Learning and Burning

Matthew Desmond

in On the Fireline

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780226144085
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226144078 | DOI:
Learning and Burning

Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes how firefighters are educated, trained, and disciplined by their host organization. It begins by describing the training crewmembers receive for fighting fires, whether those fires are as small as a tent or as monstrous as the Rodeo fire. The chapter focuses specifically on the fundamental rules of wildland firefighting—The Ten Standard Fire Orders and the Eighteen Situations That Shout “Watch Out!”—because these mandates are the sacred commandments of firefighters; they are the unquestioned, fundamental doctrines of the Forest Service, which promise to keep firefighters safe. After explaining how firefighters are introduced to the Orders and Situations through training exercises and supervisors' injunctions, it recalls a single night on the front lines of the Rodeo fire to show how crewmembers apply these rules in the hot and fast action of firefighting.

Keywords: firefighter training; wildland firefighting; Forest Service

Chapter.  11929 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.