Many fire departments and wildland fire agencies are currently preparing for the upcoming wildfire season. In parts of our country the season has been underway for some time but in much of the west, firefighters are spending time in “refresher classes” and taking their introductory wildland fire courses. Often times when we are sitting in those classes we’re thinking how we’ve heard this all before… or nothing is really going to happen that I haven’t already experienced, etc, etc. We minimize our risk and the more years of experience we have the less we think we have to learn.
Today’s story is a shortened version of a tragic wildfire where 6 firefighters were killed in a burn over. I’m telling this story to try and motivate firefighters to pay attention and take seriously their annual fire refresher training and other training courses. I hope hearing what happened to some experienced firefighters will help you stay focused during your training.
4 thoughts on “#42 – When The Sh-t Hits the Fan… Will You Be Ready?”
Good motivation for the new firefighters.
Though the training, and equipment change, it is good to remember wildfire is an elemental force. Not to be trifled with.
Thanks David. I think the experienced veterans can benefit as well. Sometimes the more you know and have experienced the less you might think you can learn. Hope this story jogs everyone into gear when it’s time for training and prep for the season.
Thanks for the share, Bobbie. I am sending my crew, and other firefighters, out on assignments from the southern region to CA, UT, MT, ect. With experience out in western states, I have told stories, trained them, coached them, and sure hope they are prepared for any situation. However, you don’t really know until you’re in it.
I sent two really green crew members out on the type 2IA to UT, and thankfully it was a safe, learning roll, but I’m always ever present in my mind about what COULD happen with each FF I send out. Hard for a supervisor because you’re always asking “did I train them as well as I could have? Did they learn and retain? Will they fall back on their training when and if the time comes?”
Thanks got sharing a really difficult time in your career with others. We all need to have those talks and those reminded.
Your feelings and concern about your crew when they go off on a western fire roll is warranted. And it illustrates how conscientious you are. Thanks for being a good supervisor for your folks. Thanks for listening and for sharing. Keep those folks safe.