I believe it would be safe to say we all want what is best for our family, friends, and colleagues. Recognizing that everyone’s intentions are good and having that insight can help us interpret actions in a much more meaningful way. Finding what is best for everyone is the trick.
A best practice approach is what we strive for as instructors in the fire service. We are constantly keeping the good and throwing out the bad. The final product should be polished, reasonable, and attainable. It should lead us down the path of success and help ensure our members are performing at the highest level. A best practice approach is exactly what it implies. Making sure a technique or concept is accepted, vetted and is undeniably superior. It will eventually become the standard in which we do things. The easiest example of this in the fire service is the way we don and doff our PPE and SCBA. We as instructors have formulated a best practice approach to put on our gear quickly and efficiently in a way that is proven to be the most beneficial to achieve the standard. It would be hilarious if we still were practicing how to don hip boots quickly without adapting to the new constructs of our gear. Another best practice approach that instructors need to be mindful of is training curriculum development. Too often are newly promoted training officers put into a position that is inherently chaotic and unorganized. Training curriculums need to be the absolute best they can because when a member is under stress, they will always fall back to their highest level of training. Curriculums need to be constantly reviewed, changed, and updated to reveal what the current standard should be. I often hear that training is always changing. YES! It always is and always will be based on current research, technology, and best practices.
Here is the good news. The membership of ISFSI already has all of this. We have endless resources to share with you and anyone else who wants to join. We have the best organization in the fire service with the best instructors. That is why I joined. I wanted to have the best trainings, the best curriculums, the best resources, and the best mentors. Please take a moment to review our resource center and review the content that many amazing instructors have shared. You can choose what is best for you. You can also contribute what you think will help our membership. Do not ever forget what it felt like to first land in the position of training or as an instructor. I am sure many of you felt overwhelmed. Remember that everyone needs help. Be that person. Please contribute to our resource center, please share your knowledge, please make this organization better than you found it. If someone posts a question or inquiry on our forum, take 5 minutes to help. That is how we all become better. That is why we are the best. Make being a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors a Best Practice.
Stay Healthy and Safe!