Publisher's Viewpoint

Oct. 27, 2008
On the Job Training
What does training mean to you? Whether you classify yourself as an installing alarm dealer, systems integrator, low voltage contractor or electronic security consultant, training is paramount to your success and longevity in the security industry.

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to College Station, TX, to participate in Kidde's Flammable Liquid Fire Fighting School held at Texas A&M's world class facility. Being a volunteer firefighter on Long Island, I jumped at the chance to rub shoulders with top industrial and municipal firefighters from around the world and learn a thing or two from the nation's leading fire school. And as publisher of this great magazine, I thought readers who are dedicated to installing fire systems would enjoy hearing about the experience.

I attended classroom sessions where head instructor and school organizer Frank Bateman outlined proven strategies and tactics used to fight some of the most challenging flammable liquid incidents—knowledge that would later come in handy during the intense field evolutions.

After lunch the fun really began when everyone changed into bunker gear and made their way to the fire props for the first of the afternoon burns. Each scenario offered realistic hands-on training and the chance to learn new fire fighting techniques.

In my conversations with many of the 72 students who attended from around the globe, including Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines, the high level of trust these fire departments have placed in this training became apparent. In addition to the repeat attendees, a number of the students were from departments where the entire squadron was either enrolled or had already been through the training. Such stories were a testament to the quality of education that Kidde has been providing.

So what should you take from this? Think about what your company has to offer. Think about all the training opportunities that present themselves during the year that either you or your technicians should attend.

Training provides the skills that are needed to go to the next level. Whether it is learning the features and benefits of a new product sponsored by a manufacturer or it is installation tips and trends sponsored by the NBFAA and the National Training School . It can even be over a lunch, where you learn something vital from your local distributor. The bottom line is, consider training a constant learning process, and find the time and resources to do it.