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Skill Acquisition vs. Certification

This is a very interesting topic to me. A lot of firefighters got locked into the idea that they need every certification and start obtaining them as fast as they can. I too fell into this mindset. Lately, I have been thinking much more about true skill acquisition over certification. It's important to remember that certification training is meeting the minimum standard and ensuring that a checkbox is filled out. Once those checkboxes are filled then the next skill will be achieved. Skill acquisition is much more in depth with one specific skill.

There are multiple training cadres out there that specialize in just a few skills and really hone in the teaching aspects of those skills. Search, Ladders, Engine Work, and much more should be individualized skills that should be trained on separate from each other and focusing on the skill. The next and most important thing is ensuring that the sets and reps of a specific skill are drilled on repeatedly for the class. The students should spend 50-75% of the class performing hands on skills that reinforce the knowledge section.

It's important to remember that while certification training is great, you have just scratched the surface. We must ensure that we are going out and obtaining training in a specific skillset. There are obviously multiple skills that we must learn and become proficient in. Learn the skill and train on them repeatedly with a primary focus on hands on skills. Make sure to search out training cadres and conferences to further expand your skillset.


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