1. #1
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    Default Search and Rescue Techniques?

    Hey guys, me and my assistant chief are putting together a search and rescue training session at our hall, we both know the basics to search and rescue, but do ya'll have any tips/hints to help us better prepare for this training? Or do ya'll have any kind of challenges to throw in on the trainees? We have an idea of what we're gonna do, but would like some other tips/opinions/challenges/etc. . .
    Thanks guys

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    If you are using a smoke machine (which I recommend), get yourself a night vision camcorder. Somebody on the department probably has one you can borrow. This way the instructors can follow the firefighters around and video their work, then let them review it afterwards. We've done this and it's always very enlightening.
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    I think it is fun to incorporate using couplings as an aid too... run a drill where you snake hose with couplings around your course and have the trainee determine which way is our based on the orientation of the connectors.

    Have fun!

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    Research articles on the subject on this site. Chief Pindeleski has a good couple of articles on the subject.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    if possibe make it as realistic as possible, use a fully furnished room and use crumpled wax paper in your trainees masks to simulate smoke. place ur vics in abnormalspots to convey the concept of a complete quick thurough search

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    If you don't have a rescue dummy get a rookie to play the role.

    There is nothing like trying to remove an unconscious 200 lb victim....
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    If you don't have a rescue dummy get a rookie to play the role.

    There is nothing like trying to remove an unconscious 200 lb victim....
    I thought a rookie was a dummy.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    I thought a rookie was a dummy.
    Pretty much. .lol like jack black says: I'm a teacher, all i need are minds for molding

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    We use two smoke machines in a fully furnished room, and cover their face mask. We also like taking a firefighter fully geared and putting him some where in the room with his pass device on and put a vent fan at the door. You have to find the fireman hook up the buddy breather or rit pack (which ever they decide to take in) and hook up either one, then drag the firefighter back to the door. In some trainings the first crew will go in "get lost" and we also tie mayday training in with search and rescue.Thats just what we do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    If you don't have a rescue dummy get a rookie to play the role.

    There is nothing like trying to remove an unconscious 200 lb victim....
    I know at times we both have that dry wit and sarcasim that gets lost, but I'd have to say NO to this.

    This gets in people's heads that it is ok to use people in place of dummies. Lots of videos and sites that show you how to make a 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 inch hose dummy to use.


    Another thing to add, if you are using modern SCBA's, force the drill participants to at some point buddy breath. Depending on the make of the SCBA, there are varying degree's of force required to make the connections. Along with this, make them call the mayday. Get them in these habits in the firehouse, and they will carry over.
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    I know at times we both have that dry wit and sarcasim that gets lost, but I'd have to say NO to this.

    This gets in people's heads that it is ok to use people in place of dummies. Lots of videos and sites that show you how to make a 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 inch hose dummy to use.
    It wasn't meant as a joke or slam on rookies. I really don't like all the joking about the new guy.

    We have used the hose dummies. They are fine. It still doesn't compare to an actual human. In the right circustances using another firefighter can be done in a very safe way.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It still doesn't compare to an actual human. In the right circustances using another firefighter can be done in a very safe way.
    Unless you're practicing rescuing a down firefighter, I do think I'd recommend putting your "victim" in a climbing/technical rescue helmet. Better safe than sorry.

    We recently did a confined space/marine rescue exercise and used real victims. Nothing like hauling a 200+ pound "crewman" up two or three decks for that touch of reality.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Yes, wear whatever safety gear you feel is appropriate. I'm not advocating the wanton draggin of a guy around as some sort of hazing.

    You guys are tough... for a group of guys who complain about "safety salies" you sure do demand full disclosure and a complete description of a simple suggestion.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Try these things...

    Have a brief meeting before the drill to explain what's going to happen and what's expected without going into detail.

    If possible, use a different place than what you're used to. Find a house or building in your district that is unoccupied and ask the owner if you can train there. If you need to, build an obstacle course with old furniture, folding tables, pallets etc. Make sure it's safe enough.

    Cover the windows with black plastic garbage bags. The darker the better. If the place is completely dark then smoke really isn't necessary.

    If you can, incorperate the thermal imager. Let them use it to find their way in, then take it away and make them find their way out without it. This teaches awareness.

    Make it noisy, have a fan or generator running.

    Have a random team member 'play dead'. Pull somebody aside and secretly ask them to, at some point, turn their PASS alarm off and just lay down and be quiet. See if the team leader notices them missing. This teaches personell accountability.

    Incorperate a 'mayday' however your policy dictates. 3 horn blasts, radio command etc..

    If you are an IC and the search crew is trying to contact you on the radio, ignore them at times. Radio's aren't always reliable at incidents.

    Meet after the drill to discuss what went well and what needs improvement. Document it for next time.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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    Default staying on topic...

    As a training tip here are things that I suggest you train on:

    search patterns...keep it to the techniques that you use in your FD. Have your firemen master one technique, striving for "unconscious competency" before moving onto a new techniques.

    Removing victims... we often train our men on how to remove a victim down a ladder, but rarely do we train on the most difficult part of this skill and that is simply getting the victim up and over the window sill in a position of rescue...(especially if we are trying to do this is a hostile environment such as VES operations).

    depending on the level of your firemen you will need to cater your trainings to the the newest and most inexperienced members....consider having an "intro to SAR" for the new and inexperienced members and an "advanced" class for the more elder members....in a very near future training use the newly trained elders to teach the advanced class to the newer members...(see one, do one, and teach one).

    for the skills portions avoid engine bays, classrooms and empty rooms...train like we work...

    save the hoses, FAST/RIT, and other skills for a different night...maybe you want to have a "situational awareness" class where your can use hose ID'ing, FAST/RIT, SCBA emergency procedures. All I'm saying is stay on topic...if you are teaching SAR, then teach SAR....

    sorry gotta cut this short...duty calls...
    "Some people train till they get it right, we will train till we can't get it wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinmedic View Post
    As a training tip here are things that I suggest you train on:

    search patterns..
    Removing victims...
    for the skills portions avoid engine bays, classrooms and empty rooms...train like we work...

    save the hoses, FAST/RIT, and other skills for a different night...
    Agree here. Keep the training specific and focused. Are you doing search techniques, victim removal, or RIT? They are all important and need to be done, but doing them all in the same session is going to make for a long night. Especially if you have to run a lot of guys through it.

    Using a hose dummy is quick and easy but nowhere near realistic. Obviously removal is completely different, but it's hard to practice many search techniques w/out a live (warm) victim.. I'll use both depending on what I want to guys to focus on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Agree here. Keep the training specific and focused.
    True that. I've seen too many training sessions fall apart because they lost (or never had) focus.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    I keep a piece of webbing in my gear and have talked all the guys into keeping some in there gear to i do this because years ago i was shown how to use it to search a large area room with it depending how big you make it you can search a large room like a garage or basement in vary little time it also has a lot of other good uses like tying open doors, dragging vic's, and it makes a quick rescue seat in case of a quick exit out of a window.............its about 12 feet long and i keep a water knot tied in it so if a right handed search or left with two guys one of them can get about 12 to 15 feet from the wall hope this helps

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