Opportunities for Training: Not Just on the Drill Ground

Many times we pass on opportunities to train or learn something although many situations lend themselves to doing so. Look for ways to incorporate the situation or circumstance that you are dealing with into a learning moment. The pictures below are of a company training on aerial ops with a candidate operator.

It was a call for an alarm sounding at a medical building after hours. After looking in the windows and doors and seeing no signs of smoke or fire and with the lock box key not fitting the locks to allow us entry, we had to call for a key holder.

The key holder was at least 45 minutes away, so we sat. Well, not really. It was dark, an empty parking lot and we had nothing but time. A perfect time to “check the roof.”

We took the opportunity to not only check the HVAC on the roof, but we drilled with the operator in training on different techniques and skills in a controlled environment, but not on a scheduled drill.

The bottom picture is of a similar event that allowed us to ladder the roof with a parapet wall, something we don’t get to do a great deal of.  It was a small kitchen fire that was easily extinguished prior to our arrival.  We took the opportunity to use a ground ladder instead of the attached ladder on the side of the building to practice some skills.

Take advantage of and look for ways to train and drill when they present themselves. Don’t just wait for training and drills to be scheduled, take initiative and grab these opportunities by the horns.

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

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