Characteristics of effective public safety training programs

In this tip, Gordon Graham reminds first responders not to go on autopilot when it comes to completing training requirements, because "lives depend on it"

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip is for all public safety personnel who respond to emergency incidents. I want to talk about your training. 

As a first responder, it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that training is just another “check the box" requirement. Incident Command System training? Check. Communicable diseases training? Check. Firearms qualification? Check. It’s way too easy to go on autopilot. And when that happens, your focus wanders. And when your focus wanders, you fail to effectively learn and retain the information.  

Training matters because we will perform out on the streets like we train back at the station.  

So, what should training look like? Here’s some suggestions for you. 

First, it needs to be realistic. Use experiences to guide the training scenario. Use recent events or previous close calls to sharpen your skills.  

Next, plan and develop the training thoroughly. Nothing is more unmotivating then standing around watching some instructor shuffle papers while you’re supposed to be training. So please be prepared.  

Training should be a daily habit. Every day needs to be a training day.  

And finally, make it verifiable. Have a record of what you trained on and when you trained on it. Individually and organizationally, adopt the attitude that you need to train as though lives depend on it. Why? Because they do.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.  

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