Drills, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Creating Dynamic, Real-World Multicompany Training Drills

Issue 4 and Volume 167.

BY CHRIS JELINEK As any fire department training officer will tell you, the position’s responsibilities vary widely from managing the mundane details of scheduling and records management to the more active and engaging tasks of designing and instructing single- and multicompany drills. This article describes my efforts to design, deliver, and evaluate dynamic multicompany drills for the Humboldt Bay (CA) Fire Department and the Arcata (CA) Fire Protection District (mutual aid). As a starting point, let’s answer the questions, “What exactly is a dynamic multicompany drill?” and “Why should I create one?” The dynamic multicompany drill is one that replicates the real-world conditions of an emergency incident. Broadly speaking, its goal is to improve participant critical-thinking and decision-making skills by asking students to apply what they already know in uniquely challenging situations. Rather than reinforcing basic skills through repetitive training, these drills emphasize improvisation and problem solving. Say, for example,…

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