Training scars

   How many times as instructors during training told everyone we can do this without bunker gear or watch as students did something wrong and not corrected it. These are what develop training scars. Training scars are developed from bad habits on the training ground, these scars are what promote bad habits on the fire scene. I am guilty of these just as much as anyone else, being mentally drained during training or maybe something else is on my mind allows me to miss those bad habits. When we show up to train students that is our priority and other things need to take that back seat. 

   Something as easy as not pulling hose in full bunker can develop those scars. When students are pulling hose for the first time, sure have them pull it without the pack, so they get the technique down, but then make sure they get reps with full gear on. We don’t pull hose or throw ladders on scene without pants and helmets on so why don’t we on the fire ground. I have watched firefighters pull hose or throw ladders on the training ground without issues until they put on full gear. Never should we throw new firefighters into the deep end and say sink or swim, that is the best way to lose firefighters quick.

   Many instructors follow the crawl, walk, and run method of teaching. The crawl method is talking about the techniques and why we do it the way we do then demonstrating. Then having the students get reps in so they become comfortable. Then we move to the walking stage, this is when students need to start gearing up and training. Have them perform the tasks with their gear on but at a reduced pace to better get a feel of the task. When they are ready, start training at full speed just as we would on the fire ground. 

   Some students will take more time to develop those skills, I have found that having multiple instructors works well so those that are struggling can work with instructors off to the side to make sure they are not being overwhelmed or feel like they don’t belong. 

   Training scars can also be developed when we push students that are not understanding to a point where they give up in their minds, they believe they cannot perform that task and will always avoid it on the training ground and fire ground. 

   In conclusion as instructors, we need to make sure when performing training that we train as we would perform on the fire ground. If the task requires full PPE, then train in full PPE. Watch for bad habits and correct them. Ensure though that you do not degrade a student or make them feel like a failure. Work with them to develop the correct techniques, if needed have them work off to the side away from the others.


Blaze Publications, Inc.

Jeff Gargano - Editor
P.O. Box 122
Humboldt, IA 50548

News and Advertising: News and advertising deadlines are the 15th of each month for the next month's issue.


Comment Here