Hey Cap, can we train today? How many times have you uttered those words just to hear something like “I’ve done this for x number of years I know what I’m doing, and you do too”. I feel like there are many reason why folks take this kind of an opinion when it comes to going hands on and reviewing or learning new skills and techniques.As the street level or Jumpseat riding firefighters our hands are tied when it comes to initiating training or drills. Our job as followers is to be respectful and follow the direction of our leadership. This can pose huge problems to the young and willing firefighters who want to get hands on and push their skill sets to the next level. Lets look at a couple of quick tips for Jumpseat riders to help get their leadership out the door and on to the drill field. It’s time that we serve notice that we are here, motivated, full or energy, and ready to become the best firefighters we can!
Ask for Help
One of the hardest,yet most affective, means of getting people involved is to admit your weaknesses. This can be extremely difficult for some and easy for others. The fire service breeds a certain type of personalities that portrait the ” we are strong and can handle anything” persona. This type of persons will think they can do all the needed skills without asking for help in the ones they lack. If you humble yourself and take a good look in the mirror I believe that you will see one or two skills that could be improved on. Asking for help in these areas could prove to be your door that could open up for getting your leadership involved.
I know, this can be a hard task as you will be opening yourself up and exposing a weakness, true, but it will also help show your leadership that skills are perishable. Lets use this case, ” Hey cap, have you ever had to do a one person door force?” ” I noticed the other day that I may have to force a door by myself and was wondering if you could show me some tips or tricks to make it easier.” You’ve done two things here, one is you have asked for help on a specific skill, two you’ve allowed them to show their experience too you. Our egos can be a good thing if used correctly. By admitting a weakness to your leaders and asking them to show their skills and experience you have engaged many aspects, the least of which is thief self-confidence They have the time in and most likely do have the needed skills to show you how,just ask!
Get out there
If your leadership will not engage on company level drills with you ask for permission and drill by yourself. “Hey LT, would you mind if Ryan and I pull the rig out and review some Ladder throws?” By acknowledging thief rank and supervisory role while asking for permission you have show respect while offering to drill without their participation. By doing this two things could happen. They could say no or yes. If yes is the answer more than likely on e you get out their you will see he or she show up and offer some tips. By being motivated to get out their you may just showed them that you are easy to learn and ready for direction if they answer is no, you may have bigger problem than I can handle in this blog. I believe that there are many things that hold back people from training. Fear, egos, and just plain laziness and the three that could be holding your officer back from participation in your company level drills. I would suggest sitting down, in a non-confrontational way and expressing your feelings of why you need their guidance and teaching to make sure you all go home safe.
Getting trained in many departments can be harder than reducing the national debt. It comes down to many factors facing the everyday Jumpseat riding firefighter. Follow these tips closely and always remember to be respectful to your leaders and show that you value their opinions are thirst for their participation in making you #jumoseatready for anything that you may face. Best of luck using these tips and if you would like some more feedback email me anytime. firstname.lastname@example.org