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"Training-in-context"- does anyone use this and what are your thoughts?

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  • "Training-in-context"- does anyone use this and what are your thoughts?

    "Training-in'context" -While NFPA standards are a nationally accepted consensus and they attempt to serve a broad range of fire services, training to those standards must also take place within the needs and resources of the community. Training in context focuses on the needs of the department recognizing that they have limited time and resources, they may not own the apparatus or equipment that is assumed by a particular standard or that the skills and knowledge required in the standard are not applicable to rural firefighters.

    I am also looking at training standards (and related training deaths) for another of my papers. I would be interested to know if any departments out there have used this concept and what your thoughts are.

    As always, your thoughts, opinions and criticisms are welcome and appreciated.

    Cheffie

  • #2
    If I actually understand what you are trying to ask, I would hazard a guess that all rural depts do this to some extent. They may not realize there is a formal name for it though.

    I know we could not possibly train the entire contents of the NFPA standards. We try to train the basic theory of everything in FF1 & 2 program, but must limit the practical training to what we (or a neighbouring dept) has in our community and hall. For example, we teach the Hazmat lessons from the "Essentials of Firefighting", but none of us have ever seen or used most of that equipment outside of a trade show because we don't need more than the basics in our remote resort community.

    I think we all "train-in-context" to varying degrees, and I don't think there is any other way for most of us to do it.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

    Comment


    • #3
      The pioneers of TIC were a guy names Bryan Crandall (the other one's name escapes me) out of Montanna...(Missoula I think). When it was presented to me in it's entire broad sense, I did not like it. When they were selling it to us they told us they could take a person off the street and have him/her operationally ready to function somewhat effectively in 16 hours or less.

      Again....when it was presented it has things such as placing 4 chairs in the bay with two facing front and two facing out. You began by pretending that you were dressing and the person driving pretended to sit in the cab, start the apparatus and drive. you repeated that exercise several times and then you graduated to actually putting on your gear and then pretending you were arriving at the fire and dismounting. This pretending continued with the addition of a step until you were at a point you had your gear on, were at the fire, with a line pulled, on air and to the front door. Then you went back and did it for real.... I thought to myself......I said..."Self...this is BS!" My contention was that you could not make a guy who had been in the service for any length of time "pretend" he was dressing. It was a joke. This pretending thing was from everything from knots to ladders. Before you touched anything you "pretended to go through the steps."

      However, we did like the concept of training as you do business on the fireground. So we took a look at it and decided that we would run our evolutions and training exercises as we would be responding. We went to the site and described the activity and then started the drill with a "call" being dispatched and the training evolution proceded from there. The troops seemed to like it and it was much better than walking out in the bay and yanking a ladder off to do ladder training. We did exercises that mirrored actual fireground activities and tactics. Officers were given the scenario and then had to manage it. I should clarify here that we were a combination department that was responsible for working with the volunteer training officers to train their people as well as career staff.

      Going a step further... In our Minimum standards training at the fire academy we used a minimum of 12 instructors on live burn days in our buildings. Additionally, we would require the volunteer training officers to get at least 2 pumpers with drivers to supplemnt our training academy pumper and ladder and we would pay two additional drivers to drive those units and one additional driver to operate our spare pumper which had the safety line for the RIT. We also had an ambulance staffed by volunteers.

      On burn days we had the following positions filled by instructors:
      Incident Commander
      Inside Safety (first Floor)
      Inside Safety (Second floor)
      Outside Safety
      1st Engine Officer
      2nd Engine Officer
      3rd engine Officer
      Dispatch
      RIT (2 Instructors plus 2 students)

      (Note: The driver of the 3rd Engine was to park it out of the way and was designated to insure Water supply was established.

