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WebCast Question: Generation Gap During Training

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  • WebCast Question: Generation Gap During Training

    Received this comment during the recent webcast.

    Comment: "I have a problem with older members training with us because they think they already know it all."

    Any advice for this member?

    Should we have old guy drills and young member drills? Is that even realistic?

    How can the experience of the senior members in your department be 'downloaded' to the young blood without making them think that the old farts think they know it all?

    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  • #2
    Ron, for the most part of the fire service a section I copied below applies. Heck I liked it so well I printed it out and it hangs on the board in my office for some of those "new ideas".

    Copied from a members signature section:

    "There are very few new ideas in the Fire Service. Many new things are tried and discarded when it is discovered the old idea worked better..." - the Late Tom Brennan, FDNY retired, editor, Fire Engineering Magazine

    However, extrication is a facet that is constantly evolving. To claim "they know it all" is a broad brush probably leading to the statement above. If the younger guys feel that way, shut up study more and in training be able to smell foul in the air and know there is a different way. The way I handle training is unless you are giving the class be quiet as in extrication there are numerous ways to arrive at the same result. So who is wrong? As long as it is a safe, efficient way that the individual can understand the prescribed goals, then let them continue those ideas and not interrupt as there is someone in class that might be able to grasp what is being taught. Older or younger members that want to bring in another viewpoint sign up and teach a class, anything else quit complaining. I have seen classes taught where everyone tries to input on a different view the instructor has and no one learns. I guarantee you I am the oldguy on my dept and have studied extrication more than my whole shift combined and unless I am doing the instruction for the day I do not interrupt class unless there is a safety issue going on. Granted the instructor might be teaching something I no longer do due to the updated ideas I have picked up over the years.

    Too many times we tend to cater to those that haven't dedicated the time, "lets not upset them". I have a lot to do in a short time and before I let someone agitate in a class I get them to alone and get my calendar out, " ah, what day would you like me to put you down to teach?" - problem solved
    Last edited by Capt387; 10-26-2010, 02:10 PM.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)


    • #3
      I'd hardly call myself grizzled, with 19 years in the volunteer fire service, but even in that time I have seen such a drastic evolution in cars and, consequently, extrication techniques. My first extrication class used a '78ish Mercury. Popping the door was more like scooting two concrete blocks apart. No bending, no tearing, just a good, satisfying POP and the thing was open. Fast forward to today and it's more like separating two cardboard boxes full of oatmeal.

      The point is to keep your demos fresh and modern. Get the newest cars you can find. Vary the scenarios. Group your guys into a mix of experience levels so they can help each other.
      “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
      ― Hunter S. Thompson


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