Real Advice to Probies

Iíve been spending some time training the probie lately.† What a good time.† Where does that motivation go?† What should I teach him?† At what point does my ďteachingĒ become ďstorytellingĒ? How long before he becomes the next whining lump on the couch?

My goal: Prevent him from becoming a couch creature, ever.

Hereís what Iím telling him;

  1. Until you prove yourself and/or you are off probation your priorities are as follows; get here early, check your personal gear, check/wash the truck, then house duties, finally you will be the last one to leave at the end of shift, sorry.
  2. Wear your equipment.† Let the ďsalty dogsĒ get caught with their pants down, they will have some excuse that makes it someone elseís fault that they werenít ready, you have none.
  3. Stay away from the coffee table until you know the first and last names of everyone there, and then sit there quietly until invited into discussion.
  4. No naps, donít park/wash your car in the firehouse, keep your butt in the radio room.
  5. When we do drills ask questions after the evolutions, not during.† Then ask for clarification if needed,we will†get it done right during training.† Also, during training is when we have time for mistakes and redoís, not during incidents.
  6. Listen to the war stories, but try to find the truth in them.† Try to figure out what was done incorrectly to end up in that situation.† Ask you officer if you have questions, donít ask the storyteller.
  7. If someone doesnít answer your questions adequately go to your officer or me.† Iíll have time for you; Iíll get you the best answer according to our SOPís.
  8. You are going to hear a lot of different things from different people.† Donít argue, just agree with them and do it their way for that day.† You will find your own methods, you just arenít allowed to right now.
  9. Make your own opinion about other people and other companies.† And put that off as long as possible, worry about doing YOUR job correctly first.
  10. I know you want to learn tech rescue, weíll get there.† Learn the pump and medical protocols first.† We will get to the rest later.
  11. These guys are not going to be around when you are 80 years old sitting in a rest home.† Hopefully your family will.† Be Safe, always remember your family when you are at work.
  12. Always have promotion in the back of your mind.† Find an officer to emulate.† Study, study, study there is a lot to this job and plenty of nationwide opportunities for knowledgeable and motivated personnel.

Iím not a mean guy and there are exceptions to everything, but I think if he follows this general outline heíll be just fine.† Even if he does make some mistakes I think heíll be better off then the probie on another group who asked the officer to move his car out of the firehouse so the probie could wash his own car.

Good luck all you new guys.† This is the greatest job.

Be Safe.

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com
Comments
Hollie Broughton
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
I was left feeling a little offended here. Trying to have an open mind, but also trying to figure out why you have to knock Pump operators so badly. Full time, I see your point. But I volunteer. And am a Pump operator/ Firefighter. I was graced with only 48 hours of training and 4…
2014-07-08 19:16:19
Jack Crais
Blanket Rules Vs Training
I enjoyed the ideas espoused in the article, but doesn't the acronym "K.I.S.S." mean "Keep it simple, stupid" or, for those who worry about hurting someone's feelings, "Keep it sweet and simple"?
2014-06-27 18:59:01
dennis
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
it was just a matter of time until this became evident in the fire serice. Unfortunately the dumbing down as you call it, could be a direct result of the nation's professional fire service being forced to hire candidates that have lower grades on their employment exams due to racial and ethnic quotas being enforced.
2014-06-25 17:46:09
Johnny
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
When I was a probie, we had pre-determined pressures, and we knew the friction loss for our hoses, but our Captain ran us through hydraulics classes. While we might not use those formulas, I'm still convinced the understanding is indispensable if one wants to be a great chauffeur.
2014-06-24 05:04:43
Ray McCormack
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
This is defenity part of it. When we are too busy to drill that's one thing but when we don't even get a chance to learn the options that is another issue. Complaints of lazy firefighters will only increase when technology can be blamed and used as the scapegoat for not knowing your job.
2014-06-24 01:24:00

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