When SOPs, training and teamwork come together, the fire is almost a quiet, non-event.

My best friend back home likes to poke fun at some of the “good” fire videos I pass along. He’s quick to ask where is all the yelling and screaming? Where are all the members running around back and forth getting nothing done? What happened to all the air horns that are supposed to sound off once fire breaks out a couple of windows, or through the hole in the roof?

This worker in Newark is a fine example of a basic, or “routine” fire. I know most of us dislike using “routine” but I personally think that in today’s service, “routine” has become the junior-varsity attempt at extinguishment. Companies arrive, stretch lines in parallel, vent indiscriminately and evacuate the building five minutes later.

There’s plenty of media showing us what is wrong, what will get us killed. Is this Newark fire perfect? No, there is no such thing; however, let’s also make a lot of noise about the good fires, the one- or two-line fires that hardly make the news. The ones where the scene is almost as quiet as a library.

For more “food for thought” on this, check out Christopher Brennan’s piece at The Fire Service Warrior.

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