As I am privileged to travel across the country like I do, I see, hear, and read a lot of the same thing as it pertains to the fire service. Quite often I hear the phrase ” We gotta get back to the basics”. Now my question is to all of you. Why did you ever leave them? What is it in the fire service that is so advanced that it gets away from the foundational principles of your initial fire school? So now lets walk down this journey of the basics and see where it leads us.
Most of the text books that are used for basics fire school, open up by providing you with some insight into the American fire service, and its origins. We can take a journey all the way back to the Romans, and associate ourselves with the Corps of Vigiles who were slaves, and your first bucket brigade and symbol of and organize means of fighting fires. Let us jump forward to our settlement at Jamestown the birth place of the pike pole. Let us now come forward to the modern day where we are fighting the fight for sprinklers to protect lives and property.
My point to what I am saying here is a basics part of what you were taught in basic fire school was to learn history, and learn from the past, but many firefighters today still refuse to read and learn from the NIOSH reports that are provided. Many organizations spend a lot of time and money after an LODD to have their own investigative reports done, and share them. Yet again we still repeat the same mistakes today. So now that we are clear. Reading for the fire service is a basics skill. Why do you not read?
One of the next things that come up is how your organization is setup to run, and it also lays out a basics guide line for running an emergency incident. You maybe asking yourself why does this matter? If in your organization members can not follow a chain of command in the firehouse, how do you expect them to follow it on the fire ground. Leadership and command presence is proven before we ever go out the door for the emergency. So why is this a basic that you can link to every LODD. Lack of command, and Lack of communication, because this all starts at the firehouse or academy before the first emergency response.