With the inherent nature of firefighting, there are always changing events. It is a dynamic and ever-changing profession.
During live fire emergencies and operations, drivers need to remain diligent about the activities occurring around them. They cannot remain focused on the pump panel or aerial operations only; they need to be vigilant about their surrounding area and radio communications.
After instructing aspiring driver engineers at my former department, there were many days of lecture the candidates had to attend to know the ins and outs of operating and understanding a fire apparatus. Once they began to drive, pump, operate the ladder devices, etc., much of the theory was unused.
Just like pharmacology for paramedics, we learned how each drug affected the body and the different medical terminology of the qualities of the drug on the body's systems. When in the field, we knew to raise a person's blood pressure by using a particular fluid or drug in the specified amount.
As a teacher of fire service hydraulics for many years, I always noticed how new driver candidates always struggled with performing the hydraulic calculations—first on paper, then from memory. For those who do not practice math on a regular basis, it can be overwhelming in the beginning. There are some calculations that probably need pencil to paper that are not practical for field, rule-of-thumb calculations. Many less complex calculations can be done in your head. It can be second nature if one practices it on a regular basis to keep his skills proficient.