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Why Does It Always Have to be Done That Way?

Paul Shapiro

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Whether it’s department SOPs, SOGs, or just the word from the old-timers, we in the fire service have rules that govern the way we do things. Especially when it comes to moving water. Some of these rules have been established from years past, while others are more recent. What are rules based on? They can be anything from fire service textbooks on water delivery to actual fireground incidents from the past that may have gone bad. Who knows? Some of you may be thinking, water flow is water flow. Water in, water out. How or why should it change? Do you think our forefathers had the same hesitation when there was talk of trading in the buckets for hose or horses for motorized apparatus? Or, how about those darn SCBAs, only wimps use them.

Let’s take a look at different methods and techniques of water delivery that have been taught over the years based on fire service textbooks, department rules or policies, or just because. It should be noted that all techniques and operations that are going to be discussed in this article as the new alternative methods go directly in line with manufacturers recommendations for their equipment and have been used safely and successfully on the fireground.

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