Training – Taking Your Unit to the Next Level

Fire DrillTraining is that process which all organizations perform. It helps to align organizational energy towards a common plan which will be successful. It helps to test systems and ensure they are prepared to support what is necessary. It facilitates the development of individuals within their roles and exposes them to new situations to make them think. All too often though, training is planned, performed, and assessed without any realism or challenges presented to subordinates.

When training does not inject realism into it, the opportunity for testing skill sets and the decision-making process is lost. As leaders, we want to see that our subordinates can make choices as well as have the training to do what needs to be done when the choices are made. It is the difference between doing a medical training to treat an injured limb or responding to a medical mass casualty event and having to decide who to help first, and what resources to utilize based on limitations of personnel and equipment. One challenges a skill set. The other challenges the individual, the systems, and forces us to employ our decision-making process at the same time.

Training should follow simple concepts.

  • TrainingIt should be well planned. The amount of time that goes into planning the event should be significantly longer than the time it takes to actually perform the training. The brightest minds should be included in the planning process. Leaders and subordinates who have a stake in the process should be pulled together. Provide them with a left and right limit for what limitations are present and see where they take it.
  • It should be realistic. Work near the train tracks? Rehearse a train derailment. Want to add decision-making to the event? Inject hazardous materials into the training equation and now the situation just got a lot more complex. Life guards at a pool? Plan for a shallow water rescue. Making it complex? Shallow water rescue for multiple patients due to a water lightning strike. Seeing how the individual or team reacts and what decisions they make is what opens up discussions at the highest organizational levels.
  • It should be honest. In a real incident, some people may die regardless of whether or not they are provided care. Recognizing that this is not a failing of the responder but a reality will help to ensure that when this happens in the real world, responders will have already been exposed to these emotions.
  • It should be challenging. Leaders and subordinates should be challenged to determine what is the best There is no right answer, there are plenty of wrong answers, but it is our responsibility to make the decisions based on our experiences, training, and intuition. That is why training should be more complex and difficult than the real world, so that when we face these issues on our way to work – we will have already solved a previous problem more complex and difficult.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

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