“Training Day”



I was sitting here thinking about the training we had at the old agriculture building this past year.  It was cold and rainy to say the least, and among my thoughts of “boy I wish the powers that be, could have picked a warmer day,” but I will have to say, I learned a lot from that cold day of training.   As the first engine on the scene, as a company officer, it’s really important, to get a good visual of what we have from the outside before we go bailing off inside.  A good 360 size up is important.  My scenario of being the first engine company on the scene and was the second scenario, was an automotive shop with heavy smoke showing from the “B side of the structure,” with people trapped, inside the building.  My thoughts of what to do begin to emerge as engines were being dispatched.  I initially called for another pumper and rescue, along with an EMS unit.  My engine as we approached the scene, we pulled into the rear parking lot ” C-side” and drove by two sides of the building, “D & A”   thus performing part of my 360 while still inside the pumper.  As we approached the “A side, we pulled just passed the A side and got a glimpse of the “B side” of the building giving me a visual of the perimeter even before getting out of the pumper.  I realize we can’t do this with every large commercial building, but with this one, it was reasonable, to do so.  My training officer informed me of what we had, as I got out of the pumper.  Heavy smoke coming from the “B-side of the building.”  I had my guys pull off both pre-connects, 200 feet of 1 3/4 hose, I radioed for the 2nd engine coming in to catch the hydrant at the “A-D entrance to the parking lot.  Once the supply line was connected and water was supplied, we had lines out and ready to enter the building.  The instructor Asked me “where is the smoke at per dispatch?”  I said “B-side.  Correct.  The instructor wanted me to perform a 360 on the ground, so when we approached the barrels on the “B side”  there was a laminated word on top of the barrels reading “FIRE.”   The barrels were simulated to be on fire.  I asked what is in the barrels?  The instructor replied “What kind of business is this?  I said an automotive shop.  He said what could be stored beside an automotive building in barrels.  I said oil.  He said correct.  So we pulled a 3rd line 1 3/4 off of the pumper and applied a foam eductor with buckets to initiate foam on the barrels on fire.  Once we got foam, we were able to knock the fire down outside the building, and them the instructor pointed to the window and the word “FIRE ” was on the glass.  So the fire had breached the inside of the building and extended inside the building.  I sent one company inside to find the fire, and another company inside to find any people that were in the building.  My RIT team was outside, on a mock line, I had a safety officer assigned to me to keep up with the accountability of crew placement.  Without the safety officer beside me, i would have been lost at times, with as many things were thrown at me.   I realize the importance of the Incident Commander directing the suppression companies and Rescue companies into the building exactly were he needs them.  The importance of crew integrity, sticking together as a unit.  The importance of having the thermal imaging camera, in searching for people inside the building and also helping in finding hidden fires, along with a visual of surroundings that are not visible because of smoke and toxic gases.  The importance of calling utilities to be shut off.  I know the importance of not sending all companies inside on the same line.

  •  The first scenario, my crew and I were search and rescue.  We in on the same line with two other crews and got cornered in one of the hallways.  The IC on this scenario did advise which line he wanted my crew to go in on, but in the heat of the moment, we went inside on the other pre-connect.   I heard the instructor inside the building say “OK guys someone is going to have to make a decision, you are piled up at the end of a hallway.”  It was easy to get disoriented and knowing that as a company officer, i had to make a decision on splitting the crews up for rescue purposes, or going outside and go back in on a life line, rope operations, and that is what we did.  One of my firefighters asked me if he and another crew member could break off from the piled up group and search another area, and I agreed.

Well back to the second scenario, we ran out of line about 50 feet from the fire room.  I didn’t prepare for the long hose displacement on arrival, and it was too late to add more lines once we got into the building.  Time was ticking away and so was the building.  A positive note was that the people trapped in the building were rescued.  The instructor was informing me the IC that the fire was out of control, so I had my driver to blow the horn 3 times and I advised the crews to evacuate the building and we did.  We set up the aerial and drowned the building.  It was a learning experience for me and I’m sure for my crew.  And yes we lost the building, but we saved the people trapped inside. That’s a good trade off any day of the week.

Application:     Just as training day, made me aware of the things that could go wrong, it also reminded me of things I as a Company officer, we have to think about before arriving on the scene.  When we get into Gods word, God prepares us for the unseen circumstances that are at work against us.  Just as training on that cold day irritated me because of the elements, it made me aware of my crews hydration and keeping warm.  Also made me aware of the importance of information, and the importance of a good 360 size up, a safety officer by my side to help organize good crew placement, and having a RIT team available on a moments notice.  Knowing the importance of accountability and par checks.  The Bible is our roadmap for success.  It is our 360 size up, The Bible allows us to initiate God as our safety officer, God is our RIT line, ready to respond to us in a moments notice.  God is our accountability  partner, guiding us to a safe conclusion to the events that are tough.  God is our lifeline, when the fire is blazing and smoke is thick, so thick, we cant’s see our hand in front of our face, we know if we keep holding onto the rope, we have access to a path to safety.

Life story: King David 

  • Samuel Anoints David  1 Samuel 16 (NIV)

  • 1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”  But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”  The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”  Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”  Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.  When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”  12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.  Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”  13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

King David was Jesses son, a shepherd boy who cared for the flock.  God told the prophet, that David was going to be the next king of Israel.  Samuel the prophet of God anointed David, with Gods approval to be king, but was going to be declared king on another date.  A good example of David being told this news is like, a person winning the lottery.  Instant power and success.  Note when David was told this information, he went back to the sheep.  His training to be the king had begun, but it didn’t go to his head.  David was still the humble servant and shepherd, until God said its time.  You know the story King Saul had made a mess with what God had put him in charge of, and God was tired of Saul’s disobedience.  David only grew into the person as he allowed the Lord the lead him during his training for the kingship.  Saul had summoned David the shepherd, to come and play music for him to calm his nerves, and David did this even after he was told he would be king of Israel one day.   David defeated Goliath and had great victories in battle, thus making Saul extremely jealous and seeking revenge.  It was all part of Gods plan for David to be persecuted by Saul.  David learned to totally trust in God, thus most of the book of Psalms was Davids praise to God during difficult times of his life.  The training ground for David was not in the palace of kingship, but while he was persecuted for his life, by Saul.  David whenever he was anointed King, there was a time of complacency, a time of relaxation.  Thats when David got into trouble with Bathsheba, another mans wife.  It was not good.  David took Bathsheba and had her husband sent to the front lines of battle, you see her husband Uriah respected David and would go anywhere he asked.  Uriah was killed by the enemy in battle.  You see we have to continue training, stay in God’s word.  Don’t alow yourself to become to relaxed in your walk with the Lord.  The enemy is just looking for a time to get a foothold on your life.   Training day, may be difficult at times, but it is necessary to conform us into who God wants us to be.   Read 1 Samuel 16 & 17 to learn more about the life of King David.                     Have a Great Training Day!


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