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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterMV's Avatar
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    Default Large Area Search

    So I am preparing for a class and have been through a million different techniques of large area searches. Any thoughts on the most effective? Taglines seem to be the best, but we do not have preset search ropes with knots/rings tied already at predesignated distances and all members don't have their own rope bags. Any ideas on a free search with two searchers using hose straps connected together to go out from an anchor (wall or hose) and one of those firefighters sweeping around the still firefighter and then crawling back to the anchor man and advancing out again without an actual tether to the anchor person? I'm looking for the most effective method with a good anchor point whether it be visual, physical, or audible team integrity. Main goal is safety. Thank you for any responses and/or resources. (PS...we do carry 150' to 200' rope bags on most of our engines and some of our aid units)

    Thanks!


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    Default Large Area Search

    Searching a large area is so much more difficult than searching a bedroom in a residential. Add to that the fact that you do not have enough equipment for every member to have his/her own rope. One way to get the search done and still be safe is to use one member to stay on the wall. He/she has to maintain contact with the wall by keeping a part of his/her body on the wall. He/she advances a few feet alongside the wall with the rest of the team or another member in tow. He/she then stops, maintains contact with the wall, extends his/her tool with the outside hand, the other member grabs the far end of that tool and searches with his/her outside hand. There are debates on whether this member should sweep with another tool or his/her hand. but for sure, this extends the search area 6 - 10 ft from the wall and maintains contact with a means of orientation in order to egress. Personally, working off of the far end of a tool is more comfortable for me than using hose straps, but it is a matter of preference and familiarity. The team methodically advances forward maintaining contact with the wall and sweeping for a search simultaneously. I would advise that the member maintaining the wall also utilizes a search rope connected to the point of entry and deploys the rope as he/she advances as a 2nd means of orientation. Another technique is for the 1st member to crawl alongside the wall and the other member extend the rope from the member who is glued to the wall. The searching member then sweeps from the other end of the rope. This method is a little more dangerous because of the way rope can get caught and wrapped around objects that are unseen in zero visibility. But these are just 2 techniques that can used if your Department does not have enough rope for every member to have his/her own rope.

  3. #3
    Forum Member ActionGoose's Avatar
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    I agree with Abdu. Our training trailer is intentionally kept cluttered to simulate some of the impoverished houses in our first due. If you used a rope in there, you would come out with ironing boards, car parts, etc. attached to the rope.

    Searching off the end of the tool requires lots of diligence though, and great communication by team members to prepare for a member losing his grip on a wall or the tool.

  4. #4
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterMV View Post
    So I am preparing for a class and have been through a million different techniques of large area searches. Any thoughts on the most effective? Taglines seem to be the best, but we do not have preset search ropes with knots/rings tied already at predesignated distances and all members don't have their own rope bags. Any ideas on a free search with two searchers using hose straps connected together to go out from an anchor (wall or hose) and one of those firefighters sweeping around the still firefighter and then crawling back to the anchor man and advancing out again without an actual tether to the anchor person? I'm looking for the most effective method with a good anchor point whether it be visual, physical, or audible team integrity. Main goal is safety. Thank you for any responses and/or resources. (PS...we do carry 150' to 200' rope bags on most of our engines and some of our aid units)

    Thanks!


    Why don't you guys have search rope?

    Use a 6 foot pike pole and each member keeps the end in their hand. They also can ďCall OutĒ to each other (communicate). Unless it is Oh-Three-God-Thirty and the moon hasn't risen and by chance no one has a fully charged hand light, you are going to have to do this task in complete darkness, using your other sensory senses.

    If you have stretched a hose line into the structure, this can be used as a means to find the exit or the entrance from where you entered, providing you know the correct couplings indicator(s) and know which leads to the outside.

    Donít make this drill so hard, everyone will be afraid to participate and master it.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterMV View Post
    So I am preparing for a class and have been through a million different techniques of large area searches. Any thoughts on the most effective?

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you are preparing to teach this class and you are asking for input from complete strangers as to the best technique, then YOU should not be teaching the class.

    Now...if you are preparing to TAKE the class, then by all means ask away.

    But you should be intimately familiar with any information you teach firefighters. Giving misinformation, or not completely understanding a topic or a technique and then possibly passing on that misinformation can have disastrous consequences.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Yeah, don't listen any of these fireman who have all the service time on the job and have done more than some of these johnnyscomelately's with all the book sense and very little fireground experience and can do a good talk!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Yeah, don't listen any of these fireman who have all the service time on the job and have done more than some of these johnnyscomelately's with all the book sense and very little fireground experience and can do a good talk!!
    Are you suggesting that he should teach a class based on information he has gleaned off the internet rather than experienced himself?

