Firefighter Training

Live Burn: 1403 or No Fire!

Issue 4 and Volume 160.

The greatest dilemma for a fire instructor arises with the realization that on Day One out of rookie school, any firefighter can be in a serious fire or emergency that will require instantaneous cue recognition and split-second decision making. How well a firefighter makes these decisions may mean the difference between life and death. There are several theories regarding how well the human brain operates in a sudden life-threatening crisis, but most acknowledge that chance favors the prepared mind. Therefore, we always emphasize that muscle memory in critical tasks such as SCBA emergencies must be second nature. Providing relevant, realistic training is critical to the development of a well-trained firefighter. “Relevant” for the fire service means hands-on training under realistic conditions replicating the environments in which we do our work. Regarded as the best method, hands on mirrors the principle that experience is the best teacher. Nowhere has this belief…

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