We have all heard of the powers of viewing into a crystal ball to predict the future. Unfortunately I have yet to find one of those magical devices, nor could I ever find a good way to carry one around as a fire officer.
You see I know that really no one could predict the future but I do know that in the fire service gaining experience and training will always improve your odds of knowing what is going to happen.
Experience in this case may trump other factors because if you have repeatedly seen or experienced something you have some idea or concept of what might be likely to occur.
Now before any of you get upset about this, please hear me out as I explain the variables.
If you have had negative or inaccurate experiences then your ‘predictions” may not be accurate. If you have been trained incorrectly or you do not have the requisite education, you may not be able to predict correctly either.
I have just been through an experience trying to remotely counsel someone about an officer problem and unfortunately my crystal ball has been correct on many points during this. I solely attribute this example to my experience both positive and negative.
You see on tactical and technical issues, training and education trump experience, but in people problems and those issues that are non-fire and fire station sociology, experience certainly helps.
If you are a modern fire officer you cannot rely on hocus-pocus and mythical crystal balls, but education, training and experience can help keep it polished just in case you need it.
Being a fire officer requires you to be able to forecast outcomes at the fire scene and even in the firehouse. (Or firehall for my friends to the north!)