It should be a habit that every time you come off of the truck for an alarm there should be a tool in your hand. And take a tool that you can do something with. Some of the most common tools are the Halligan and a flat head ax. You can take a pick headed ax and/or a sledge hammer, depending on what your function or task is.
Personally, I believe that there needs to be, at least at the state level, a system that requires continuing education and minimum job performance evaluations. I have heard that the last thing the fire service needs is more unfunded mandates required by non-firefighting personnel. To that comment, I agree. However, it cannot be overlooked that we are in a time and era of firefighting like we have never seen before. We have all heard someone say that “this ain’t your father’s fire service anymore.”