Firefighter Training

DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING A MENTOR PROGRAM

Issue 2 and Volume 154.

BY WALTER J. LEWIS Many of our well-seasoned veterans are reaching the time of retirement, having had a 25- to 30-year career. A number of them have prior trade experience or have worked part-time in carpentry, plumbing, or other construction fields. This gave them a working knowledge of how buildings are built and, having responded to many fires involving these structures, how they handle the stresses of fire. With this experience, firefighters (many of whom have moved up to become fire officers) could read the building and understand how to “make it behave” and conquer the problem at hand. They also developed skills and tricks that made the job easier-things that aren’t necessarily sanctioned by IFSTA or the fire academy. They learned when to get into a given situation, how long they could stay there, and when not to get into that situation at all. A common phrase going around…

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