Drill Yourself

Picture: istockphoto.com / paladex

Many firefighter missions are stressful and come with a high level of psychological pressure. It really helps to have a clear head so that you can concentrate on what’s important. Just a few minutes after each training or during the ride back can help make your movements feel more like second nature.

Regularly taking a look inside a compartment can help you memorize items

Regularly taking a look inside a compartment can help you memorize items

I admit that I don’t have a lot to do with the military. There are, however, some things that (should) work similarly there to how they work at a fire department. What are these things? Well, you have to be able to carry out standard procedures under stressful circumstances. This is why many recruits practice assembling their weapons until they’re sick of it. Whether it’s one in the morning, in the cold with clammy fingers, or with their eyes closed. What at first is very annoying turns out to really only have one purpose: to confidently master the weapon under all (critical) circumstances.

I myself am a perfectionist when it comes to these standard things and a huge fan of this type of drill training. It doesn’t necessarily have to feel like you’re in the army, but doing short exercises for certain routine tasks on a regular basis can be a lot of fun and also make you feel safer during stressful situations.

How do you open a carabiner again? Don’t just look at it; actually try it

How do you open a carabiner again? Don’t just look at it; actually try it

Moreover, you can drill yourself, too. A couple of years ago, I had a crucial experience that led me to start drilling myself. I was at my old fire department, and we were using new helmets. This led to numerous accessories such as the visors being switched out. Before I could familiarize myself with that thing, the inevitable happened. At three in the morning we were called to a bad accident. And sure enough, during pretty much the entire drive there the team was preoccupied with trying to get the stupid visor on their helmets. Not exactly an ideal situation when the awesome fire fighters show up but can’t even get their face shields on their helmets without difficulties. Luckily, the drive there took a while, so after a lot of back and forth we finally managed to attach the helmet visors. I was really bothered by this, and on the way home I just constantly kept putting the thing on and taking it back off. Even during the following weeks, after every drill, I got up on the vehicle and kept practicing the whole thing. And what do you know: Even though everybody else thought I’d gone crazy, I was now able to put that visor on in seconds, even in total darkness.

Zu zweit macht es mehr Spaß. Schnappt Euch einen zweiten Feuerwehrverrückten und übt gemeinsame Standardabläufe

It’s more fun with two people: Grab a second firefighter fanatic and practice standard procedures together

Whether for five minutes after every training or during the drive home from an incident, there is enough useless time that can be filled wisely with such drill exercises. Whether it’s putting on the SCBA, gathering together equipment for an interior attack, operating the fog nozzle with your eyes closed, or regularly taking a look inside the compartment. After a few weeks, you guys will probably notice that the stuff will become second nature and will help you complete your operations in a more professional manner and quicker. For example, if a car is trapped under a truck, I would like to mentally prepare for the operation, to think about what equipment I need and where I need it, and prepare for the dangers. So there’s no time or brain power to deal with routine tasks.

What about you? Do you do drill exercises like this yourself, too, or do you think it’s taking it too far?

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Eine Antwort zu “Drill Yourself”

  1. michael sagt:

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, much appreciated! I’ll be linking to your site, hope that’s okay.

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