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.”