Tips for Getting the Most From Your Rescue Training
Training time is precious; make sure it’s productive for you and your team. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take care of your gear. Inventory control and routine inspections are a never-ending process. Knowing that your rescue equipment is ready to go at a moment’s notice, not just prior to the training, is the first key to a successful training program. Any equipment that is damaged or out of manufacturer’s recommended life span should have already been replaced.
- Fitness matters, both emotional and physical. We get so much more from our rescue training program when it includes attention to mental and physical health. Confirm that all personnel are medically able to perform the physically strenuous tasks involved in rescue training. Team members should be briefed on the types of activities that will be performed as well as possible effects from participating in the training (i.e., lifting, stretching, pulling, wearing a harness, being suspended in a harness or litter, inverting while suspended, etc.).
- Get everyone involved. The best leaders know how to get everyone excited and wanting to participate. Stress the importance of each person being actively involved and willing to participate in the training exercise. Each team member must be fully committed to the team’s overall mission; and training is perhaps the most vital component.
- Provide focused training sessions. Identifying team deficiencies is an often-difficult process. Taking a good hard look at your team’s strengths and weaknesses can provide a clear map for your training.
- Train at new and different locations. While not always convenient, the benefits are endless. New locations offer new challenges. New challenges require new solutions.
Training is the foundational building block that every good rescue team is built upon. Real rescues should be easy… if your training has been realistic and hard. Make sure you make the most of it!