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Fire Engineering Books & Videos
Developing Firefighter Resiliency: A Success-Based Training Model

Developing Firefighter Resiliency: A Success-Based Training Model


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Three Key Messages

  • This is important.
  • You can do it.
  • I won't give up on you.
Training ordinary people to do extraordinary things requires an understanding of how we learn. Developing Firefighter Resiliency starts with the basic psychophysical aspects of learning.
The fire service has unwittingly used a failure-based training model for many years. Hands-on training exercises are often based on unachievable objectives. Trainers are often not educated about the psychology of adult learning or the effect of stress during learning. Consequently, participants face learning activities with mastery-level skill requirement to succeed when competency has yet to be established. This amounts to a never-ending diet of tests without actual skill development. Accessing knowledge under extreme circumstances cannot be left to chance, because the penalty for failure is severe.
This book provides the roadmap for a journey to train, establish relevancy for the lessons, develop competency in the skills, and capitalize on confidence to achieve mastery. We study the impact of a stressful environment on the ability to learn and function.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593704209
Publisher: Fire Engineering Books & Videos
Publication date: 01/05/2019
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Bob Carpenter is a 38-year veteran of the fire service, having recently retired from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. His career spans volunteer fire service and career fire service as a member of a combination department. Bob served for 30 years with Miami-Dade (FL) Fire Rescue (MDFR). As a captain, Bob was the bureau officer in charge of recruit training. He served as the training captain for the North Operations Division for 10 years, during which time he developed and deployed numerous training initiatives, ranging from company-level to department-wide projects. Bob is the author of several training articles in internationally published trade magazines. In addition, he is a co-lead instructor with Tactical Resiliency Training, LLC, specializing in tactical resiliency training and officer/instructor development. Since 2007, Bob has presented workshops and classroom sessions at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC) International in Indianapolis, IN, speaking on the subjects of training and officer development. Bob’s “Drill Development: Four Steps to Success” workshop has been part of the State of New Jersey’s Department of Fire Safety Instructor continued contact curriculum through Kean University at more than 80% of the state’s fire academies. His “Drill Development” workshop has been a core part of the mandatory Officer Development Academy at Palm Beach County (FL) Fire Rescue for three years. Bob Carpenter can be contacted at

Dave Gillespie is a 25-year veteran with the Peterborough Fire Service in Canada. He has worked as firefighter, chief training officer, and incident safety officer, and he is currently on the trucks. Dave has spoken at FDIC and authored articles for Fire Engineering and Firefighting in Canada, including “Due Diligence” and “Innovative Simulation Training in Acquired Structures.” He is an adjunct professor at Fleming College Firefighting Program and teaches Forcible Entry, HazMat, and Fire Ground Operations courses. A provincially certified trainer and department water rescue instructor for 20 years, he has provided training in fire-rescue operations, swift water and ice rescue, hazmat, air management, and other various subjects across the country. Dave developed Ontario Fire College’s Water/Ice Rescue Program and has served as a stunt safety coordinator, consulted with fire departments, and provided courtroom testimony on fire service’s “industry best practices.” In 2011, Dave received the Chief’s Excellence in Service Award for the development of YouTube video for the Swim to Survive program. With 800 Grade 3 students participating each year, more than 6,000 children have graduated from the joint-services/aquatic program. From personal experience, Dave lived the stress response and has seen first-hand “how people don’t rise to the occasion, they default to their level of training.” That experience influenced his research and development of his training philosophy to help firefighters raise their performance, involving simulations, stress inoculation, and stress-induced practices, along with resiliency tactics. Dave is a partner in Tactical Resiliency Training LLC, and serves as critical incident stress (CIS) debriefer. He is a trainer in “Road to Mental Readiness and Suicide Intervention” and speaks with corporate groups on high performance and resiliency. He applies the training and resiliency principles outlined in this book with his family and at work on a daily basis. Dave lives a busy life with Monica, his wife of 22 years, and his sons, Brock and Dawson, doing runs, remote canoe trips, swimming whitewater, and any adventure that makes them laugh.

Ric Jorge completed a 24-year career as a firefighter with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, a district with more than 50 firehouses covering 1.2 million citizens over 1,762 square land miles. As a national and state-certified instructor teaching in his department for more than 14 years, Ric developed and delivered several department-wide trainings. Ric has delivered lectures and Hands-On Training (H.O.T.) classes nationally and internationally (Ecuador Fire Academy, S.A.), as well as teaching at several well-known fire conferences and training academies annually across the country. These classes have been presented at the FDIC International (Indiana), Fort Lauderdale Fire Expo, Fire Rescue East (Daytona), Orlando Fire Conference (Orlando, FL), Metro Atlanta Fire Conference (Atlanta, GA), 50th State Fire Conference (Oahu, Hawaii), Florida State Fire Academy, Firehouse Expo (Baltimore and Nashville), Great Florida Fire School, Texas Association of Fire Educators Conference, Berks County Fire Symposium (PA), Command Officer Boot Camp (Pensacola, FL), Firemanship Conference (Portland, OR), NE Fire Summit (MA), TEAM Conference (Spokane, WA), and the Company Officer Leadership Conference (LSU/Fire & Emergency Training Institute). Ric has developed several courses, two of which have drawn national interest: “Impact This: Forcing Impact-Resistant Openings” and “The Monster/Courage Within: Developing and Teaching Resiliency.” Ric has authored chapters in books, including Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II and Dave Dodson and John Mittendorf’s The Art of Reading Buildings. He has also authored articles for publication in magazines (Fire Engineering and 1st Responder), newsletters (“Fire Department Training Network”), and online blogs (“Backstep Firefighter”). Ric Jorge can be contacted at Some of his work can be found on FaceBook under “Tactical Resiliency Training,” as well as on YouTube.

Table of Contents



Part 1: Adversity of Fire

The Finer Points of Character

The Anatomy of Fear

Part 2: The Success-Based Training Model

The Basics of Adult Learning

The Four Ps to Success: Plan, Prepare, Present, and Post

The Safety Plan: Not Just Another Form

Part 3: Resiliency

Mental Tactics of High Performance

Building Mental Toughness

The Power of Self-Talk

Part 4: Developing Resiliency through Physiological Tactics

Breathing and Mindfulness

The Body and Physiological Needs

Training Smarter


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