The origin of the Chinese Fire Drill

The term is alleged to have originated in the early 1900s, when a ship manned by British officers and a Chinese crew practiced a fire drill in the engine room. The bucket brigade drew water from the starboard side, took it to the engine room, and threw it onto the fire. A separate crew hauled the accumulated water to the main deck and heaved the water over the port side. The drill went according to plan until the orders became confused in translation. The bucket brigade began to draw the water from the starboard side, run over to the port side and then throw the water overboard, bypassing the engine room completely
from wikipedia (thanks for this, Charlie)


Brent DixonComment