokel
    I agree with jes82 --- the plain old basics (which are what usually makes or breaks the incident) can still be fun. Do it for time/bragging rights , but most of all "train like you play" ---I know I am in the minority , but extraction jenga seems like a waste of time. Almost every instance I see , they are doing it in a well lit /climate controlled /flat bay

    Leave a comment:

  • jes82
    - Set up a CPAT/Firefighter Combat style obstacle course (advance hoselines, throw ladders, drag rescue dummies, etc). Compete for time. Do it on air to add an extra challenge.
    - Complete the One Man Engine Company test (ie work alone and complete all the assigned duties of a first in engine company). Put the truck in pump, hand jack supply line back to a hydrant, connect to the hydrant and supply the engine with water, stretch a hoseline to the front door, charge it, and advance it, all by yourself.
    - Train on less common engine company operations: advance charged and uncharged hoselines up ladders; extend an attack line if you come up short; break down supply line to attack line using a gated wye or some other appliance.

    I hope these ideas help. But I also want to say that I believe its important to continue training basic skills through repetition. And I think we should encourage that mindset in other firefighters. So when the guy says "but we just pulled lines last week," someone should push back a little, and challenge him to see the value in it.

    Of course every firefighter knows how to stretch a hoseline. But understanding the basic principles, and being able to do it perfectly every time, are two different things. Like shooting a free throw. I can tell you the mechanics of it, but just because I know how, doesn't mean I shoot 90% from the free throw line. And the reason I don't, is because I don't practice enough. A good basketball player will shoot a 1000 free throws in a week; most fireman haven't stretched a hoseline 1000 times in their entire career.

    If the first in engine company can't quickly stretch to the door, charge the hoseline, and advance to the seat of the fire, perfectly, every time, no matter the obstacles (lots of 90 degree corners, hoarding conditions, long driveways, short approaches that leave line piled in the street, narrow streets with parked cars, holes in the floor, missing stairs, etc etc etc) then they haven't practiced enough. Can you honestly say you pull a hoseline perfectly every time? I know I can't. Either way, just food for thought.

    Leave a comment:

  • tree68
    Make a game out of something - think Jenga with cribbing and the jaws. Sports in full bunkers - basketball and dodgeball come to mind - (and maybe on air). Write items of equipment on cards, and have members go find them (a little harder - have someone else put it back). Consider an evening of "show and tell." Assign members a piece of equipment and have them research the history of the item and explain it's use, even if everyone already knows how to use it (ie, as though they were explaining it to someone who has never seen it, or as if they were trying to sell it).

    Get out the TIC and heat up some rocks. Do searches to find the rocks. Maybe try freezing the rocks - not sure how that would play out, but it's worth a try so folks look for the dark as well as the light.

    Put together a collection of fire scene videos and have the group critique them. Perhaps after a "why did they take so long" video, go out and duplicate the evolution against the clock.

    If you have the resources/props, run the air consumption test as a competition.

    As fire5555 suggests - ask for input, and for ways they think doing a "same old" evolution could be made more interesting.

    Good luck, and be sure to share what you come up with!

    Leave a comment:

  • carter.rowe
    started a topic Fun Training Ideas for An Engine Company

    Fun Training Ideas for An Engine Company

    I want to first start off by thanking you for reading this. I am looking for a way to help our company do some more exciting training on drill nights. Right now, we mainly focus on Engine company operations as well as EMS skills. A lot of our members are loyal to the department, but are getting tired of every drill night do the same things. I'm looking for some ideas that could help us get together as a company and learn in a different way than we have been. I would really appreciate it if any of you had some good ideas. Have a wonderful rest of your day!

    Very Truly Yours,

    Carter Rowe
    Bucks County, Pennsylvania- Station 62, Ivyland.
    Junior FireFighter

    Just wanted to let you all know that we operate an Engine and a TAC. We don't have a rescue or any sort of laddar trucks, as the title states we're just an engine company.

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