Are You Conducting Your Knowledge Inventory?
Keeping up with trends and improvements requires a lifelong dedication to public safety education!
I recently saw an article posted on the Emergency Management on-line edition, about a local fire department that had been missing a Hurst extrication tool for almost two weeks before realizing it was gone. The article tugged at my memory back to when I was a young Rescue Squad member and we visually looked at our trucks and equipment during the every Monday night meeting and ensured their operation on the every other Thursday night duty crew. It also started me thinking about how often do we check on our personal readiness posture as it pertains to keeping up with trends, improvements and our general field knowledge.
For some of us, it has been quite some time since we walked the halls to class at the Community College, University, or marched in unison to prepare for our Public Safety careers. Our knowledge was cutting edge and we boldly went into the world to save lives and protect and serve.
As we matured and began to forge our own paths, families were established, and those interests outweighed our continuing educations needs. We also come upon way-points in our lives that guide us in new directions and new career opportunities. And before you know it, we are self consumed with everything accept expanding our personal knowledge.
The unwritten contract when we enter a public safety career requires we dedicate ourselves to a life time of learning and education. Technology, legal guidelines and fine tuning of processes requires that we stay abreast of changes to provide the best service. For our professional certifications, there are those pesky CEU requirements, but they are really invaluable.
Once the kids are gone and it's time to turn down the wick so to speak, if your flame for service still burns hot, it is imperative to stay educated. My personal experiences and career path led me away from much of my EMS qualifications. I was a tactical paramedic, rescue squad member and police officer. After retirement I entered a second career in the private sector, and now find my self retired but still active in volunteer service with our local CERT team.
The education need is still there to be able to provide premiere customer service. On-line courses and Citizen Corp training are a few ways I have continued that life time engagement of learning. I'm even toying with going back to school and getting my EMT again. No doubt I would be considered a Parasaurus!
Never give up on your public safety education and dedication. Your experiences can be one of the greatest tools of knowledge that you can pass on to the next generation of life savers. Don't miss on a chance to change the world!