Learning from Others’ Experience

Click to EnlargeFranklin Park (IL) Fire Department Chief David J. Traiforos’ class “Learning from Others’ Experience” presented photographs to the attendees that Traiforos and others have taken of fire service members on the fireground. Using a PowerPoint presentation, Traiforos showed photos that told their own story, either positive or negative, to reinforce the lessons learned. These photos portrayed common, well-known firefighting duties that audience members most likely have experienced and, in the case of some negative-themed photos, wished they had performed differently. Some of the incidents explored included ice, water, and “bread and butter” operations.

Traiforos noted that the negative photos were not intended to embarrass any fire service members, but show how the aggressive actions most firefighters take can lead to a dangerous situation or help combat the task at hand, leaving firefighters at risk to injury or even death. Safety is one of the main issues the program addressesd. “The moments captured demonstrate how we conduct our job. Right or wrong, the attendees learned about actions members have demonstrated to make the presentation.”

Traiforos explained, “Attendees learned about extinguishment, better tool and equipment use, fireground safety, and how to and not to perform. What the attendee saw here will be useful to him on the fireground at many fires to come.”

Additional information on this topic can be found in Traiforos’ article, “Warehouse Fire Challenges Responders,” which appeared in the December 2008 issue of Fire Engineering.

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