The Most Effective Firefighting Training Drills

There are many firefighter drills that not always utilized but shown to be very effective. Some are not easily found in the records because they are passed down internally within the industry, from generational firefighter to rookie. These drills will test dexterity, cleverness and grace under pressure. It is great to use skill-building exercises can be used year-round and with minimal cost and equipment, as these drills will help your volunteer firefighters to stay safe and hone their practice.

Chaotic Intrusion Scenario

As soon as the team has pulled up to an assignment and exited the rig, have a civilian run up to the unsuspecting fireman hysterically screaming “My baby! My baby!” as if they are worried about the survival of their baby. This will pose a real distraction test to the fireman, with no true threat. Say the task at hand is to pump tank water. See how this chaotic intrusion is handled. Should the fireman try to restrain the civilian in expense on the drill? Are the cries relevant to the assignment? How appropriate it is to direct a firefighter to intervene may be dependent on if there are abandonment issues in ignoring the pleas. The drill’s success is to be measured by exactly how long it took to get water, and if the goals were delayed because of the civilian.

Focus and Control

In this drill, after a cardio workout and while wearing their globes, firefighters are given bowls of nuts and bolts of many sizes. They must show they are able to assemble them all and place them in order of size outside the bowls with focus, control, patience, and cooperation. This exercise normally inspires a flow of options and ideas among the firemen. This assignment also allows you to see the levels of frustration and how it was handled personally and as a team.

Listening and Explaining

In this exercise, one firefighter has a rope and another will have their hands behind their back explaining how to tie a knot. The listener with the rope must obey every command exactly for this to work. The instructor will explain step by step until the knot is tied. To add another layer to this you can apply blindfold to one individual or both. This drill will highlight the listening skills and their ability to communicate effectively  to complete a task. This is one that is normally much more difficult than expected.


Place a piece of rebar with a grinder wheel while the firefighter lays upside-down on a table with the rebar under the table. This will create an inverted slant on things that are otherwise a normal training ground scenario. Going under a vehicle, tied off on a ladder, or using only one hand are additional layers to this challenging proficiency exercise.


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