When we first joined the fire department one of the first things we learned about was the apparatus we would be staffing. One of the most important items was learning the equipment locations on each of the apparatus.
Once initial recruit/probationary training is completed it is important to continue to maintain this knowledge. Equipment can be moved, added or removed and not being able to find what is needed when called for can not only be embarrassing; but it can delay fireground operations and potentially others in danger.
So how do we keep with equipment locations on a consist basis? Here is a training tool that may help.
The PowerPoint Training Tool
Grab a piece of paper and digital camera. Take a walk around the equipment and take detailed pictures of each compartment and note what is in each one according to the picture. Download the pictures into a basic PowerPoint presentation and then add the location information to their respective slides. This training tool can be watched anywhere you can access to PowerPoint. It is simple to build and fast to set up.
We can actually make the equipment location presentation interactive with a deeper understanding of PowerPoint. Through an interactive program we can take the entire apparatus, zoom into each compartment, and “open” it to show a greater detail of what is inside. As we venture further within a compartment we can make trays pull out, tools can be isolated into bigger images, and information about any of the equipment can be added.
The picture below illustates what we are talking about.
When equipment locations change updating the slideshow is a simple matter of adding a slide and rearranging some links. Designing this type of presentation will be the topic of an article in the near future.
Firefighters who take the initiative and develop a presentation like we discussed will learn and refresh their equipment location knowledge in two ways. One by gathering the information and two when building the presentation. All is needed is PowerPoint to view it. With today’s technology most everyone has a smart phone, tablet or laptop with them at any given time.
Remember, if we want to succeed as a firefighter we need to think outside the box on how to be better at our job. Good training doesn’t always need to be in a fixed session in the firehouse. It’s all what we make of it.