All posts by plamb

What Is The Expiration Date On Your Training?

I am not sure there is one, but as each day moves along I believe that like a loaf or bread and a gallon of milk our training may have an expiration date.

I saw some stuff this week on social media and there was discussion that related to a major urban fire department and some techniques and tactics from the early 1980s. As I reviewed the document i read each line carefully and I began to wonder a couple of things: As a Chief and an IC would I use these tactics and techniques tomorrow?

As an instructor could I teach these techniques tomorrow to a small suburban department anywhere in the US and Canada. the answer in both cases was no. Then I thought back on my career and my initial training and I will admit I was taught these things, I had done these things and in fact as an instructor I had taught these things in the classroom and in acquired structures and live burns.

It gave me pause and I hope this post gives you pause also.

I think about some of the ridiculous (now) techniques I learned in Advanced First Aid and my first EMT class in the mid 1970s. I would be sued, beaten and arrested if I tried to perform those tactics today.

You see we do not do EMS like that anymore. (Thankfully)

I started to think about all facets of my training. The first DOT guidebook I used said to evacuate about 1500 feet from a burning propane tank. Now that distance is over a half a mile away.

I thought about using 3/4 inch booster lines in buildings and how to use a cooper hose jacket (Look it up) and a 2 1/2″ hose clamp.

You see the more I thought the more I realized that some of my training had expired.

Now that I know that I have to adjust my training I seek out and the training I deliver to make sure it is fresh…..

If you rely on training that has expired, it might not be the only thing that expires.

Think about it.

Tactical Fire Problem – Abandoned Building

This week The Tactical Fire Problem is an abandoned building under renovation

1.) What is your initial C A N report?

2.) What size line and where does it go?

3.) What are the challenges of a 50/50 renovated building?

4.) What are the unique features of building construction that you need to be aware of?

5.) Could it be likely that renovation materials could be stored in the unused portion? What does that do to fire load and access?


You know what the problem is here, I don’t have any power! Well I would ask that we slow down and take a look at that and realize that every member of an organization has some form of power. The real issue is do they recognize it and what do they do with it?

In an organization as in life we are all given lots of powers. I have the power to help or hurt. I have the power to love or hate. I can move this organization forward in the direction it is going or I can change the direction or resist.

Using just those few examples I think we can all reflect for a minute and realize that we all have powers that we may not even recognize.

We might have legitimate power from rank that we have achieved. We might have expert power from some skill or expertise that we have that others might not have. We might have some unofficial power that people might have bestowed upon us, meaning that they will follow us and we have the power of influence over others.

Power is like all other things we possess. We must recognize it, respect it and gain control over how we direct it. Will we share some of our expertise with a new member? Will we use our personal power to undermine and submarine the officers and the chief.

The gift of power is a very important thing. This week figure out and summarize  what power you have and then make a plan on how you will use it or share it in your organization.