Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Understanding a Culture of Extinguishment

Issue 10 and Volume 166.

BY RAY McCORMACK THERE IS BARELY A DEFINITION of a culture of extinguishment, never mind a standard. That being the case, let’s try to define it, explain what it means to most of us, and look at what it is not. A culture of extinguishment is about commitment to the art of suppression and perseverance during suppression—two qualities firefighters need to employ to fulfill the department’s mission to the community and the fire service itself. It is about the constant discovery and refinement of the suppression mission. It is about working to provide the best in suppression tactics and efficiency. It is not about some twisted sense of duty, risk-all mantra that many have tried to ascribe to it. Extinguishment is accomplished with different approaches—line sizes and from both inside and outside of fire buildings. Where it has gotten messy is when people attach firefighter risk and injury to a…

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