Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Training Officer Was a Little Pissed

Quite frankly, I don't blame him. Upon entering the saw maintenance area, he found this:

Two of the department's "training saws" in various states of disassembly, left strewn about the workbench. Rags, fuel and other various bits accompanying. No note, e-mail or phone call left to explain the reason for the mess.

I know it seems like a minor thing, but stuff like this is what can drive the training division personnel nuts.

Our training division (like most) is under staffed. One of the remedies for this situation has been to make it easier for us to train ourselves, especially on common manipulative skills such as ventilation, forcible entry and ladders. This enables the training division to focus on new skills or those which require a higher degree of oversight.

One of the ways they facilitate us in our endeavors is to provide and maintain tools and equipment (such as the saws) for the explicit purpose of training. Back in the day, if you wanted to train with the saw, you would have to make arrangements with a truck company and have them come to the training tower to use their saw. Not a very efficient use of a truck.

At some point, the training division obtained some saws, 28' and 35' ground ladders and some other equipment, and maintained them at the tower. Thus, it became no longer necessary to drag a truck down to the tower to train on some of their equipment. The also created a saw maintenance area to make it easier for us  to maintain the training equipment. All of this stuff is there to make OUR lives easier - a good thing.

That's what makes acts like this even more frustrating. It hurts ourselves.

Me, being the closeted optimist that I am, believe that this was an act of oversight or poor communication skills rather than a deliberate act. Maybe a boot was interrupted in the middle of cleaning the saws and then forgot to go back and finish them up. Maybe a unit was called back into service in the middle of a drill and had to leave the saws in pieces, then failed to return to finish up. Maybe, an engine company intended to return on the following shift to complete maintenance on the saws, but the captain forgot to leave a note or send an e-mail telling the training division of their intentions. Regardless, there is really no valid excuse for  leaving the saws in this condition.

Hopefully, another boot or another crew will step up and restore the saws to working condition. The training guys are swamped right now and it will take them a while to get it done. Either way, I have little doubt that that the situation will be remedied quickly - that's how we roll.

Again, this is all a minor thing. It's just one that has to be frustrating to the training division. It's so unnecessary.

Thanks for reading,



  1. I feel your pain on this one Cap.

    It is only a little thing.
    But you take a crew that is already short on personnel, time, etc. and add a bunch of little things and suddenly you have a real serious problem.

    That's when folks that are some of the best at what they do burn out and begin wondering why they even try. And down that road lie bad things.


  2. BGM - As a wise young BC once told me, its the little crap that wears you down and kills you. I think you and he (and me) are on the same page on this one.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Cap,
    Boy, BGM's comment hit home. It's like he was working at my Dept. We are well on the road to some of the bad things...


  4. Anon. Good luck with that, strife is never good. I'm just hopin' this was an oversight and not on going "down that road".

    Thanks for the comment.