When we signed on to become a firefighter, we had very little “Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Experiences”....
Granted, a few came to “Day 1” with some applicable life skills and some inherent abilities built right in. But generally, we all had a lot to learn.
“Master of their craft or a master of the TV remote?”
Then, with a lot of help from those that came before, we got through probation and the first couple of years. We became more confident; and with that confidence, comfortable. “Comfortable” is the kryptonite of the Fire Service. “Comfortable” is the brother to “Complacency”; and “Complacency” is the ugly father of “Calamity”. It happens to each and every one of us at different points in our career. It is what you do when “Comfort” creeps in that makes all the difference.
So the question I ask and the challenge I issue today is this – “What have you done today?”
What have you done to increase, improve or reinforce your knowledge, skills and abilities?
- read an article on the Fire Service
- watch a video on strategies, tactics and tasks
- practice building size-up on the way into a medical call ( situational awareness )
- do some hands-on training
- teach a member of your crew a new skill or learn one from her/him
- review and discuss LODD and Serious Injury reports from around North America
- have a debrief conversation at the table about what to “sustain and improve” the next time around ( drills or calls )
- hit the gym
- crack a book on “Pumps and Pumping”
- do some district study with the “New Guy”
- do a “Tactical” and have a conversation about building construction with the crew
- listen to a podcast on the way in to work
- POCs – prepare for the topic on the upcoming evening practice
You get the point. It’s doing something that’s not scheduled or expected in your day-to-days; something outside the routine. This is your chosen craft. You said “yes!” to this responsibility. The learning and preparing should never stop.
You don’t have to justify what you are (or aren’t) doing …but you DO owe it to many;
And at some point in your career (for some, this has happened already…and will likely happen again) a human being is going place their health and welfare, their very “life and limb” in your hands. Will those be the hands of a master of their craft or a master of the TV remote?
That is up to you.
See ya on the Road,