Applying FDIC Training to Your Fire Department

By Jerry Knapp

You could tell by the dispatcher’s voice this call was serious. She was very professional but you could still hear the tension: Child stuck under a bus at a busy intersection. If this call was yours, how would you make the rescue? How would you lift the bus? You have lots of options: Air bags, spreaders, jacks. But what have you practiced? What experience do you have, and what is the recommended method? Do you know where the lift points are? Your experience with this specific scenario may mean the difference between life and death for the injured child under the bus.

The purpose of this article is to show you how to share valuable lessons learned from FDIC International with your members not lucky enough to attend. Equally important is this simple method can be used to roll that valuable training into your standard operating guidelines (SOGs) and annual training plan. Bringing back these experienced-based, take-home lessons also validates the training time and dollars your department invested. Now the value is not only yours, but every member in your entire department, now and in the future. Surely a couple of pictures and a couple of captions do not make a training session, but they can stimulate thought and discussion, and they may prepare your company for success when you are not there. The military calls this a trip report, a sharing of what you learned while Uncle Sam paid for your training.

Electronic Trip Report

You don’t have to write a book or a 10-page research paper. Simply use these steps. Use your cell phone to capture key operations, tools, techniques or steps while at FDIC International. If necessary, ask specific questions of the instructors so you fully understand the operation or skill. When you get back to your home department, select the appropriate pictures to describe what you learned. Add a few small captions and you can post it on your bulletin board at the firehouse, use it for a company drill, send it out electronically to your members, or all of the above.

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