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Thread: SCBA Training

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    Default SCBA Training

    Can you offer some insight into these two questions please? 1. I recently heard a fire department that allows their firefighters to seperate from each other during primary searches as long as the second firefighter can find the leaders boot and tap it once in a while. Ever heard of this, would you do this? 2. What about turnarounds? If the search time encounter a tight space, dead end and have to turn around and switch places, do you have the original leader take over the front position again? Thanks!


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    1 As long as communication is in tact we even allow 1 ff to enter a room while another stays at the door. Communication is the key to the room search. FFs should not be touching shoulder to shoulder but should be spread out to cover more area.
    2 Turnarounds second FF probably would take lead but again this has to be communicated.

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    Chief,
    As for conducting a search, I'd be very reluctant to remain in constant contact with my crew members. The occasional touch of a boot is fine with me. Having two or more guys in constant contact will definately slow the process down. Youv'e got three ways to do it, sight, touch or voice contact. All you really need is one.

    The way I do it with my guys will also answer your second question. Its what we call Leapfrogging. Its great for everything other than large open areas and it works like this:

    Two man teams makes entry and begins the search. Once they come into a new area to search, Fireman 1 stays at the entry door, hall, opening, etc while Fireman 2 enters and does a search of the room. In this manner, FF1 is at a known point and thus can easliy rest while FF2 searches. FF2 can relay anything that he finds or just make his way back to the start point and the waiting FF1. If there is any form of problem, they will still be in voice contact and realistically, maybe even in sight with the help of a few handlights.

    Once they are back together they switch positions and continue to the next search area or room. Now the well rested FF1 can go in and search that room while FF2 waits at the door and get a little break himself.

    By "Leapfrogging" like this both members get rest while performing a primary faster than they could working together the whole time. I feel its safer as throughout the entire process one FF is always stationary at a known point for a fast egress.

    Take note, this is a fast primary and in a normal single family two story suburban home you can search the entire home in less than 10 minutes. Thats figuring about a minute for bedrooms and maybe two for larger family room type areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fddd160 View Post
    1 As long as communication is in tact we even allow 1 ff to enter a room while another stays at the door. Communication is the key to the room search. FFs should not be touching shoulder to shoulder but should be spread out to cover more area.
    2 Turnarounds second FF probably would take lead but again this has to be communicated.
    This is basically how we handle both situations. As long as the two team members are in contact, be it physical, visual, or verbal, they are OK. If need be, the guy at the door can have a TIC so he can maintain a visual on the guy searching and guide him to anything he sees. I know that goes against using the TIC for the actual search, but I would rather the stationary guy have it than the guy moving.

    As far as #2, that's going to be determined by the two personnel involved. If I'm doing the search as the officer, I'm going to attempt to stay behind my firefighter. If I can't, I'll lead out far enough that we can switch back.

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    1. As stated before, you need to be in constant contact with your partners either by voice, sight, or touch. The conditions inside will determine what you will use.

    2. We train our guys to hang onto your partner's high pressure line on their SCBA. If they get into a bind or a dead end, they reverse roles, the trailing FF becomes the leader.
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    NOTHING drives me nuts more than Instructors who insist search teams need to be married at the hip to do searches. You need contact but you do NOT need to be tied together. Leapfrogging is good as long as you know where your wall and outs are.Closet hook or other tool will extend your reach. Too many personnel Daisy chained in a room makes for VERY slow searching. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmike21 View Post
    Can you offer some insight into these two questions please? 1. I recently heard a fire department that allows their firefighters to seperate from each other during primary searches as long as the second firefighter can find the leaders boot and tap it once in a while. Ever heard of this, would you do this? 2. What about turnarounds? If the search time encounter a tight space, dead end and have to turn around and switch places, do you have the original leader take over the front position again? Thanks!


    Chief,

    In response to question 1, a lot depends on the conditions in the area being searched. If visibility is good there is no need for the firefighters to be in physical contact. In fact in my mind it is completely inefficient to do so.

    IF conditions warrant physical contact I much prefer to use a piece of webbing to allow a further spread between the crew members. If the area is small and closer contact is warranted I prefer my partner to hold onto the tail of my shoulder strap rather than my high pressure line. I know in Wisconsin they teach that as part of entry level firefighter, but I just don't like it. I don't want a guy falling or whatever and damaging my air hose.

    In response to question 2, the second firefighter would turn around and take the lead. More importantly why would you lead 2 firefighters into that small of an area? I would leave the second firefighter back at the point of entry into that small area as an anchor and search it with only the lead firefighter. A search rope or a piece of webbing could connect them if more physical contact was desired.

    Whatever methods you choose to use it should be consitent throughout the entire department.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 02-09-2010 at 10:45 AM.
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