Recall Robert De Niro’s famous lines in Backdraft when he explains fire to a new recruit: “It’s a living thing, it breathes—the only way to beat it is to think like it.” In reality, it’s a laboratory setting—not a Hollywood set—that provides research as to how fire eats, breathes and grows. The interesting thing is that De Niro’s statement was right on, and research supports it.
In previous columns we’ve discussed the importance of incorporating research into training, SOPs and firefighting; we’ve explained how the term “flow path” is quickly entering our vocabularies and after-action reviews; and we’ve dedicated a lot of ink to introducing SLICERS as a new paradigm to guide fireground action. In this installment, we discuss the importance of truck company operations. Just as with engine company operations, new research doesn’t equal extinction for truck work. The fact is truck work is essential to fireground success, and we’ve been doing most things right. Now is the time to push the modern evolution to the other side of the house and “Keep on truckin’.”