Enthusiasm – The Key Ingredient for Training – by Ian Dunbar
Very often with my job I get to travel to areas of the world where the opportunities for the rescuers to develop their technical rescue skills are limited for many and varied reasons. It may be due to budget or just lack of opportunity because of the structure of their organisation; neither are a negative reflection on that particular country, it is just the way it is.
What never ceases to amaze me however is the level of enthusiasm displayed by the individuals I meet in these places. It is again an example of the ‘family’ that firefighters and rescuers all belong to across the globe and shows a common theme: a desire to be the best they can and take every opportunity to improve. Despite the lack of facilities they remain so animated!
This week I have been in the Ukraine and the display of enthusiasm there could not have been stronger. Sometimes on these trips, long and difficult travel is involved and I naturally get tired. However, within 5 minutes of meeting these Ukrainian rescuers I forgot all about being tired and fed off their intense interest and passion, making training that extra bit special for all involved.
Limited Training Resources
In many countries, obtaining training resources is very easy. You call a wrecker’s yard and order a car which will generally be 10-15 years old, in reasonable condition, with wheels and glass and seats; therefore providing as close to a realistic training scenario as possible and allowing rescuers to develop their techniques. That is not always the case however. In many countries, old vehicles have a commercial value and as a consequence they are not readily available to purchase for training. When cars are available they are often in poor condition. This should, in theory, limit training opportunities and restrict the learning outcomes. However, an instructor with a good imagination (and an enthusiastic audience) can turn the most basic of facilities and resources into a great opportunity for development!
Typical Vehicle for Extrication Training; With imagination and ENTHUSIASM, there is still a great deal to achieve!
Image: Enthusiasm – The Key Ingredient for Training
It’s all about enthusiasm
The ability to ‘get out there’ and train to be better at what we do should fill us all with energy and enthusiasm. Even when facilities are limited and (in the case of the Ukraine this week) the weather is not so good, every opportunity should be seized with both hands. The results spoke for themselves with many learning outcomes achieved despite the circumstances. There have been times in my career when either as a student or (latterly) as an instructor my enthusiasm may have not been quite what it should, for whatever reason. We are all human I guess and we cannot perform at 100% for every minute of every day. However, time spent in such areas of the world makes me thankful for the opportunities I have had to develop, reminding me at the same time that enthusiasm really is the most vital ingredient for any training. Without it there is a tendency to just ‘go through the motions’ and that is a wasted opportunity, especially in those parts of the world where rescuers are fortunate to have an abundance of resources and opportunities.
So ask yourself: do you, your colleagues and your instructors approach training with full enthusiasm? Do you make the most of what you have? I know that travelling to such countries helps me learn a lot about myself and also (in my humble opinion) helps me become a far more effective instructor.
This article was written and provided by Ian Dunbar, to read more of his work go to holmatro.com/en/vehicle-rescue/blog/