Hey all. My department is starting the process of updating and rewriting our SOP's and I was wondering if anyone would be able to send me some examples from their departments so we can look at formats and get a few ideas on how they need to be written. Any help would be great thanks!

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We're slowly updating ours. I've attached a short one just to show the current format we're using. I'm not meaning this as a slam against our fine administrative officers who took the time to author such monumentally important documents but, find someone who can spell, who knows grammar, and understands what continuity means. (If I used this term hear I need to use the same term here, etc.) 


Ask surrounding departments and other city departments if you can steal...I mean borrow, ideas from their SOP's. Our format is actually borrowed from our Police Department. (Our City Administrator is the former Police Chief)


An idea to use to come up with SOP's is to follow what happens during a duty shift. Start with reporting in, minimum manning, leave procedures, etc. Then move on to preparing for work, ie. checking trucks and gear, training, etc. Then responding to emergencies, non emergency calls, etc. Doing it this way will give you some broad categories that can be filled in later with specifics. Just a thought!


Good luck!


Where do you want them sent to?

you can email me at hendersonn71@yahoo.com


SOP - www.Shropshirefire.gov.uk.

Look at there SOP. they short pdf and easy to read, cover nearly everything.

I download everything all ready. Send me a email at andreo@tshwane.gov.za could send all.



Considering I live in the great litigious state of California, the term SOP is going away, being replaced by SOG's. Why? SOP's are rules written in stone. Should something go wrong, and lawyers get involved, standby to get eaten alive because you did not follow each and every Standard Operating Procedure. 

So... I recommend calling your SOP's SOG's instead... Standard Operating Guidelines give your company officers a lot more freedom to do their job, using SOG's as just that, guidelines.

In SA we are also going over to SOG.

Good point Mike.

We had our first meeting this week and talked about that exact issue. We decided to go with SOG's for several reasons. Giving our officers a little more freedom on the job and legalities were definitely some of them.

I put SOP's down out of habit. Kind of like using EVAP when newer terms like EVIP and EVAC are being used now.

We are going to be focusing on our incident operations first, using the NFPA 1720 as our guideline as well as our WAC's, accident prevention program, hazcom plan and so on.

I am quite excited about us doing this. Our last set of SOP/SOG's was writen several years ago and wasn't very in depth or well written so we are due to update them. This will definitely help us improve as a department.

Thanks everyone who has given me sample and ideas, I really appreciate it.

I disagree, Mike.  As long as the wording within the SOP gives the IC the freedom he needs to mitigate the incident.  Curtis Varone, who has a blog over at firelawblog.com, and is a member of this site, makes specific mention of this in Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services.  The freedom for a company officer or chief officer to be flexible lies with the way the SOPs are written.  Some SOPs need to be inflexible, such as a SCBA in an IDLH environment, but flexibility can and should be written into a SOP.  Situations on the fire ground change rapidly and SOPs should reflect that.


I have heard this statement for 20 years about SOP's.  Never heard of a fire company being sued yet over it. Ours have been SOP's since the 80's and we added one phrase: "The SOP’s as set forth herein are for reference by the Officers and Members. An incident commander, fire officer or member may overlook any SOP that could interfere with the good order or command of the fireground."

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