Firefighting

FIGHTING FIRES WITH WORDS

Issue 1 and Volume 150.

FIGHTING FIRES WITH WORDS BY BILL MANNING About a year ago, I was amazed to overhear a group of firefighters discussing the wildland “interzone.” I half-expected Rod Serling to jump out from a signpost up ahead. “You are entering The InterZone.” And I thought “interface” was pushing it. But it`s important to keep up with advanced buzzwords. No one knows what you`re talking about, but that`s the point: Hopefully, if you keep talking BuzzWord 101 long enough, people will start to notice that you`re very, very intelligent. Knowing the right words can help, say, a big-city firefighter from the Northeast to prop himself up as an expert on wildland firefighting. Or a chief from a bedroom community who`s had seven house fires in three years can hop right onto the lecture circuit as an expert in the “Integrated Emergency Management System,” words strung together that have the same effect on…

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