1 min read



One of our department wide drills this month has been "role reversals". Each month we schedule each shift a day out of service at the burn building. This month, we've been using the time to run "box alarm drills" - live fire scenario based roll-in style evolutions.


BUT - we've switched up peoples roles. If you're assigned to a ladder, we move you to the engine. If you're on the engine, we move to to the truck (during the scenario).

Where possible we've flopped drivers to act as officers, or chiefs to act as firefighters - or any other combination of putting you in the position of doing someone else's job, with the goal of regaining appreciation and understanding of what they do on their apparatus type or riding assignment.

I'm not an "everyone's an equal sized widget who can do all the jobs" guy and our guys are assigned to apparatus, not stations. We prefer them to remain apparatus focused and become specialists on their company. This has paid off for us. Company & crew cohesion and familiarity is valuable. But on details, trades, or overtime - anyone could end up anywhere.

As such, it's important that everyone keep all their skills sharp. That aside, it's still good for engine guys to understand truck life, and vice versa. It's still good for chiefs to understand how to pull lines (and we can work callbacks on the rigs anyway). And it's good for FF's to understand what their officers and chiefs deal with.

Another take on a post I put up last week...

Understand the jobs above and below you - whether that's firefighters understanding chiefs, or chiefs understanding firefighters.

Understand the jobs to the left and the right of you - understanding that while we all have the same overall mission, the engine/truck/rescue/chief all have a different perspective in achieving that mission.

When you understand not only your specific job and task, but that of others as well - you have a more true grasp on the overall fireground landscape, which is our field of battle.

Every once in a while - switch up your view, it's refreshing. And informative.