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  • Whats you opinion

    How many of you out there have gone to fire academy or new recruit school and learned the book way of doing things just to go shift and have the guys/gals tell you not to do it the book way but to do it the street way.


    For example a friend of mine was teaching some new guys on our volly dept how to take a charged hose line up a ladder. He was going on and on word for word from the book how to do this task. I put my 2 cents in and told them the way I learned how to do this is put the hose under one arm and over the oppsite shoulder and use your chest to help push/pull the hose up the ladder this way you can keep both hands on the ladder, and the second guy just puts it over his shoulder and goes up. Nope has to be by the book, when you know if an officer is screaming at you to get up there you will grab the hose and haul *** up the ladder anyway you can.

    Whats your opinion on this?

  • #2
    Well, I don't mean to sound like a fence sitter, but I think both schools of thought have their pros and cons. I think the trick is to strike a good balance between the two and use that to your full advantage.

    While there are definitely things I've learned from reading a book or watching a training video, other times I really have to wonder if the people who come up with the stuff have ever actually put any of their methods and theories to the real world test. I often think that the real reason some of these inferior methods are used over superior tried and trued ones is a fear of liability. If you compared some of the book methods to their real world counterparts, I think quite a few times you'll find that the book method is the "safe" method. Or that it's the more universal or generic method, which is another factor. You'd be hard pressed to find any two depts in the entire world that do things 100% identical. Even neighboring depts that work hand in hand frequently will have some variation, even if it might be fairly negligible. So rather than writing a book on pump ops and giving all 500+ methods of doing something a certain way, it's easier to pick one or two universally recognized methods and focus on them. Again though, what works great in LA might not work well in NY, and vice versa.

    On the flip side, just because something has worked for your dept for 100 years doesn't mean it's the most efficient or safest way. You can always learn something new either from a book or from watching other depts work. Sometimes that's the downside to training guys without using any materials like books that provide a consistent method, you either won't know about improved methods that might've come out, or maybe you're not exactly doing the safest thing for your guys.

    I will also say that I think it would be very difficult to be a good firefighter using only 100% book knowledge. In contrast, I think you would probably do just fine with 100% street knowledge, provided you learned from people that know what the hell they're doing. I know the more scholarly among us will argue that point, but it's a weak argument. People have been performing the job for centuries on street skill and knowledge alone and have faired perfectly fine. I'm not discouraging opening a book once in awhile, quite the contrary. What I am saying is that if you think getting a doctorate degree in fire science alone is going to make you a great firefighter, it won't. Sitting on the pump panel with your slide rule calculating the drag coefficient of the hose given its length, resistance based on type of inner liner, degree of curve where the hose is slightly bent, etc. to calculate the precise amount of friction loss won't do a bit of good to the guys inside that need more water. You have to have common sense and real world experience and practical skill and knowledge.

    Again, it's all about balance, as are most things in life.

    Comment


    • #3
      As a recruit school instructor for my career department, I have the pleasure of dealing with this every time that a new school is graduated and hits the streets. "What the hell did they teach you that for, this is the way it's really done..."

      As instructors, we're bound by liability. If a firefighter gets injured performing a task that is outside of the accepted methods, and it comes to light that it was a "Street Trick" that we tought them, then we have a lot to answer for. Does the textbook show items that are often not really the way that we do it? Sure. But since there are about 1000 ways to accomplish any task, we stick with the text ... not only does it keep the testing fair, it (hopefully) keeps the instructors out of court!

      A good instructor will be able to use his street knowledge to teach the students within the department/state/local guidelines, and make them better firefighters at the same time.
      Career Fire Captain
      Volunteer Chief Officer


      Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback. My other question has anyone else been taught the same method that I discribed above take the charged line under one arm and over the opposite shoulder letting the nozzle hang behind you and using your body or chest to help pull the hose up the ladder?

        Comment


        • #5
          There has always been a disconnect between the Academy way and the Street way, especially in EMS. But, good instructors have the talent to bring the gap closer together.

          There is a USFA Technical Report that even mentions this issue. The following is a excerpt from that report.

          Attitude and The “Training Academy Way”—One of the cornerstones of fire service training is to impart the correct attitude towards firefighting from instructor to student. Failure to pass on the appropriate attitudes and force unit discipline in fire training can have a lasting effect on students. One problem consistently voiced by experienced fire service personnel is the attitude that there is a “training academy
          way” of doing things, and the “real” way of doing things (outside of training). The “training academy way” should be synonymous with the “right way.”


          The full report can be found at:

          http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pd...tr-100-508.pdf
          Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
          "Everybody Goes Home"

          IACOJ 2003

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 27Truck
            Thanks for the feedback. My other question has anyone else been taught the same method that I discribed above take the charged line under one arm and over the opposite shoulder letting the nozzle hang behind you and using your body or chest to help pull the hose up the ladder?
            Thats how I do it...
            Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

            IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

            "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
            RUSH-Tom Sawyer

            Success is when skill meets opportunity
            Failure is when fantasy meets reality

            Comment


            • #7
              If you live by "textbook" ways, youll die by textbook ways. You need to be able to understand a few simple things in this job...not in any specific order...

