It's always good to gather after the work is done to swap stories and generally just relax. But don't forget about the training opportunity this time gives us. As volunteer's we are always hard pressed for training time between our family obligations, work, etc. Sometimes, the incidents and the experience they provide are some of our best teachers. As a firefighter, take time to listen to some of the 'war stories' of older members. Look for the training message that might be hidden there. Sometimes a funny mistake or a close call can give you some much needed information so you don't make the same mistake.
Also, take time after the incident to discuss what might have gone right, and what might have gone wrong. This isn't a chance to bash a fellow firefighter or to make fun of someone else's mistakes, but rather a chance for all of us to learn from the work we do. Nothing good comes from making someone else look bad. We are all professionals, working for the better of the community. Even if some makes a 'bone head' mistake, it could be you the next time. Keep everything positive and look for ways to do our job better.
Lt. David Kramer is the Training Officers for Northern Piatt County Fire Protection District. Lt. Kramer heavily promotes education in the fire service, attending every training opportunity possible and then passing that information on to the members of his own department.