Action Line: CCFR looking into new training method for firefighters

    JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Capital City Fire Rescue is piloting a new method of training firefighters.

    That was a topic of discussion on Action Line last week.

    The main focus for Assistant Chief Tod Chambers is fire training.

    "Traditional fire service training is a standard model of lecturing to the students, they have an assignment, they have a reading, and then you go out and do practical skill drills and test on it," explained Chambers. "The effectiveness of that has definitely waned over the years, due a lot to the massive amount of information that people are inundated with constantly; we have an availability to find anything on our smart phones, tablets, or any kind of mobile device, and the traditional model just isn't as effective. We call it "Death by Power Point," and it's time to change that around.

    Here's what they're looking at instead.

    "One method we're exploring is called a "flipped classroom." We piloted that with our Rapid Intervention Crew Class that we did this last July. The people that attended were assigned a pre-course assignment, which was basically e-learning. It was a distance learning model where they completed their course work, took quizzes, and received a certification online, and we were able to dedicate all of the hours we had for hands-on training and just master some skills, gaining far more proficiency out of it than we did before. The reception was excellent."

    Chief Chambers hopes to employ the "flipped classroom" method during this fall's Firefighter Two course. If that works out, he then wants to use it in the next Firefighter One course.

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