Follow the Rules!

Just about everything we are involved in has a set of rules. Orderly societies, communities and cultures establish rules for behavior, deportment and discipline to maintain a controlled, safe and productive environment. We make rules to provide guidance...


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These are just a few of the very basic and, by the way, easily complied with rules of firefighting. You don't need to be a chief or even an officer to recognize the value of and follow these rules. Read them, copy them and post them on the bulletin board at the fire station.

Start behaving like the professional firefighter that you are and others will take notice and maybe even follow your lead. You are the person that is most in control of your own safety and survival, so follow the rules!

JOHN J. SALKA JR., a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a 28-year veteran battalion chief with FDNY, the commander of the 18th battalion in the Bronx. Salka has instructed at several FDNY training programs, including the department's Probationary Firefighters School, Captains Management Program and Battalion Chiefs Command Course. He conducts training programs at national and local conferences and has been recognized for his firefighter survival course "Get Out Alive." Salka co-authored the FDNY Engine Company Operations manual and wrote the book First In, Last Out — Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department. He also operates Fire Command Training (www.firecommandtraining.com), a New York-based fire service training and consulting firm.