Danny is back with another great insight on the fire service! Make sure to follow him on twitter @RVA_Fireman
I’m always reading articles about how in the fire service we refer to ourselves as “occupational athletes” but I question that statement and ask Are we really? Now before I get into my point this has nothing to do about physical fitness levels because if you know me I’m not very big into all that, it’s just not my thing. I do work out on occasion but it’s mostly walking, or the occasional 5k or stair climb, I am not at the forefront of all the fitness and wellness programs we have in today’s service so bare with me.
I’m speaking about training and motivation. Today is the start of NFL training camp for my team the Washington REDSKINS!!! (And yes I say it loud and proud). These guys hold their training camp in the city I work in, you can actually see the training camp facility from the back door of the fire station!!!!! We always hear a lot about how athletes are just overpaid and over hyped and etc etc etc and how all there doing is playing a game, and in some cases I would agree with those statements. But these guys put in more work in 3 weeks of training camp then some firefighters do all year!!! Ever heard of the term “2 a days”??? That’s how these camps usually run, it means that these teams or athletes who are just playing a “game” have practices 2 times a day!! They also usually have meetings in between. For example, today the team arrived at the facility around 8am had a 2 hour practice in the rain mind you, after they went back in and had team meetings til 4pm and then will come back out and practice or “train” for 2 more hours.
Now you may now be asking yourself “How does this apply to the fire service?”. I counter with this, when’s the last time you drilled, practiced, or trained more than 1 time a day? We deal with saving people’s lives, and perform one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet and we barely train once a day!!! I know my company hasn’t in a LONG time and we let the negativity of how we are treated dictate this. I’ll be the first to admit we’ve become lazy. Most fire companies I know come to work, set the plan for the day get the daily training out-of-the-way as early as possible so they can get to their “downtime”, or you have the companies that come to work and downtime is the whole 24 hours their on shift. I don’t want to fall into that hole anymore. We may complain about how much less $ we make, or how the city or local government isn’t supporting us properly but if you want people to take you and your company seriously as “go getters” you gotta get out of the chair and train.
Why can’t we in the fire service being doing “2 A days” like the professional athletes are??? It doesn’t have to be something extravagant. Use your imagination, be creative. It can range from doing something practical like pulling lines or throwing ladders to as small as doing a scenario on the whiteboard or even reviewing a EMS protocol or department SOG. If your reading this and thinking that there’s no way you can get your guys to do that everyday then maybe you should take it upon yourself to start drilling yourself and see how many of them start to join you. If there not as into the job as you are that’s ok, I’ve learned that not everyone has to like it as much as I do but I guarantee you that if you start beating and banging around out on the apparatus floor few times a day they will come to see what’s all the commotion about and that’s your chance to engage them.
So my question is Why not “2 A Days” for the fire service? It’s as simple as that, most of us are here for 24 hours so why not use at least a few hours of that to make yourself and your company the best you can be!!! Get out and train!!!!!
And HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!!