"The United States Marine Corps have a belief in a
“5,000-year mind.” This belief is that in a trade with
over 5,000 years of documented warfare, there is no
reason why a solider should not study every day. Study
to learn about their enemy, their battleground, and the
positives and negatives of warfare. The fire service is not
without its history either, from the Roman Empire to the first organized fire departments in the United States, we have 2,000 years of history." (Pg. 142)
The problem for a dedicated and professional firefighter in 2015 is where to start with building this knowledge. As an example, a firefighter could read over the 1851 Boston Fire Department General Orders that offer avoiding opening up where the fire may be until you have water on the fire, or Lloyd Layman’s explanation in 1953 of what we now call flow path, or the information provided today to us from NIST and UL…and that is just about fire behavior!
We have an endless stream of information to gather knowledge from and apply, in concert with your experience and fire department operations (ex. - staffing, apparatus, etc.), to today’s fire service and fireground. We must be able to explain the "why" of what we do along with developing thinking firefighters who can formulate an opinion based upon their experiences, knowledge shared by mentors, and what they learn. We don't need firefighters exhibiting blind acceptance so the only question that remains, what are you doing today to build your ‘2,000 year mind’?