In a comment by David Fowler regarding Fire Service response, the following appeared:
"I always want to know how a system is going to work under operator stress. My experience shows me that people work best under stress with those things they are most familiar with, and will reject new procedures, systems, etc., that are introduced during a stress period. Training is one way of making the unfamiliar familiar."
It reminds me of an incident message a few year back that involved a person whose name was long and difficult to spell. Let's say it was "Jwailicowski" for illustration and no offense intended. Mr. J, lets call him, was an agency official, but a responding volunteer didn't know him nor had he heard the name before because he never really participated and attended training. During an emergency a two minute message came in. This particular volunteer spent four minutes getting the phonetic spelling on the one word name when he should have taken ten seconds. Had he belonged to the organization and attended its training --- which included familiarity with personnel --- he would have been familiar with Mr. J's name and could have simply written it out correctly after only hearing the name once. Instead, because of his lack of participation and training, he tied up the net for an excruciating four minutes that drove others to distraction.
Small potatoes? Well, maybe, but small potatoes grow into big plants that send out runners and shoots into many areas. So it is with lack of familiarization (training) of people, procedures and systems. Attend ANY opportunity for familiarization and orientation; you will never know what you missed if you don't attend!!
---Cary Mangum, W6WWW, State Chief Radio Officer
Remember: Out of sight is out of mind.