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Turning Your Commute Into a Classroom!

One of the biggest things I always here about why firefighters do train everyday is time! To be honest I get it! Most firefighters in the country are volunteer and are working a full-time job, raising families, and still trying to find time to serve their volunteer departments and communities.

The same can go for career firefighters who often have one or more part-time jobs, and families. I myself have my full-time fire department job, a part-time job, and 2 beautiful boys who are playing multiple sports that me and my wife are heavily involved in (coaching, team parents etc.) My wife even works her full-time job and teaches EMT-Basic (among other things) for her part-time work, so I get being taxed for time.

What I often try to do is find a way to maximize the time I have, kind of like a NASCAR pit crew. They analyze where even seconds can be saved in order to make a faster pit stop.

One of the ways I have found to do that is during my commute to work! Most every firefighter I know has between 15 mins and an hour when heading into the fire station. Instead of zoning out to work like I used to, I have begun listening to podcasts while going to work.

Just a few podcasts to try:

  • www.petelamb.com
  • www.viewsfromthejumpseat.com
  • www.firefightertoolbox.com
  • www.fireengineering.com

There is a TON of great content on podcasts today, and they run the range from simple to complex, fitness to leadership, EMS to firefighting.  In the above pictures are some of my favorites that I listen to on my rides to work. I also listen to them while I am working out, again a time maximizing effort.

Another resource available is Audio Books. A lot of people do not like reading books, or reading period but by listening to an audio book in a couple of rides to and from work you can get a great message and education just by listening.  Here is a link to some audio books available right now! http://www.pennwellbooks.com/audiobooks.html

classroom carAnother tip is you can utilize your commute to work to improve your district knowledge and size up skills. I’m sure most of us take the same route to work and home everyday. Instead try to take different paths to work, and note different streets, buildings, and water supply options. If you see something interesting take a picture and share it with the crew when you get to work.

You may spark a discussion about how to deal with the problem, and maybe they will want to go see it for themselves. Also while your riding your district pic a random house and do an on scene report for it.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThis was a house in a district I used to work in that I rode by hundreds  of times, and when it finally caught fire everyone on the shift knew what the exact location of the house, and the closest hydrants, I sized this house up a lot as did everyone on my crew so when it came time for the real deal we where ready!

I know time is something there never seems to be enough of but by taking the time we do have and maximizing it, we can make huge strides in our fire service knowledge.

So take the time, to make the time and soon your commute will be your classroom!

As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

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