              - What is the task
              - How can you do it without getting hurt
              - What is your physical condition/capability
              - What tool(s) will accomplish the task

              Be able to do things a few ways, not just one. You need to be able to stay on your toes and think through some of the hairy situations that come down the line at you.

              On a last note, in 13 years I've never carried a charged hoseline up a ladder (except to clean out my gutters and in the academy), and I honestly dont know if I can think of a situation where I would??

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MG3610
                On a last note, in 13 years I've never carried a charged hoseline up a ladder (except to clean out my gutters and in the academy), and I honestly dont know if I can think of a situation where I would??
                Fire in an attic with very limited access both from the floor below and for an aerial device to be put into place. Or, as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You know what happens when you throw a book at a fire?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by E229Lt
                    You know what happens when you throw a book at a fire?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by E229Lt
                      You know what happens when you throw a book at a fire?
                      I am going to use that one soon.

                      However, to me, your comment does seem to lean towards the "why the hell did they teach you that at The Rock..." attitude. No?
                      Career Fire Captain
                      Volunteer Chief Officer


                      Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Chauffer6]Fire in an attic with very limited access both from the floor below and for an aerial device to be put into place. Or, as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.QUOTE]

                        If you have decided that you're going to spray water in the windows, its usually just as effective (or ineffective as it usually results to be) to do it from the ground in most cases (in my opinion). You've essentially resorted to defensive tactics at that point. Sure, theres a once in a while possibility of having to do that but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 27Truck
                          How many of you out there have gone to fire academy or new recruit school and learned the book way of doing things just to go shift and have the guys/gals tell you not to do it the book way but to do it the street way.


                          For example a friend of mine was teaching some new guys on our volly dept how to take a charged hose line up a ladder. He was going on and on word for word from the book how to do this task. I put my 2 cents in and told them the way I learned how to do this is put the hose under one arm and over the oppsite shoulder and use your chest to help push/pull the hose up the ladder this way you can keep both hands on the ladder, and the second guy just puts it over his shoulder and goes up. Nope has to be by the book, when you know if an officer is screaming at you to get up there you will grab the hose and haul *** up the ladder anyway you can.

                          Whats your opinion on this?
                          Opinion on what. On your sticking your nose in where it had no business being? Some "friend". The guy is TEACHING A CLASS and you're disrupting it with unsolicited "advice". IE: telling him and the newbies he is INSTRUCTING that he's all screwed up/doesn't know diddly. Yeah your a great buddy. He chew you a new one like he should have?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MG3610
                            If you have decided that you're going to spray water in the windows, its usually just as effective (or ineffective as it usually results to be) to do it from the ground in most cases (in my opinion). You've essentially resorted to defensive tactics at that point. Sure, theres a once in a while possibility of having to do that but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
                            I respectfully disagree. While I'm not an advocate of spraying water into windows while standing outside in place of aggressive interior attacks, there ARE instances where it's neither a defensive maneuver nor is it ineffective to do so. At the fire pictured, for example, there were already handlines operating inside. The house was balloon frame construction and the fire had reached the attic space quickly. Had the crew stood on the ground and attempted to shoot water all the way up into the attic, only then would the idea have been futile and ineffective. As it turned out, it was a very smart move because they were able to accurately put just enough water on the fire up there to knock it down and prevent a lot more damage. That, coupled with the interior lines, proved to be an extremely effective operation and most of the house was saved. This is not the first time depts in our area have made good use of a tactic like this, and it's really not all that dissimilar to a blitz-type attack, albeit on a much smaller scale.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BoxAlarm187
                              A good instructor will be able to use his street knowledge to teach the students within the department/state/local guidelines, and make them better firefighters at the same time.

                              Originally posted by Chauffer6

                              Again, it's all about balance, as are most things in life.

                              BOTH ARE OH SO TRUE!!! I TOTALLY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID.

                              An instructor myself, I always try to teach a blend of textbook with a splash of experience. You have to have a balance between "book smarts" and "street smarts." In my experience, firefighters learn by doing. You can only learn so much from a textbook without going and practicing what you have learned. Teach by the book but back it up with experience. When they are done and are in the real world, I want them to say to themselves, "...oh yeah, I've done this before."
                              Very true, just because we have been doing it one way for 200 years and can't change now just means that maybe you have been doing it wrong for 200 years. Maybe not "wrong" but the new way may be safer or smarter.

                              I teach 3 basic fundamentals....

                              1. Be safe. No matter what you do, be safe about it. You ARE your brother's keeper.
                              2. Work smarter, not harder. Think about it. Action vs. Reaction.
                              3. The day you think you know it all is the day you need to retire. It's a constant learning process.

                              My biggest disclaimer...." I will show you several ways to skin a cat. You use the way that your department policy says you shall use."
                              Jason Knecht
                              Firefighter/EMT
                              Township Fire Dept., Inc.
                              Eau Claire, WI

                              IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
                              http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
                              EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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