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Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

When it hit the fan, CFD stayed cool

Salty language aside, CFD's radio traffic is an excellent learning tool

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's note: Chief Adam K. Thiel tells us that we can all learn lessons from the radio traffic at Chicago's recent big one.

I don't always listen to the "radio traffic" stories that often surface on the many fire and emergency service-related blogs, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds across the Internet.

But this one definitely captured my attention and listening ear.

I've heard quite a few memorable size-ups during my career, and even given several I'd like to have back. As someone who grew up in Chicago, I have enough familiarity with the exploits of the Chicago Fire Department to know that when a CFD engine officer says "holy s--t" over the air, it's the real deal!

But listen (and now watch) again and you'll notice a few important lessons for all of us.

Beyond the headline words (which, by the way, seem to accurately describe the situation), clear information is provided, assignments are given, and despite a very challenging situation there's no sign of any yelling, screaming or anyone losing their s--t.

So kudos to Engine 82, the other 3-11 companies, and the CFD for another d--n good job!

Stay safe!

Listen to the isolated audio from the radio:

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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Rudy Caparros Sr. Rudy Caparros Sr. Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:43:44 AM WARNING: FIRST RESPONDERS’ use of THE CHLORINE INSTITUTE “C” KIT may cause the catastrophic failure of a chlorine tank car, instantly creating a toxic gas plume with a distance of not less than seven miles. The first mile will have chlorine concentrations of 1,000 ppm, causing death after one or two breaths with no opportunity for escape. To learn more, see PETITION C KIT, click on “First Responder Warnings.”.

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