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Who Did You Light Today?

Who Did You Light Today?

Michael West, Fired Up Training Services, LLC

3. Develop the idea of the classroom with no chairs. The fire engine is our classroom, the building in our first due is our classroom, and the bay floor is our classroom. Try this drill. Stand in front of the rig with the rest of the members.

Touch a compartment door with your hand and ask, what’s behind this door? If everyone knows, open the door and pull out one of the pieces of equipment that you haven’t used in a while. Hook it up, start it, flow water through it, put it on. Whatever that equipment is used for, do it. You’ll find a little bay time will lead to an interactive drill that means something big.

4. Teach while you are on a run. Recently I ran an alarm bells call in a high rise. As we entered the building I told the firefighters to start looking for the detector on the first floor while I went to the alarm panel. While I’d like to tell you that I knew the detector was on the first floor and not on the 10th floor before I saw the panel because I have ESP, it was just an old trick I was taught years ago.

When you enter the building, if the elevator doors on a high rise alarm are open the problem is likely on another floor, if they’re closed the activated device is on the first floor. I took the opportunity to pass it on to a new group and it gave us an opportunity to talk about some of the other systems that are in place in these occupancies.

5. Use technology wisely. Take a look at one of tons of websites that have footage of fire scenes on line. Share your thoughts on what you see. Work as a group to size up the situation and read the smoke. Use pictures from the web or past incidents in your own district to work through some tactical situations. These are a few ideas to get you started on your trainer’s path. With a small amount of time and effort all of us can be our brother’s teacher as well as their keeper.

Who did you inspire today; who did you train?


Michael West has been a member of the fire service since 1982. He is a 4th generation firefighter who has instructed internationally at fire departments and conferences. Mike is a Captain with South Metro (CO) Fire Rescue. He has a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University, a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Colorado, and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. Mike has written dozens of articles for fire service publications and websites and has contributed to several books as an author and technical advisor, Mike was awarded the 2006 Colorado Fire Trainer of the Year Award. He is an officer of Fired Up Training Services, LLC a fire training and consulting company and can be reached at m.west@fireduptraining.com .


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