Fire Department Special Operations

John Norman
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Fire Department Special Operations

by John Norman, Chief of Special Operations (Ret.), FDNY

 Ray Downey wrote the first edition of The Rescue Company in the early 1990s. Building on Downey's legacy, John Norman has written Fire Department Special Operations to take into consideration the earth-shattering events, funding increases, research advances, expanded capabilities, and changes in regulations and standards that have widened the knowledge gap since the publication of Chief Downey's book.

 Fire Department Special Operations is an excellent guide for agencies and individuals in establishing, staffing, operating, and maintaining heavy rescue units in the many forms they may take. It is also an ideal training resource for the officers and individuals assigned the duties that a rescue firefighter must accomplish.



  • Part One: Getting started
    • What rescue is all about
    • Ways of providing rescue service
    • Recruiting and staffing
    • Apparatus
    • Tools and equipment
    • Maintenance
    • Training
    • The operational plan
    • Air tools
    • Rigging
    • Victim care, packaging, and handling
  • Part Two: Rescue incidents
    • Responses: Using special units at fires and emergencies
    • Buried victims: trench and other excavation rescue work
    • Elevators, escalators, impalements, and "man-in-machine" runs
    • High-angle rescue, scaffolds, and other events
    • Confined space rescue
    • Structural collapse rescue
    • Vehicle extrication: planes, trains, and automobiles
    • Water and ice rescue
    • Hazardous materials operations
    • Electrical emergencies
    • Major event planning
  • Part Three: Appendixes
    • Appendix A: Sample application
    • Appendix B: Operational guidelines: Rescue Company 1
    • Appendix C: Rescue 1 Tool list
  • Index
  • Supreme sacrifices
Number of Pages:
Published Date:


  • 5
    FD special ops.

    Posted by Steve on Aug 10th 2021

    Chief Norman does an incredible job addressing all facets of rescue. A great resource for anyone, from those interested in pursueing rescue to any FF or officer who wants to get a grasp of unique incidents where they may be requesting and assisting technical rescue personnel.