Firefighters undergo all kinds of training. Most fire departments require at least a high school diploma, but beyond that we must learn about a vast variety of topics, from how to wield an axe effectively, to fire prevention, to controlling hazardous materials, and much more. A firefighter must absorb much information that’s new and unfamiliar. These topics are about techniques, physical skills, and book knowledge. But a good firefighter must know much more than just these things.
What some call Soft Skills are a huge part of being a firefighter. It is the acquisition of these soft skills and the usage of them that make a firefighter an exceptional employee at an organization outside of the fire department. We learn tools that easily cross over to the professional business workplace – for example, supervisory skills, team building, communication skills, just to name a few. Likewise, if you are a worker in a business workplace, and you have these skills, then you may have the tools needed by your local VFD.
A very basic and necessary skill for firefighters is team building. Much of our time at the firehouse is spent in activities that are conducive to team-bulding. A requirement for a team to attack a fire is to be able to work together. If each firefighter was doing his own thing while trying to put a fire out, it would be disastrous for the firefighter and the building on fire. But put that group of firefighters in a team working together, and you’ve got a great chance of successfully achieving your goal. Team building transcends occupation, and is important to any organization. Our team often trains with others in the business world. One resource we’ve used is SeminarsForManagers.com, which provides us with information on a variety of soft skill class including team-building, managerial skills and more.
If you have aspirations of helping your local VFD, keep that in mind when you are attending a soft skills class. You’ll be boosting your chances of qualifying for a position as firefighter as you learn!