Question 1. You are a senior firefighter for Ficshire Fire and Rescue. One of the new recruits has knocked on the door of your office, to ask for guidance. He informs you that he is terrified of the idea of running into a burning building, and that he isn’t sure whether he’s suitable for this role.
Most Effective = C – Sympathise with the recruit. Inform him that, based on your gut instinct, this might not be the role for him.
This is the most effective option. In this case, the best course of action is to take an empathetic but also realistic approach. You don’t need to be hard on the recruit, but you do need to make it clear that his fear will have a serious impact upon his ability to do the job.
Least Effective = A – Tell the man that there is no place for cowards in the Fire Service. Advise him to hand in his resignation immediately, so that you won’t have to inform his colleagues about this shameful display.
This is the least effective option. Not only are you being incredibly insensitive, but you are also blackmailing the man into walking away from the job. This needs to be handled in a much better way.
Question 2. You arrive at the scene of a house fire. There is nobody in the house, and the family that owns the house is gathered outside. They are extremely panicked, and demanding that you save their home. Just by looking at the initial blaze, it is clear that this will not be possible.
Most Effective = D – Ask the family to have patience, whilst you try and tackle the blaze.
This is the most effective approach. In this scenario, A is not effective, because your priority is not to lessen the damage to the home, it is to ensure the blaze is handled safely and as fast as possible. Furthermore, the question indicates that it is not possible to rescue the house. Therefore, D is the best approach.
Least Effective = B – Shout out to the family that there’s nothing you can do, and that their home will burn to the ground.
This is the least effective option. It is both blunt and insensitive, and will cause more problems.