Firefighters Gather for Leadership Seminar - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Firefighters Gather for Leadership Seminar

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YAKIMA--Firefighters from all around the country gathered in Yakima this weekend for a hands-on leadership seminar.

Firefighters came from as close as West Valley and as far as Georgia for what one firefighter called the best training class he's ever taken.

The "Axioms of Leadership" seminar centered on teamwork and communication.

One of the training tools was a maze.  Firefighters had to get through the gaps without ringing the bells attached to the ropes.  It was almost impossible at first, but once they started working together, it became much easier.

The firefighters also had to do trust exercises.

One facilitator said the lessons they're teaching can apply to everyone, not just firefighters.

"We develop ourselves and our ability to make good decisions," Chief Michael Baxter, Chatsworth (Georgia) Fire Department, said.  "That leads to earning the respect of coworkers, which leads to the ability to influence or lead people."

Baxter said the ability to be a better firefighter starts with being a better person, both at home and on the job.

Firefighters also spent some time in a classroom, but they said it was the hands-on training that set this workshop apart from others they've done.