FDNY Engine Company Operations Manual, Updated August 2021

Brief Biography about Lieutenant Ray McCormack, FDNY

Ray McCormack recently retired as a Lieutenant after 38 years. He holds a BA from the New York Institute of Technology.

He was the chair and lead author for FDNYs new Engine Company Operations Manual. He developed and taught Back to Basics Standpipe for all FDNY firefighters.

He was the co-founder and editor of Urban Firefighter magazine. He sits on the FDIC advisory board and FireEngineering editorial board.

He was a panel member for two consecutive Underwriters Laboratories (UL) studies. Impact of Fire Attack Utilizing Interior & Exterior Streams on Firefighter Safety and Occupant Survival Study and Study of Coordinated Fire Attack Utilizing Acquired Structures. He lectures on Engine and Ladder Company Operations, Leadership and Improving Extinguishment Culture.

Articles from Lt. Ray McCormack on CountyFireTactics.com

FDIC 2009 Keynote Speech - Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

Pushing Fire - Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

Can you push fire? Pushing fire has been a decades-long fire behavior during fire attack debate. When will it happen? How will you learn more about it? Read on and we will tell you.

Now that we have you drawn in with a slight play on words, Lieutenant Ray McCormack (FDNY) and Chief Erich Roden (Milwalkee) have recently launched a new “fire service project” entitled pushing fire, we think its a catchy title, we hope you will too.

Pushing Fire is the genesis of an entirely new place to find not just journalism, but all things content, expertise, academics and research in the fire service. We won’t refer to Pushing Fire as a “website” or “magazine,” rather, we prefer to call this a project, as we hope to see what organically grows out of it.

The article below “For Some Firefighters its Always Less Murky” has been authored and reposted with the permission of Lt. Ray McCormack. Posted under this article is even more fire service nuggets and knowledge from Lt. McCormack to include several articles he authored here on CountyFireTactics.com and his FDIC Keynote Speech from 2009.

Lt. McCormack will be presenting a keynote address at CF Tactics Water On The Fire Conference in August 2021.

Be sure to read even more on PushingFire.com and their Facebook Page.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to be around someone at a fire that is pulling in more information than you are that could be troubling. You can’t always be the one on top however some firefighters seem to excel at it. I have had the opportunity to work with many firefighters over the years that seemed to have a better vision (literally and figuratively) then me of what was or would occur.

The ability to gain understanding of what’s going on many would call enhanced situational awareness and that’s true but it more than that. Having a fire sense and knowing the environment is the key component. I’ve seen young firefighters with little experience do it. Was it just lucky? Once perhaps but consistently no, they were learning building on their inner desire to be outstanding firefighters. Some firefighters just have a knack for this job, they possess a quality that pushes them forward and squeezes all the experience out of the fires they attend.

How is it possible that some firefighters can search faster or go deeper than others to explore? Its feeling comfortable in the environment. Firefighters that feel comfortable at fires are a tremendous asset and they tend to see things first and know better what’s going on. I worked with nozzle firefighters that literally had a keen sense of where the stream belonged and what was occurring around them. I’ve worked with burn instructors who would predict exactly what would occur with a fire set (real furniture) in a home. This all revolves around people who get it, not the brotherhood theme of getting it rather the actual business of fire.

This will often translate to aggressive firefighting and that makes sense. Aggressive firefighting is conducted by people who get it. They understand what needs to occur and those insights when coupled with a sound tactics allow us to get the job done at a higher level. I was lucky to have them with me as I’m sure you are too, emulate them, become one of them. They are truly impressive and while some seem to always have it going on, you can do it too. If you desire to engage at this level start by paying attention.

Keep Fire in Your Life

FDNY Engine Co Ops Manual

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FDNY Engine Co Ops Manual

Brass Tacks Hard Facts Ray McCormack

Cooling the Hallway for the Advance (Episode 42)

Water Mapping of a Smooth Bore Fire Stream (Episode #45)

The Well Equipped Standpipe Bag (Episode #51)

The Bounce
(Episode #53)

The New York Fold
(Ep #64)

Deploying the New York Standpipe Fold (Ep #65)

What It Takes to be a Good Nozzle Firefighter (Ep #69)

Overhaul Tips
(Episode #70)