Writers Wanted: Instruct-O-Gram 2.0

In the fire service community across the globe, first responders play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and wellness of community members. The well-being of community members does not happen by accident. Dedicated first responders with the right resources represent the foundation of public safety. The “right resources” expands beyond the number of firefighters on a fire apparatus, and the types of equipment and other related technologies that we as firefighters have access to.

Training and education are the essentials that tie all of the above components together. When individuals are provided with relevant and consistent training/education, true service delivery from mitigation to recovery is accomplished. Education is accomplished by delivering information that satisfies one or more cognitive objectives. Training is accomplished by demonstrating then allowing the “student’ to actually perform a task. The completion of a task(s) is associated with a psychomotor objective.

The fire service instructor represents the third side of the “triangle” that connects training & education with fire service personnel. This individual may be the company officer, department training instructor, or an individual serving at a college or university. In addition to possessing cognitive and psychomotor skills, the fire service instructor must have a rich comprehension of andragogy principles—and able to apply those principles in a learning environment. As students and professionals, our approach to learning/behavior modification is not linear, nor will one approach or strategy lead to learning for all individuals completing a course/training session related to our profession. The fire service instructor must be a student in respect to the art and science on instructional delivery. Moreover, he/she must incorporate the four steps of instructional delivery to navigate down the path of instructing that leads to learning.

Circa 1980, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) introduced the Instruct-O-Gram publication, a lesson plan for instructors to utilize. In 2019 the ISFSI developed a committee to bring the Instruct-O-Gram back to life. No different than the original document, Instruct-O-Gram 2.0 is aimed at providing a lesson plan for the fire service instructor. These lesson plans are largely based on NFPA standards and best practices recognized in the fire service on an international level.

In the updated series, the Instruct-O-Gram will take on the following format:

  • Topic
  • Purpose
  • Objectives
  • Resources
  • Time
  • Reference material
  • Instructional outline
  • Skill sheet
  • Evaluation instrument(s)

The Instruct-O-Gram is authored for and by ISFSI members. Topics will cover a myriad of areas within the profession including operations, strategies and tactics. In addition, a quarterly version of the Instruct-O-Gram will be published that will specifically focus on fire instructor development. The quarterly issue of the Instruct-o-Gram will serve as an opportunity for instructors to enhance their skill set in the art and science of instructional delivery. The overarching goal of this publication is to make training more informative and enhance the instructor/student relationship—especially from a motivation perspective.

Because the fire service is comprised of highly talented individuals, the Society is always looking for contributing authors for all content deliverables offered by the ISFSI. The ISFSI Instruct-o-Gram committee challenges you to step up to help author new content for the monthly Instruct-O-Gram series, as well as review and update past issues of the Instruct-O-Gram. Our success as fire service personnel has and will always rely on dedicated men/women who possess the knowledge and abilities to perform in all disciplines associated with this great profession. If you are interested in becoming involved with this project, please email membership@isfsi.org for more specific details.

As always, continue to remain a student of the profession!


Demond Simmons serves as the Chair of the Instruct-O-Gram Committee.

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