Training Officer’s Toolbox: Training Officer Express—Quick Training

By Brian Ward

Learning Process

Training in the station or at the academy, the process is the same. Officers should study the learning process. Understanding how people learn will only make your crew stronger, smarter, faster…. The below diagram is a very in-depth but simple breakdown of how much we learn while performing what task and how to duplicate.

Keys to Success

Use various methods of learning (hands on, flipchart, discussion, simulations, instructor-based, video, Fire Engineering Magazine, etc…).

Incorporate how it could happen locally into all training. Get everyone involved – all firefighters should be developing and leading training. Create motivation for your crew – be enthusiastic to be a training leader. Start with an End in Mind – know what you want to accomplish (Objective). Be prepared – students should not have unnecessary downtime. Use experienced personnel to group teach the lesser experienced personnel. “I show and tell, I show while you tell, you show and tell me.” Students should have to make decisions during training. Physical training creates muscle memory. Add time limits, gear, and stress to each exercise – realism.

Download this drill as a PDF HERE (372 KB).


BRIAN WARD is chief of emergency operations for Georgia Pacific–Madison, Georgia. He serves on the ISFSI board of directors and is a lead live fire credentialing instructor. He was the past Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Training Officers Association and is currently the Everyone Goes Home State of Georgia Advocate. He has a bachelor’s degree in safety and technology engineering, is a member of Georgia Smoke Diver #741, and is the founder of

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