Daily life as a firefighter carries a bit more stress than other jobs do. You need to be ready in the blink of an eye to address a problem when a call comes in. Though what firefighters face on the other side of that distress call varies, one constant is you always combat a pressing issue together with their team. As a firefighter, you need to have a strong bond with the members of your team so that you can all serve your community well together. Because of all these reasons and more, communication skills on and off the scene matter. For those who want to learn more and improve their own interpersonal skills, here are some communication tips for firefighters—they’re sure to help you on the job.
On the Scene
Wherever firefighters go, they need a clear idea of how to operate together when they arrive. While there are several important elements to successful fireground communication, appropriate two-way radio usage is one noteworthy facet.
One communication tip for firefighters is to optimize radio use. Many firefighting teams utilize two-way radios for their high-quality and dedicated instantaneous communication capabilities. It is important firefighters understand how to communicate clearly with these devices, though—failure to keep your message short and articulate, for example, could cost you precious time.
When you first arrive, make clear who will radio in a broad assessment of the environment so that others know what they’re running into. Keeping your voice even and firm during these assessments and follow-up messages makes the whole job easier.
Don’t Go Rogue
Also, don’t take matters into your own hands. Coordinate with superiors even in a chaotic environment. Assuming you know better than others and not communicating your actions could lead to a dangerous outcome or, at the very least, sow confusion and waste time.
In the Firehouse
While on-scene communication is vital, downtime in the firehouse is vital for gaining others’ trust.
People who go into a fire or other threatening situations will need to trust you first. For this reason, you can’t leave issues unaddressed or let your pride run amok. Instead, directly approach people about a concern they have with you with humility and openness. If a problem merits a broader, more inclusive conversation, ask your fire chief about initiating that with the group. Showing them that you care more about the emergency services you provide than your own pride and reputation will speak volumes.
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