Some people refer to firefighting as "organized chaos." Most departments, however, would like to think that there are rhyme and reason in their initial operations. In general, I am aware of two types of firefighting operations. In the first, preincident assignment, the actions of all the first-alarm units are dictated by procedure. In many large departments (and a few smaller ones), the actions of the first-in engine are determined by procedure, not circumstances. In many cases, the first-in engine takes a line to the fire. The second-in engine augments the first-in engine's water supply and then takes a line above the fire. The first-in truck performs specific tasks as well, usually ...

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