What would be your cost to reproduce this scene? (10-Car Train Derailment in Industrial Area with Hazmat Railcar Involved)
Does your budget allow you to purchase one of these million $ systems in your local training academy? Can you send all your companies to the academy anytime, any day?
Did something seem off to you in this clip? Is the fire spread natural? If not, what's the most likely cause?
How confident are you that all your personnel would notice what's wrong, if it wasn't pointed out to them? How FAST would they recognize the problem, if they did recognize it?
LODD, retirement - we lose our brothers and sisters in the fire service as time goes on. When they go, they take with them years of experience - thousands of calls. How much of their experience gets inherited by the next generation? We've always used mentoring very effectively, training up newer firefighters (and new leaders) by stepping back on the scene of a fire and letting them go to work. It wasn't a perfect solution but it worked well enough.
But a new "problem" is making it more difficult to gain experience. The stats are in : we are getting less fires. Improvements in building codes and fire prevention have unfortunately resulted in us losing the best source of experience. (And experience is always costly in Public Safety)
To make things worse, more plastics and synthetics are used in building design and lighter weight construction, fires that do occur burn faster, hotter and increase the potential for structural failure. Environmental changes have sparked devastating wildfires destroying thousands of homes and millions of acres of our natural resources. Hazardous materials are stored in large warehouses and transported on our rail systems, highways and marine transportation everyday.
IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING - WE HAVE ONLY HAD A REDUCTION IN 3.2% FIRES BUT AN INCREASE IN 24.1% DEATH!!! *
Hazard and risk assessments, size up and situational awareness is vital. Even more critical - we have to find a way to shore up this experience gap.
* This was not an exhaustive analysis of the data performed by me. Also, the majority of deaths were not firefighter. My concern is that this is the beginning of a very negative trend. If you disagree, I'd appreciate you alleviating my fears - I genuinely want to be wrong here - email@example.com
Less fires but more deaths?!
Remember not knowing how to tie knots? Remember how quickly you fixed that problem? What about the difficult skills, like size-up, situational awareness, incident command or patient assessment? Remember how you were told by your mentors, your training officers, that, ultimately, you just had to run the calls?
So you went to class, sat in conferences, logged in to online training and you learned. You got good, better than you thought you'd be able to. But deep down, you know it's not enough. Slideshows have their place. (And their limits) You know you could get better, if you could practice this stuff more. If you had an arena to master it. But you could never find one and they never made one, so you just kind of forgot about it. You pushed that fear down, because what's the point of worrying about it? You'll do the best you can, with what you have. That's what we've always done.
Now, we can do more.
Where can you get "hands-on-training" for critical decision making?
You've ran the calls. You know what it means to "run the call." Grab a radio and take charge (Responsibility) to command and control the scene.