Review of Emergency Responder SOPs/SOGs

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The fire service operates as a para-military organization dependent on clear and predetermined instructions. This allows individuals to know what they are supposed to do as well as expect what others will do. Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines (SOPs/SOGs) documents provide information on department rules for completing as job, using the knowledge, and skills to perform specific operations. A model template for developing these documents will be important when considering techniques and methods used in firefighting based on accepted scientific principals and research in the field of fire dynamics.

The purpose of this project is to collect and analyze SOPs/SOGs from North American fire departments to determine similarities, difference, and trends that will help guide the development of a model SOP/SOG template. Specific objectives include the following:

  1. Obtain SOPs/SOGs from a representative cross-section of the North American fire service. This includes: size of department, structure (career/volunteer/combined) of department, geographical location, and type of occupancies in jurisdiction (residential, commercial, industrial).
  2. Determine classification of SOPs/SOGs including: topic (operational, logistics, prevention, etc.), document structure, and scope.
  3. Develop a database of SOPs/SOGs based on fire department description and document classification.

Please consider participating in this project by filling out a brief survey about your fire department and submitting your department’s standard operating procedures or guidelines to be included in the database. Documents can be emailed to

Download the project summary. (PDF)