Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a standard operating procedure (SOP) is “an organizational directive that establishes a standard course of action.” In other words, SOPs are written guidelines that explain what is expected and required of fire service personnel in performing their jobs. A comprehensive set of SOPs defines in significant detail how the depart­ment intends to operate.

Standard operating procedures, clearly spell out what is expected and required of personnel during emergency response and non-emergency activities. They provide a mechanism to communicate legal and administrative requirements, organizational policies, and strategic plans to the members. In short, they get everybody “reading from the same sheet of music.”