Coaching the Attack

Often during live-fire training instructors push students to go as fast as possible. The thought is to have to students move like they were “on the fire-ground”. Instructors yell at students in an effort to increase the level of “stress”. This is a misunderstanding of how true stress inoculation training works and establishes an unconscious baseline level of stress associated with fire that can hurt the student’s performance in the real world.

True stress inoculation is accomplished through gradual exposure that normalizes the desired experience. Only once the experience is normalized is additional stress added. Students should be coached through the live-fire experience by instructors who model the calm, collected approach they want from the students.

In the attached video the nozzle student is calmly coached through the attack. Rather than put out the fire as fast as possible two attacks are performed so that the nozzle and other students can observe the effects each attack has on the environment. The other students observe so that they are not distracted by the desire to accomplish a task. This allows them to focus on reading smoke, heat, and observing the fire and the effects of the fire attack.

Ian Bennett

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