When it hit the fan, CFD stayed cool

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


Editor’s Note:

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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