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Are you suggesting that he should teach a class based on information he has gleaned off the internet rather than experienced himself?
    The first thing he should have done was to not come in here and ask such a question. Some would have told him this and that and there are some who don't know jack would have chimed in.

    Look at his profile and time in the fire service, not too much experience.

    He should however, contact the agency in his state, Washington, and get the offical training guidelines for this class. In fact if he is not a state certifited fire instructor, he has no business whatsoever teaching any classes that he may not be quilified to teach.

    Same as myself coming in here asking for information on how to fly the space shuttle. Get in, buckle your seat belt and push the go button! Now I am an astronault!

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    The first thing he should have done was to not come in here and ask such a question. Some would have told him this and that and there are some who don't know jack would have chimed in.

    Look at his profile and time in the fire service, not too much experience.

    He should however, contact the agency in his state, Washington, and get the offical training guidelines for this class. In fact if he is not a state certifited fire instructor, he has no business whatsoever teaching any classes that he may not be quilified to teach.

    Same as myself coming in here asking for information on how to fly the space shuttle. Get in, buckle your seat belt and push the go button! Now I am an astronault!


    Couldn't agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    The first thing he should have done was to not come in here and ask such a question. Some would have told him this and that and there are some who don't know jack would have chimed in.

    Look at his profile and time in the fire service, not too much experience.

    He should however, contact the agency in his state, Washington, and get the offical training guidelines for this class. In fact if he is not a state certifited fire instructor, he has no business whatsoever teaching any classes that he may not be quilified to teach.

    Same as myself coming in here asking for information on how to fly the space shuttle. Get in, buckle your seat belt and push the go button! Now I am an astronault!


    I appreciate everyone's input. I have several methods I have "mastered" or experienced, but I really was looking for some new ways. I have learned 5 or 6 large area search techniques and just looking for some new tricks/tools to teach. I am a search and rescue state certified instructor, but that is search FUNDAMENTALS and there are million ways to teach large area search. This was by no means a "ask some guys on the internet and relay the information" type of posting...sorry if it came across this way. I come from a more busy department than my current one and they are not as prepared for large area searches because there are very few structures that fall into this category so I am trying to improve on this and get the needed information out there. Hopefully, this will in turn get motivation to get the necessary search equipment. No, I am not that experienced by some of your standards, but I try to take all the classes I can and bring any knowledge I have experienced to the table to share with those that have no exposure to these situations. I have never had even a chief that I've talked to tell me he knows the BEST way to do something, just different ways to add to the toolbox. Not a retaliation post, just trying to clear some stuff up. I wanted it to be as quick and to the point posting without all the explanation of what I am doing with the information or my certifications/experience. Just looking for techniques.
    Thanks.

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    My only advice friend is that you press your govt. city or county, whichever procurs gear for your dept, to buy personal safety ropes.You don't even have to have a bag for it, we kept ours in our left bellows pocket on our bunker pants. We had 25' sections of rappeling rope with a caribiner tied with a figure eight follow through on each end. These were for emergency egress from a second story or for searches in open areas. They work great. At one point we had four guys tied off from the hoseline doing a search in a huge open warehouse, though I wouldn't advise that as it increases the chances of entanglement, it was a training scenario and we wanted to try it. But it gives you more safe options for open area searches. That is the best wayto go, if they won't buy them for you, try and raise the money through a local fund raiser or buy your own if you can afford it.It is money well spent.

    Also, make sure your dept. understands the importance of having a certified instructor teaching a class. They are liable if a firefighter gets hurt/killed and it can be proven he/she was not properly trained to be doing what he/she was assigned to do. Our dept. never did special training without certified instructors, we just happened to be lucky to have state certified instructors at our dept., so it wasn't really an issue.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 11-29-2009 at 06:12 PM.

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    IMO, the best way and only way to perform large area search is to grid, especially here in the mtns and it always depends on the exact situation on what method is used. GPS the areas searched so that there is no overlapping when the next op period comes up. One time we were on a search. Well let me rephrase that, a goose chase that included a boy scout who dint want to be found. Needless to say we didnt find him, he found the searchers four days later. BTW, the National Park Service had command, it reminded me of a bad dream. They didnt have a clue.

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    good post, but different kind of large area search. This thread is in reference to searching large structures under fire conditions, such as warehouses, movie theaters, stores, etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    good post, but different kind of large area search. This thread is in reference to searching large structures under fire conditions, such as warehouses, movie theaters, stores, etc etc.
    Gotcha, we dont deal with large structures in our district. Sorry I intruded on something I didnt know.

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