As per Alan V. Brunacini Phoenix Fire Department Fire Chief. These are the compilations of what he observed over his 45 year career.
1.) Young conditions are easier to confront and control than old ones.
2.) A little force in the beginning can eliminate the need for lots of force at the end.
3.) Firefighting is always potentially painful because it generally gives the test just ahead of the lesson. A lesson is repeated until it is learned.
4.) Lessons we learn in the street are always serious. We grow wise only if we can quickly convert the last lesson into a functional behaviour.
5.) You can fool the spectators, but you can't fool the players.
6.) Something is wrong if you keep inheriting bad situations. You will continue to be such a recipient until you fix what is wrong.
7.) Experience and education are like oregano. They must be mixed with a lot of other stuff to be good.
8.) Be very careful of people who attach status to knowing things you don't.
9.) If you live with a bad tactical situation long enough, you wear it.
10.) Don't change a rule by breaking it.
11.) Do not think you are communicating just because you are talking. There must be some information exchange "sign" the information got through.
12.) In most firefighting situations, the first five minutes are worth the next five hours.
13.) Take the process seriously, not yourself.
14.) The most important fire we will fight is the next one.
15.) It's difficult and painful to attempt to manage something you are trying to save yourself from.
16.) There is a reason they don't call natural laws suggestions.
17.) Normalization of deviancy or "dysfunctional repetitive anaesthetic." Looking at something screwed up long enough that it begins to make us sleepy and dumb. This causes unsafe stuff to start to look okay.
18.) You'll keep getting what you got if you keep doing what you did.
19.) Beware of FUD, fear uncertainty, doubt.
20.) There are many smart guys, lots of tough guys, but not many smart, tough guys.
21.) It is difficult to break only one rule. Rule breaking becomes a habit that generally grows feet and "spread out."
22.) Don't eat til you sleep, and sleep til you're hungry haha
23.) When they say "somebody do something," you're the somebody they're talking about.
24.) Really important stuff is simple/really simple stuff is important.
25.) If you think education is expensive, check out the price of ignorance.
26.) Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
27.) Expect the unexpected.
28.) The mother and father of disaster is "too little" and "too late."
29.) On the fireground you can't take anything back when it happens.
30.) firefighting is about showing always showing up. You can't get in when it feels good and then run if it gets ugly. If you're in for a dime, you're in for a dollar.
31.) There ain't know 912.
32.) The best way to do smart stuff at the end is to avoid doing dumb stuff at the beginning.
33.) Don't overcome intuition with logic.
34.) If you don't do it early, you will do it eventually.
35.) Don't carry your losses into the next day.
36.) Don't get really good at something you shouldn't do.
37.) A bull can make money, a bear can make money, but a hog will always get slaughtered.
38.) The first rule of life is showing up,
39.) Everybody's got a story.
40.) Don't wait for life to start.
41.) Don't ever forget where you came from. Don't ever forget who helped you.
42.) Do what you can, with that you have, where you are.
43.) They don't pay you to have brains, they pay you to use them.
44.) When you're a hammer, every problem is a nail.
45.) Happy is liking what you got.
46.) Talk's cheap
47.) It's a lot easier to give advice than to take it. Be a good receiver.
48.) When it's all said and done, a lot more will be said than done.
49.) Ain't no such thing as all good or all bad
50.) There is no right way to do a wrong thing.
51.) Be careful who becomes your heroes/be careful who you hang out with.
52.) There is a strong set of reasons that things are like they are.
53.) The pursuit of perfection frustrates action.
54.) Never and always are a long time.
55.) Everybody's got troubles.
56.) We need love the most when we deserve it the least.
57.) When you're in a hole, stop digging.
58.) A lot of what you're doing is regulated by what you're not doing.
59.) They generally don't tell you the whole story during the first round.
60.) Those who embrace change will never grow old.
61.) The way to start making money is to stop losing it.
62.) Quit talking when everybody else quits listening.
63.) Predictable is preventable
64.) We don't stop working because we grow old, we grow old because we stop working.
65.) Not everything that counts can be counted.
66.) You can't separate pain and progress.
67.) Those who know how will always work for those who know why.
68.) All callings require sacrifice.
69.) Functional response to flattery; don't let it go higher than your heart.
70.) The harder I work, the luckier I get.
71.) Life ain't about how much you take with you when you leave, its how much you leave behind.
72.) A lot gets done when it doesn't matter who gets credit.
73.) Givers gain.
74.) If you don't make a decision about your life, your life will make that decision for you.
75.) If you won't write it down and sign it, don't say it.
76.) Laughing leads to listening.
77.) A little nice covers a lot of dumb.
78.) Don't do anything that feels good when you're mad.
79.) Make up your own mind, You decide what makes you happy.
80.) Show up, work hard, get the job done.
Do you like any of these? What are your top 5?
What a gift to have recorded and shared 45 years of experience and insightful observations.
What timeless tactical truths will you implement today?
His book "Timeless Tactical Truths," has many more. I chose my top 80.