Drills, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Overcoming Panic: Stress-Induced Training and Education

Issue 5 and Volume 168.

By NATHAN DEMAREE You have just arrived for a fire with a report of people trapped. It’s hot, and the smoke is heavy with no real drift or indication of the source. You and your buddy have made your way deep inside the building and are conducting your search. Maybe you had to climb several flights to get there. Maybe you had to help the engine company stretch a line or force a few doors. Your heart rate is up, and you are breathing heavily. All of a sudden, you feel your mask squeeze to your face. What do you do? This is a general scenario I often pre-sent to others. The most upsetting part of doing this is that the response I normally get is a long, lengthy answer that suggests several possibilities: “This is a true emergency!” “This is not the time to formulate a plan.” “You should…

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