      The fires would be lit, the units would start off by dressing and then "respond" from the other side of the academy. They would lay a supply line on the way in with the first in engine being in charge until the IC arrived and took over. Other units would get assigned, the would pull lines, do search, ventilate, throw ladders, fight fire....whatever they were assigned.... The Ambulance would set up rehab. This gave the students in the class a chance to use their skills as they would on the fire ground.... Much better than sitting in the grass, waiting to be told to get dressed, and walking to the front door to grab the line and then pull it in. The students would rotate through each engine and then the truck until they all had been in the burn building at least 4 times in a day. they moved from 1st engine to 2nd to 3rd to the truck and so on. We would usually used groups of no more than 3 students with the instructor. This meant that most of the time about 3 other groups would be on "break" and observing. We usually managed to accomplish at least 8-12 entries in a day. This was rather grueling on the instructors but we also had a rotation set up for us to make it a bit less painful.

      We felt the students were much better prepared to hit the streets after this class. In our minimum standards they usually had 4 live burn days that increased in intensity from only smoke, to one fire on one floor to multiple fires. We would do emergency evacuations and "lose" a firefighter (by pulling one to the side and away from the group

      We also used this process for our 18 week career recruit school and felt it worked well. Again...the students got more out of it because for each evolution we did, they did it as they would in the field... It also gave us instructors (most of whom were officers) a chance to practice out incident command. We required the recruits to have accountability tags (career or volunteer). We used the passport system and it was practiced during the training academy. This way, not only the students got to see it and how it worked, the Officers got to practice using it. e would do emergency evacuations and "lose" a firefighter (by pulling one to the side and away from the group and when the PAR was done, the RIT team had to be activated to enter and "find the firefighter." This was pre-determined before the start and the Inside Safety knew to place a hose dummy in the building on the floor after the crews evacuated. Then the students" on the RIT team got to practice and experience that. They were futher instructed that if we told them this was a "real emergency" they were to stay outside and report to the CP and only the instructors entered.

      We did the same for car fires. Car would be lit, unit dispatched, they dressed out, and "responded" from out of site of the burn.
      Truck officer.

      This process was resource intense and I had to beg, borrow and steal to get approval for that many instructors. But the process worked well we thought and as time went on, we received positive feedback on the recruits (volunteer and career) that were hitting the streets.
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      ------------------------------
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
      BMI Investigator
      ------------------------------
      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by captstanm1
        Again....when it was presented it has things such as placing 4 chairs in the bay with two facing front and two facing out. You began by pretending that you were dressing and the person driving pretended to sit in the cab, start the apparatus and drive. you repeated that exercise several times and then you graduated to actually putting on your gear and then pretending you were arriving at the fire and dismounting. This pretending continued with the addition of a step until you were at a point you had your gear on, were at the fire, with a line pulled, on air and to the front door. Then you went back and did it for real.... I thought to myself......I said..."Self...this is BS!"
        Wow, what a complete waste of time. Maybe this is something useful for juniors/explorers, but how many times do you really have to show somebody how to dress and sit in the engine, etc.

        I agree that running the academy drills as you described improves the experience. That is basically how we try to do most of our training (when we have that many bodies), and it does keep them interested and maximize the available time.
        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

        IACOJ

        Comment


        • #5
          Pshycologists call it "Operant Conditioning" whereby by the time the person does it for real they are familiar and comfortable enough not to panic or get into trouble.

          The same as pilots doing flight simulators.

          Cap Stan demonstrates a damn site more effective method of using it, realistic situation training, not just "Tonight we raise and lower ladders."

          Use training that extends your people, try to involve an exercise that forces them to think lateraly to solve it, and make sure that their safety and SOP's are integrated with the solution.
          Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
          Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

          Comment


          • #6
            CaptStan- Thank you so much. I am going to print up your post and make a few notes as I have a few questions.

            Thanks for the input Kiwi and MC. The help you guys give me is invaluable and very much appreciated. One day I will have to come cook for you and your crews (A real meal!!!!).

