We got a call from school yesterday that our youngest daughter, Honora, took a header on the playground and whacked her mouth. While she is sweet as pie, she also plunges headlong into everything, occasionally with semi-disastrous results. After a trip to the dentist to make sure all was okay (it was), this quote I use with my kids came to mind.
When I put it into the context of our profession and the continued number of injuries that occur during training, it really made me begin to wonder; are we rewarding people for taking unnecessary risks?
I’m not one to look down upon my injured brothers and I certainly want to be there when and if one of them gets hurt in the line of duty. I’ve been there myself as well, but again, this phrase comes to mind, and here I am wondering why personnel continue to get hurt in training. It’s this simple; the setting is controlled, you have a plan for how things should work, and if things might go wrong, you should have alternative plans and safety measures in place. So how is it that we have so many training accidents in this day and age?
The long and short of it is this; how can you go into a situation, knowing what the outcome is likely to be, and expect the outcome to change? The situation I am referring to is, if we are doing live training and not adhering to good safety practices, should we be surprised when things go wrong and people get hurt or killed?
Our job is dangerous to begin with (Go ahead and admit it, we all have a certain amount of pride in saying that). So why do we need to add to the danger in a controlled situation? Talk about your efforts in futility- where is the glory and honor in falling off a ladder, or letting a line get away and getting clobbered, or allowing a recruit to get trapped in a controlled burn?
If you aren’t going to use your safety equipment and if you aren’t going to use caution in conducting assigned evolutions, shouldn’t we expect you to get hurt?
Don’t be the person who is called to testify about all of the lapses in preparing for your training evolutions after having had an injury or fatality. Take pride in knowing that you can prepare a learning environment that poses a realistic challenge, while also insuring the safety of everyone involved, so that everyone can go home and no one has to prove just how tough they really are.