Wisconsin Society of

Emergency Services Instructors


Wisconsin Society of

Emergency Services Instructors

F. Y. I.:

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WSESI 2018



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The Wisconsin Society of Fire Service Instructors (WSFSI) was formed in 1962 to serve the needs of fire instructors in our State. Newly renamed Wisconsin Society of Emergency Services Instructors (WSESI),
the Society assists local instructors through the exchange of ideas, dissemination of information, and the presentation of seminars and conferences. All of this is geared toward helping fire and emergency services instructors in their personal development and assisting them in bringing quality education and programs to their own agencies.

Please tour our site and learn more about how WSESI can serve all of your instructional needs. Your questions and comments are always welcome.

OUR NAME HAS CHANGED -- and is being edited, one webpage at a time. Thanks for your patience!

W S E S I   NEWS BRIEFS – July 25, 2017

Special Guest – The July WSESI Board meeting featured an appearance by new Education Director Angela White, who after a brief (re)introduction, reported on her recent activities in assessing the current status and progress of the state’s fire training programs. After a cordial discussion regarding issues of interest, the Board presented Director White with a complimentary membership in the Society. Thanks for joining us today!

Final Reminder: MONROE FIRE SCHOOL – Fri.-Sat., August 11-12, 2017 Contact the Southern Wisconsin – Northern Illinois Fire Rescue Association at www.swnifra.com .

See Events page regarding Wisconsin National Fire Academy Weekend, to be held October 20-22, 2017 at Volk Field in Camp Douglas. Enroll now!

Mid-State Technical College now offers an all-online degree program in Emergency Services Management – Visit our Links page or go to the MSTC website: www.mstc.edu/programs/emergency-services-management

Watch next month for a ‘Sneak Preview’ of our 2018 Annual Conference program! Plans are already in the works – save the date: Feb. 23-25, 2018 – in Eau Claire!

 A reminder that email addresses and webpages containing “wsfsi.org” are being phased out, and will soon afterward be going away. If you find documents or online items still using our old name, please bring it to our attention so they may be updated or replaced. Thanks!

Having trouble downloading documents? Call 920-235-5494 to request a paper copy of any Society forms or documents, or email your request to [email protected] .

NEXT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – 10:00 AM – Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire. Contact your Board members  with any agenda items.

Photos from the 2017 Instructors Conference can be viewed in our Photo Gallery!


Artillery, Tomatoes, and Fire Horses

By Kevin Gerarden


There are a number of uses for the verb “train” – to teach so as to make fit; to form by instruction, discipline, or drill; to make prepared (as by exercise); to direct the growth (as of a plant); to aim at an object – all familiar definitions. Even the noun “train” comes from the same root – to trail or drag. To examine the context is to gain insight into what we do as instructors – which is so much more than just ‘teaching’ a subject.


The term ‘train’ implies that we aim or point our students in a direction, as one would aim a cannon, so that the target may be reached. In order to produce that result, we employ a uniform process and sound methods that ensure the desired trajectory.  Anyone who served in an artillery battery knows that it’s all about ‘the drill’; the repetition of those methods is designed to develop and reinforce muscle memory.


As growing season commences in Wisconsin, we may choose to ‘train’ our tomato vines up a twine or trellis so that they may become more productive. Left to their own natural tendencies, the vines would sprawl in multiple directions, with no one stem yielding much in the way of fruit. The ‘training’ of the vines provides them the direction to focus on producing the desired result.


I recently had the pleasure of posting a vintage film clip of horse-drawn fire apparatus in the process of turning out for an alarm. The training of both man and horse was evident in the manner they employed to hitch up and go at an impressive rate of speed. All the preparation required came together for the camera to record.


Those members of our Society, who can reflect and understand this process, have the potential to extend it to the objective of ensuring growth and productivity in the instructors and training personnel throughout the agencies in the state – and beyond. Please forgive me if my train of thought made too many station stops on its way to this point...



Kevin G.


*A Note From My B.U.D. (Big Ugly Desk) threatens to be a bimonthly feature for the newsletter of the Wisconsin Society of Fire Service Instructors. All opinions expressed are those of the author, who would be grateful for any feedback and discussion.