[IPAC-List] How is reading material used in training fire recruits, nationwide?

Richard Arwood richard.arwood at comcast.net
Thu May 27 16:25:48 EDT 2010


The Memphis Fire Department (MFD) definitely relies upon written training
materials in its fire recruit training (IFSTA Essentials), and we would
never dispense with the requirement to be able to read and understand them.
Ideally, all tested materials are covered in lecture and practical exercise,
but there could be occasions where a specific test question may not have
been orally or practically presented (but it would be rare, I believe). The
best teaching and learning approaches tie all the elements together for the
fire recruit to know, hear, see, and do; in order to learn and in order to
acquire skills.

Additionally, fire recruits are required to become certified as both
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics. Although the classroom
portions of the curriculum are taught my MFD instructors (certified by the
state of Tennessee), the certification exams are administered by the state
folks and the certification is based upon the National Registry. The entire
medical curriculum is heavily based upon written materials and manuals, and
the medical protocols (required by the state) are obviously written.

Finally, virtually ALL fire departments are the (or among the) first
responders to hazardous materials incidents. Identification of the involved
hazardous materials is essential to proper neutralization of those types
incidents. Identification placards and labels (of hazardous materials) are
tied directly to written materials (Department of Transportation guides) to
guide the responders in evacuation and handling.

I cannot imagine the thought of having fire department members who cannot or
do not utilize written materials.

Richard Arwood, Fire Chief (retired -Memphis, TN)
Collierville, TN

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