and the commitment of the people to do this? Do you have
the equipment, and is it compliant and up to date? Is a portion
of the membership trained? If so, to what level, and are they
willing to maintain their qualifications?
Don’t be afraid to think and look outside the box. Maintain
a good record of safety practices both at the incident and
training. Stay active, and take pride in the job you do so it
shows when it’s time to perform.
Matthew Stelle, a captain with the Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department, is assigned to Tower & Rescue 61. He is a certified level 2 firefighter,
a fire instructor, a hazmat technician, a rescue systems technician, and
a NREMT paramedic. He is also a team member with the Hamilton County
(Ohio) USAR Team.
handling safely. The number one goal is to effectively perform
a rescue with minimal risk and liability to all those involved
and in such a manner that rescuers do not become victims
themselves. For many of our departments that are tasked with
being a “one-stop shop” for all the communities’ EMS, fire,
rescue, inspection, education, and customer service needs, it
becomes a challenge to maintain the skills needed to maintain
proficiency at a professional level.
Technical rescue is a diverse and specialized arena in our
line of work. Being able to think outside the box is a must for
success both at the operational and training level. Being able
to collaborate as a crew on new ideas and training props will
keep things interesting. This will allow you to take a different
direction off the same old beaten path. Departments could do
many things, including the following:
• Build props such as a man vs.
machine box. This allows the
member to work with convex mir-
rors on tool use and dexterity based
• Visit local parks to use the features
and terrain they provide.
• Visit local businesses not only for
a preplan but also to ask them to
donate materials for you to train
with (metal, cable, various doors,
• Train on all the skills not only
during the day but also at night.
This will allow for proficiency in
the dark and with scene lighting
• Train with the whole shift/depart-ment at times. It is important for
others to know what you’re doing,
why you’re doing it, and what their
role is when assisting on an incident.
• Have an idea what other departments and teams can offer including training props and equipment
they can provide to be a part of
your sponsored training exercise.
• Create a training schedule for the
future that goes beyond what we
do as shift training. We all know if
it’s on the schedule it’s hard to find
a reason we can’t do the drill.
• Develop job performance requirements for all members. Show that
you can be held accountable to
maintain those requirements.
TALK THE TALK
Take a step back and look at the big
picture. Are you capable of stepping
into this area? Do you have the people