“For this week’s forum, reflect on the course with responses to the following:    

Discuss a few topics you now have a better understanding of compared to when the course began.
How will you utilize the information we covered to be more effective at your job? 
How can the course can be improved?

#1

 
I cannot believe that eight weeks have come and gone and this course is coming to a close.  I have enjoyed the course and can take away information that will hopefully make me a better firefighter for years to come.  The course has focused on some key aspects of the job though review of incidents like the Watts Plant fire.  This had me reviewing and putting in place the NFPA concepts tree.  This approach helps to cover all bases and assure there are no holes in potential incident.  The weekly forums also had us thing about incidents both typical and uncommon.  Week 2 brought a great discussion on the best method to extinguish fires in coal mines and jigsaws with solid rocket fuel.  To read everyone’s opinion on the best method really helped see things from different views. 
       This course has me reinforcing that the learning must never stop.  Reviewing past incidents is a great way to learn from real world scenarios.  It is also clear that the NFPA literature available is a great source of information for all facets of the job from protection measures to incident concepts.  I found the course to be interesting and relative to the degree.  I do wish the assignments would open earlier each week.  Having a busy life, I try and get a lot of my work done on shift if the time is available.  Some weeks I had completed the lesson and all required reading but was unable to move forward because the forum or assignment had not opened yet.  The book that was also part of the weekly reading I found to be extremely technical and often I was honestly confused reading it.  It seemed to be disconnected form the rest of the course as well and really did not correlate to the forums or assignments.  Best of luck to everyone on the remainder of your coursed and I hope everyone has a great holiday.
#2
There were a few things that I didn’t know about or weren’t privy to about how building construction and fire protection systems can suppress or worsen a fire. The topic halon was interesting because I didn’t know that it is harmful to personnel and the environment. Also, how agencies are trying to stray away from using that extinguishing agent. Another topic was the case study on the Watts Fire that I learned about the fire safety concepts tree and how some buildings were grandfathered in which got me thinking about how policies, rules, codes, and standards should be changed to prevent further mishaps. This course not only discussed building construction and fire protection systems, it also gave a brief look at how the system is not perfect, and will need to be fixed to bring buildings up to code.
I believe that building construction will constantly change and this course helped me view how I should go about inspecting or sizing up a building to enter or offering ideas to help. This also helped me visualize how different factors on a building can influence a fire’s path. I would like to have a different book for the course. It seemed that the book was more for building construction in England, which I was trying to relate to what the U.S. has, as far as codes and standards the building materials.

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