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What can I be swatting up on prior to my two weeks residential safe to ride course.

Anything I could do with knowing before hand would be helpful.

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Do you have any pre-course learning?

In our service we have to teach the following on station (6 drill nights) before the attend their initial course:

  • Knots and lines (name the lines, how to tie the knots and their application)
  • Ladder commands (understanding of what they are but not how to pitch ladders)
  • Fire ground commands
  • Pump layouts
  • Basic SWAH terminology and equipment
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Hi Mitch

Yes I'm doing the pre course drill nights. I'm just wandering if there's any extra I could be learning. Just so I can land on two feet so to speak. 

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My advice would be do what is required pre-course wise. For the knots practice until it is impossible not to do it. Learn the layout of the appliance, nothing worse after the course and not knowing where the kit is. Other than that don't worry, if you learn it wrong then it may be hard to correct. The instructors are there to teach. Get in the gym and get fit for it (but don't hurt yourself!).

If your TC is anything like ours get used to chips with everything! 

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I fully endorse what Mitch says.  The course will teach you everything they want you to know, and more importantly the way they want you to do it.  Complete the pre course learning to a high standard but don’t get dragged into trying to learn additional stuff as you don’t want to have to spend time trying to unlearn a wrong method when the course will be intense enough as it is.

Enjoy the course.  The real learning starts once the course finishes .  I am  still learning new stuff every week after almost 19 years.

  • Kudos 1
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Regarding knots you should eventually aim to get to a point whereby you can do them with your eyes shut (mimicking having to do them in a dark building/at night).  Then when you’ve done that aim to be competent at knots with your eyes shut AND wearing gloves.

Dont get ahead of yourself though, just go with the pace of the training BUT for your own benefit take my advice above.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, just about to start my pre course training. Can you guys please give me the names of the knots I need to nail down. The ones I know so far are Figure of 8, Clove Hitch, Bowline, Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, Rolling Hitch. Which ones am I missing? I believe there are 7?


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Some ask for the Alpine butterfly and chairknot. But the ones you mentioned are the ones you will use the most. Get used to tying the bowline both around yourself and another person/object.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been wholetime 10 years now Jamie, never even heard of Fisherman knot or sheet bend, have heard of chair knot but harness's take away the need.

is it a case of we have always done them so we will carry on teaching them.

Cow hitch was taught on station and is useful for raising a step ladder!

Just saying, ??

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Sheet bend/double sheet bend is super useful. Though I think I've only ever used it for joining throw lines or barrier tape operationally.

Fishermans bend I think is just a round turn two half hitches only the first half hitch goes through the round turns before the standing end. I believe it's to allow some some sideways slippage.

  • Kudos 1
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They are both used for tying 2 lines together. Really handy. There are way more than 7 knots @J4yt33 but there are definitely a core of knots you will use more than others. I would learn how to tie the appropriate ones ‘on the bite’ as well. This is when you fold a line to double it up and tie the knots... overhand knot on the bite, figure of 8 on the bite etc. This is more often than knot.... how you will end up tying certain knots ?

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