Word of Mouth

In fire departments our most influential training opportunities are not necessarily the yearly recertifications or the latest seminars but the working fire. Our trade is a hands on service where the majority of learning is done by doing. We go to fires; we stretch hoselines; we search rooms; we open up the roof. And if we happen to not do any of those items on the last alarm, we certainly hear about it from those who did. Studies in occupational folklife reveal that the information workers share with one another, regardless of how uniform it may or may not be, has a great impact in teaching others. FDIC is over with and if you were fortunate to have been sent by your department, or paid out of your own pocket, you had plenty of opportunites to bring back something more tangible than Ray McCormack’s speech. Let’s face it, while it was a good speech and is the talk of the town, at the end of the day you’ll do what your department says and the other guy will do what his department says. When you came back to work, or to your duty night, were you able to tell the guys and gals more than who you hung out with? There were 22 H.O.T. Evolutions offered, 38 workshops and 168 classroom sessions scheduled. Budgets are tight; what did you bring back to the ones who couldn’t attend?

What important information are you passing on to the members riding across from you?

Photograph courtesy Billy Adkins, FITHP.net

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2 Comments

  • Jay Lowry says:

    Excellent topic Bill. I think it is natural to bring back an over riding idea from conferences of any sort. At the 1968 Democratic National Coneventing ideas were discussed but most people only remember the riots.

    FDIC does provide a great deal of training and it would be nice to focus on what was learned during some of the workshos.

  • Matt McDowell says:

    What I brought back was the reality that you don’t have to attend any of the phenomenal H.O.T. classes, or sit through any of the mind-blowing classroom seminars to get something out of FDIC.

    All you have to do to is GO to FDIC! From the Probie or the motivated senior fireman to the comfortable old-timer, anyone who needs or wants to see what the American Fire Service is TRULY about needs to GO to FDIC.

    If being surrounded by 30+ thousand of your BROTHERS telling and listening to old war stories while seeing the newest technologies isn’t great enough, go to Ike and Jonesies, stand in the sea of firemen and watch the parade of IFD rigs roll by as the Pipes and Drums echo through downtown Indy ultimately ending up inside the bar with 200 firemen’s drinks raised high in the air out of respect for what it all really represents… that this is the GREATEST PROFESSION IN THE WORLD!

    What I brought back from FDIC was that, no matter what the economy does or what the Mutts do, this job is bigger than any one firefighter, or chief, city or state. Don’t do your job because it’s your job, do it because you love it and because society and the firefighter behind you are depending on you to get it done… no matter what and without excuses.

    FTM-PTB and Be SAFE,
    Matt “Jeebs” McDowell

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Backstep Firefighter

“To provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”
Comments
Ron Ayotte
Tactical Safety for Firefighters: Risk a Lot, Save a Lot
Another excellent article by Lt. McCormack!
2014-09-18 21:59:17
Bill Carey
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Thank you Shawn.
2014-09-09 10:58:45
Bill Carey
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Thank you Trey. It would be valuable for all of us to do a follow-up later or a look at one of your trainings and how departments are applying the new research and testing the new tactics for themselves. Bill
2014-09-09 10:58:32
Shawn Royall
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Bill, Thanks for saying exactly what many of us want to but don't have an outlet for.
2014-09-09 03:30:10
Trey Smith
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Bill, thank you for your feedback. I would invite you to contact me to learn more about FPM.
2014-09-08 22:20:52
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