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When I was a young fire-fighter, I tried to put all of the aspects of firefighting into neat little packages: "If this, then this!" Well, as I soon found out, our profession isn't always black and white and easily tucked into nice little nooks and crannies. Buildings, builders, architects, and occupancy types are different, and what worked at a fire in a two-story wood-frame dwelling yesterday didn't work at a textile mill fire the week before. Not only is firefighting not an exact science, but we can't even agree on what we call "stuff"! As an example, "dinky" in my department is the same thing as a "Dutchtown" in Detroit or a "short ladder" in Atlanta. We use and misuse term...

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