Friday, February 13

You Make the Call...Training drill

I'm at a training exercise with a number of other companies. As part of the evolution we are to lead a line into a single residence for simulated initial fire attack. As I flake the line and prepare for entry, donning my mask, then hood, I re-affix my helmet and look to the officer doing the same.

The officer has placed the SCBA mask on their face over eyeglasses causing the mask to not seal properly and the air is escaping rapidly. It is then that I notice the officer has placed their mask OVER their flash hood, causing even more complications. Trying to point out these issues brings only shouts from the instructors to advance the line. With the mask on my issues are not heard. Touching the problem areas leads only to swats from the officer's arm and a push towards the door. There is no live fire and no real inhalation hazard.

Should I continue with the drill and address the issue before leaving training?
Is it more appropriate to bring such glaring issues to light immediately?
Do I keep my mouth shut and talk with the officer later?
What should I do? You make the call.


Chris said...

What would you do in real life? I personally would have refused to enter and corrected the issue before going in, but then I'm not a fireman!

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward said...

1) Real incident - swat back to make sure your officer understands

2) Drill - Hey, you made an attempt, that is what evolutions are for.

I imagine the officer can hear/feel the rushing of positive pressure air.

Anonymous said...

That's what drills are for. The evaluators should address this in the follow up critique. All should do thier part of the drill unless it is unsafe to do so. The evaluators should be watching to make corrections or end the drill if unsafe. The beauty is that everyone learns from mistakes and good practices alike. Enjoy the experience and rely on evaluators to address what they are there for. The Angry Captain

Anonymous said...

Knowing nothing about breathing apparatus etc, I have to bow to the knowledge of my fire crew colleagues that share my station. I have just shown your post to one of the station officers on the watch on shift tonight. His answer wasn't as professional as the ones posted so far but is a little more amusing:
" Humiliate him! Humiliate him in front of all his peers and colleagues and whenever you get the chance to bring it up, make sure he never forgets it!"
This is from a watch full of firefighters who love a bit of a laugh and that is honestly what would happen here!

Dantarious said...

Kinda scary to think that would happen. Complacency kills. How well do you know that officer? How many times has he practiced this in the past, and not died as a result, and who do you think you are to tell him he has been doing something wrong for so many years... (note the sarcasm please) I think i would have taken my mask off to tell him clearly, professionally, and as politely as possible that you see a safety issue that you are not comfortable with, and call the safety officer over to confirm. Make it out of safety and concern that you bring it up, and don't make him feel like you are chastizing him about it. How many people have already seen that he does it and don't care enough to correct. The training excercise is the safest place to correct the problem, nobodies life is on the line, and you have the time to fix and continue. If he goes through the training as is, he will likely do the same when on a real scene. Train realistically. Train like you life depends on it. It does.