            Comment


            • #7
              MC,Before you judge too harshly,look over your personnel next time out.I do regularly and from time to time I find slackers who don't dress properly and these aren't rookies either.MFT&E has been using training in context for some years now,but we do it by "providing the vision/ie a demonstration"and have the student do it the same way.Thru repetition the students falls into a safe/repeatable routine.I'm a believer that the concept works.T.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have always felt the fire service could learn a lot from the US Army in regards to training styles and standards. The Army system of Battle Focused Training is a very well developed and easily adaptable for the fire service.

                First, each unit generates a Mission Essential Task List, or METL, that is comprised of those tasks that the unit may be tasked to do, such as "Emplace Hasty Minefield" or "Conduct Raid", for the fire service you could put "conduct Interior Attack" or "Extigiush Vehicle Fire". A combat engineer unit will not train for Quartermaster operations, and likewise a Quatermaster Units METL will not include emplacing a minefield. In the same way, a rural VFD will not need a task that deals with a high rise apartment or a lot of hydrant training, and FDNY will not need tasks such as tanker operations or fighting silo fires.

                Each task is made up of as many supporting or sub-tasks as may be needed.to possible complete the task. For a military unit, such would include the basics down to mainating and firing a weapon, individual movement and camoflauge, first aid tasks, and lots of general tasks, as well as some that would be more specific to the METL task, such as "emplace M-15 landmine" "mark minefield" etc. For extinguish a vehicle fire you would have "operate fire apparatus" "pump water with fire apparatus" "wear PPC", "wear SCBA", "Charge and use handline" "use foam fire streams" "Identify scene hazards and safety considerations" "use portable extinguishers" "extinguish vehicle fire" "lay hoselines" "perform radio communications" and I could probably indentify a lot more if I sat down and thought about it.

                There are also what are called "leader tasks" the incorporate to each METL task and many subtasks, these are additional responsibilities to be done by leaders at each level. For a car fire, it would include "scene safety and size up" "supervise fire operations" "perform accountability" etc.

                There are also supporting tasks that are dependant upon outside units, and in our case that would be "perform traffic control" by the PD and "recive 911 information and dispatch department" by the EOC. These tasks are ones that you cannot do yourself, but the accomplishment of your mission is still dependant upon these being done to standard.

                Each task is listed in the appropriate training manual with every step needed to do it, and the standards to which it must be done. Some supporting tasks come into play in almost every METL task, and some are specific to certain tasks. You start at the lowest level supporting task, and train those to standard, and then work them all together to train for the main METL tasks.

                For more info look here
                http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...-100/chap2.htm

                Probably more than you wanted to know, but my .02 from 11 years working with the Army system.
                Last edited by radioguy; 09-19-2003, 01:33 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd like to echo Radio's comments about the military model but on a slightly different note:

                  You still need to do the basic "Tonight we are going to put up and take down ladders" training. The Marine Corps requires every Marine to go to the rifle range once a year and shoot in a way increadibly unlike anyone will shoot in combat. The first sesion of training you don't even get bullets, you dry fire. When we do get bullets we shoot from 4 positions (standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone) and use techniques that would make you a sitting duck on a battle field, yet it teaches basic marksmanship and rifle skills which you will use when running through combat. They drum in safety and proper technique which will make every shot count when the $hit hits the fan.

                  I love "training in context" and have personally organized a couple of sessions where we "did it like it was real" with due regard for our own safety. However, until you make everyone put the 35' triple extension up and down (in the ladder example) you won't know who has trouble feeling the dogs lock and who can't tie the halyard to save their life. It is important to know this so those deficienties are found and corrected (or at least recognized) before they are needed on the fireground.
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                  IACOJ Fire Boat 1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    you guys are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    Probably more than you wanted to know, but my .02 from 11 years working with the Army system.
                    radioguy-thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Your input is invaluable (and worth far more than .02.) I am prinitng up my replies and making notes. Hopefully, I will have time to come back this weekend with my questions and pick your brains some more of you don't mind.

                    fire304-As I said above the information you are sharing is invaluable and deeply appreciated. I can only learn theory from books. All of you have the years of experience and knowledge.

                    You guys are so swesome!! Thank you.

                    Comment

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