Two Required Replies: Please thoughtfully reply to at least two other students initial posts with a minimum of 100 words to each student, and be sure to challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this is also a part of your analysis process.
Initiative 5 – Training and Certification
A. What kind of generational gaps can we find in training and education?
In the fire service we have three generations that we deal with. The Baby Boomers (1940s-1960s), the Gen Xers (1960s-1980s), and the Millennials (1980s-1990s). The gap lies between the baby boomers ‘old school’ and the Millennials ‘why’ generations. The old school firefighters are stuck in the old ways, they often confront change with the phrase “we have always done it this way’. Whereas, the Millennials like to think about the task at hand and use the “Work Smarter, Not Harder” type of approach. It’s essential to get both generations on the same page, help them find a common stance, help them see where each other is coming from.
B. How do these compare to the geographical gaps that can exist?
Throughout the nation, construction varies when it comes to buildings like residential. In the south, houses are built primarily out of brick whereas, in the north vinyl siding/concrete boards are utilized. Additionally, the houses in the north are more predominately equipped with basements whereas the south may only have a crawl space if any below the main floor. These differences in features puts a change in how the different departments operate.
C. What benefits exist with standard training and continuing education?
Standards continue to change throughout the years, with this, so do the ways day-to-day operations function. For the ‘old school’ firefighter, this may be the only way they change their way of thinking and operating on the fire scene.
Initiative 6 – Medical and Physical Fitness
1. Defend the need for annual medical evaluations and the establishment of physical fitness criteria for emergency services personnel throughout their careers.
Cancer is now the leading death in firefighters around the world. With annual medical evaluations, doctors may be able to find pre-indicators of possible cancer and nix it before it becomes deadly. In addition, annual screening can catch other health concerns earlier which can lead to a better chance of being cured/prevented.
2. Please read the case study below and answer the following questions:
A. What level of physical conditioning does it take to complete the tasks of a firefighter?
Firefighting requires excellent physical fitness to complete the tasks at hand. Although many calls do not require exerted physical strength, there are those few that demands a lot from the firefighter. As I have said all the time, if you cant take care of yourself, how can you take care of someone else. In this case, the lieutenant seems to be struggling with a victim, it is unsure if we will know if he is able to completely extricate the victim. As the same time, they really haven’t performed many physical duties which leads me to believe his physical fitness is very poor.
B. What is expected of you in this situation, and what is expected of your lieutenant?
It is expected now that you not only have to worry about yourself, you have the lieutenants wellbeing as well as the victims that you have to worry about. It is also expected that back at the house, you say something to the lieutenant about his poor physical fitness. Stress the importance that he may fail at firefighting duties due to being unable to complete them physically. As for the lieutenant, it is important that he start to live a healthier life. Now, there is nothing to say he is fit, maybe he has a health condition that needs to be checked. That is my fault for assuming he was overweight and out of shape. If he is indeed in shape, it is not only his responsibility but mine as well to ensure he gets the medical attention he needs.
Case Study 1
- Generational gaps exist because of the increasing level of competition in the field. While older generations might have had some traditional training, that might include something like an academy, newer generations of firefighters often come in with several certifications, possibly even a degree in fire science.
- Geographical gaps exist because there is no “federal standard”. After training, departments tend to vary on what they require of their firefighters. It’s my opinion that this is not always the worst thing, though. Different area’s require different trainings or certifications, since they are dealing with different issues. For example, a department in a large city (such as maybe NYC) versus a department in rural Iowa are not going to be dealing with completely different terrains, populations, structures, etc. Training for fighting brush fires versus large buildings might be necessary for a rural department as opposed to a big city department.
- Standard training ensures that everyone has the basic idea of what and how to function on a scene. This is particularly useful when it comes to interdepartmental assistance (mutual aid). Continuing education is also extremely important in the fire service. It is extremely necessary to grow with the service. As we continue to improve in equipment and safety, it’s important for fire fighters to keep current in effort to do the job in the most effective, and safest way possible
Case Study 2
- It takes excellent physical fitness to be able to perform at peak level as a fire fighter. It’s important to have the strength to be able to carry victims as needed, carry heavy tools over distances, move up and down stairs (often while carrying a person or tools). It’s also important to have endurance. Scenes can continue for hours, and being able to work for long periods of time without placing too much stress on the body is imperative for fire fighter safety.
- I think that the expectation here is probably to make sure that the LT is ok. Even in EMS my partner’s safety and well being comes before the patient/victim. First, make sure he is going to be able to come out. If he is unable to assist in carrying the victim, I would ask that he drag the hose out with him, and have him walk in front, to make sure that he doesn’t drop and get left behind. Sometimes even the most physically fit of folks can have some sort of underlying issue one day that might flare up, causing a medical event during a fire or other scene.
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