7-1 Safe training
Firefighter training includes simulations of dangerous scenarios — rope rescue, live fire and ice rescue are a few examples.
In order for firefighters to learn how to do their jobs effectively, training must resemble real conditions.
During training, firefighters are exposed to real hazards and there is a potential for injuries or fatalities to occur.
Actions for employers
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of firefighters involved in training sessions
- develop written lesson plans and training safety plans for all training
Consider the following precautions to keep firefighters safe during training:
- develop a lesson plan for each training session that outlines the learning objectives and how they will be achieved
- develop a training safety plan for each training session that anticipates what may go wrong, the measures that would be taken and the resources and equipment needed
- in the training safety plan, identify:
- circumstances in which training will be stopped
- how training will be stopped, such as by using a code like no duff, to differentiate between a training scenario and a real emergency
- ensure all training participants understand the lesson plan and the training safety plan prior to training — consider holding a briefing at the start of the exercise
- ensure all training participants are aware of the hazards of the training area
- ensure that all resources and equipment identified in the training safety plan are in place prior to training
- allow for the graduated acquisition of skills – so that learners are competent in a set of skills before exposure to more difficult tasks and higher hazards
- teach learners how to identify potential hazards and what to do to mitigate them
- ensure the trainer is competent to deliver the training
- consult with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative when developing the lesson plan and the training safety plan
- consider a post-training debrief to review what went well and lessons learned
Applicable regulations and acts
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- clause 25(2)(h) for taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers
Contact the Ontario Fire College for a copy of a sample training safety plan.