Firefighter Training Drill: Self-Survival Skills

Firefighter training drill by Forest Reeder

Don’t get into trouble in the first place!! Much (or maybe not enough) has been said about prevention of the use of self-survival skills in emergency operations. This means that we should avoid getting into trouble or into situations that make you have to use a self-survival skill. This discussion drill will have you look at several typical self-survival skills taught in many programs in the fire service. Your responsibility will be to consider the self-survival skill, identify where and when it might be used (select as many as you can), and then back up a step and figure out what you should be or should have been doing to prevent doing it in the first place.

For example, to avoid having to use a handcuff knot to lift a firefighter who has fallen through a floor, one possible prevention is to identify if you are operating above a basement or fire on the floor below you. Thus, if you do a proper basement or structural arrangement size-up and identify fire conditions, you won’t place yourself on top of what’s burning, risk falling through the floor. Thus you avoid having to use a handcuff knot to be rescued! It’s kind-of like connecting a series of dots; look at a skill, figure out where it would be used, then plot what you should do or look for to avoid having to do the self-survival skill.

Download this free training drill HERE as a PDF.


Firefighter Training Drills by Forest ReederForest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Division Chief of Training & Safety for the Des Plaines (IL) Fire Department. He is a past recipient of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) prestigious George D. Post Instructor of the Year award and has been responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service firefighter training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.

No posts to display