Adequate training will prevent you from committing an error the first time whereas experience will help you to avoid making any mistake the second time.
This is a quote mentioned by a fire service mentor I am acquainted with. Being an experienced individual who has served for more than 40 years in the fire service department he comprehends the fact that in case we rely on it solely it won't be feasible to achieve our target of optimal service delivery for the citizens. Unfortunately, experience is viewed by some individuals in our profession as the sole worthy teacher. On many occasions, I differ from them while debating strategies and other similar things.
Let me clarify it so that there will be no misunderstanding
EXPERIENCE IS INVALUABLE! Nevertheless, it is quite difficult for you to control it and it is something which you will not be able to measure. Moreover, it is going to vary depending on what exactly you do and also the location where you work. It is not possible for a rural firefighter to have sufficient experience by attending one fire every month as compared to the urban firefighter who usually goes to as many as 25 fires every month. However, the rural firefighter was required to establish a draft on that particular fire every month whereas the urban firefighter had the opportunity to hit a hydrant every single time. Moreover, the rural firefighter was required to manage large homes and also stretch long lines while the urban firefighter did pull a pre-connect while dealing with a home having an area of 1000 square feet. Now the question that arises is who has got more experience. I believe that although the experience is not the same, both of them do have value. It will be prudent not to discount either of them while neither is applicable to each fire department and must be assessed as such. It is now evident that it is not possible to control experience; however, let us talk about what can be controlled.
Things that can be controlled
Training: It is not required to train for a minimum of 60 minutes in every single session. It will be advisable to spend most of this training period on what you actually perform. Drafting, dry hydrants, tanker shuttles and so on ought to be the rule in case you happen to be a rural department. On the other hand, training must be provided by the urban departments on forcing entry, stretching lines into occupancies of different shapes as well as sizes and also hydrant operations. Investing some time in training for the oddball materials is also essential. A big city experiencing a water problem must comprehend how to draft. In case a severe forcible entry situation is encountered by a rural department, they must understand how to cope with it; experience will not be able to teach these things effectively.
Education: It is advisable for you to study regarding fire services as much as you can (I believe one hour every day on or off duty will be okay). Make it a point to go through blogs, magazines, and books and so on and also reread them, make an attempt to comprehend them, highlight the passages and read them again. Besides this, get beyond your comfort zone and take classes.
Physical fitness: Fitness is actually a job necessity and not an option by any means. Although you might not like the idea of getting in shape for yourself, perform it for your family, your crew as well as your citizens.
Attitude: Negative attitudes will be detrimental for any organization. Attitude is actually an option! While choosing your reaction to each situation, try to have an optimistic attitude.
How to control them? Commence with one hour of going through anything related to fire service, one hour of hands-on training and one hour of physical fitness in every single session! In fact, this must be your minimum standard and it will help to link the gap of experience. You might have trained or read about a certain thing which has not been done by you before and in case you are confronted with it in your actual life you are going to have at least a starting point rather than no clue at all. As a matter of fact, you will be in a position to be more efficient in case you train or read on any particular thing which is performed by you extensively. By being in proper shape you will be capable of dealing with any situation successfully which you might be required to confront with and will be able to not only survive but also thrive.
Never waste any day that you do not invest in your team, in yourself as well as your organization.
I convey thanks to you for going through the article; make it a point to spread the word and REMAIN SAFE!