Wednesday, May 13

10 — 11:45  a.m.

The senior firefighter: mentoring the future of our fire service

In current times, fire departments are responding to less working fires than ever. In previous generations, experience was the biggest teacher when it came to learning the job or mastering the skills of a firefighter. With less and less fires occurring, how will we continue to foster our culture and pass down the skills necessary to get the job done the way we have in the past? The answer lies with the Senior Firefighter.

This is the “go-to” guy in the company that can carry the responsibility of training less experienced firefighters and can not only teach mastery of task level skills, but also stress the importance of maintaining the department’s culture, pride and values through mentorship.


This class will discuss the qualities to look for in senior firefighter and how to get those qualified involved. We will look at some differences in generations and make attempts to bridge the gaps through setting the example and correcting mistakes informally using constructive criticism versus formal documentation. From the perspective of a company officer, we will discuss how to use these senior firefighters to your advantage and how the concept can lead to an overall happier and more productive company. Expect this class to be interactive with a lot of dialogue as we talk about how to move the fire service forward into the future.

Cost: Free

INSTRUCTOR:  Steve Lester has served in the fire service for 25 years. He has been with Cobb County Fire Department since 1996 where he currently holds the rank of Battalion Chief. Steve is a member of the MAFFC Committee where he has directed classroom sessions for the last several years and is also a prior instructor. He is a member of 575 F.O.O.L.S. Steve holds an Associate's Degree in Fire Management; is a long-time paramedic and also a Registered Nurse. Steve is the chairman of his department's high rise committee and has served in his department's special operations in the past.