Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Make Every Day a Training Day

I asked my fourteen year old daughter who plays soccer, "Maggie what do you think it takes to make an effective and winning team?" Wondering how she would answer this question I was truly amazed at the answer: "Everyone has to do their job and make plays." Surprised at the answer I decided to ask my seven year old son Charlie who is into football and baseball the same question. His answer was very simplistic but on target, "Do what you were taught to do and never quit."

Listening to this I can say that they get the concept of what it takes to be on a winning time. If we translate this across to the fire service and compare their sporting teams to the fire company or fire department what they said is applicable. That is exactly what we need to do to be outstanding agencies. People do their jobs, work diligently and keep their skills honed.

I was recently teaching program with a colleague where we were doing some hands on training. We had a particular focus for the class but what we found was the basic skills were not solid. In reviewing this during the class and now having time to reflect on the potential issue this is a common problem I have seen for some time now with some of the training events I have attended. In reviewing these findings it is apparent we are not running as many working fires as statics support that nor are we spending enough time learning to do our jobs or keeping those skills honed to game performance level.

This means we have to stay focused on our training. What seems to be the same old routine drill is the common thread that keeps you at game performance level. Playing football for 13 years and spending 29 years in the fire service I am convinced that we are not much different from any sports team. Each player has a role. Without each of those team members performing at an optimum level in the game, the success of the team will most likely not be documenting a win but a loss for that event. For the fire service this same concept could mean a loss for us, which could mean loss of property, civilian lives or ultimately the loss of firefighter lives. Training is the common thread between peak performance, safety and good service.

Make everyday a training day and let's never forget to train on the basics.
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