Thread: primary search

  1. #1
    ceili Guest

    Question primary search

    I've been having a debate on search and resuce techniques with an engine captain. He advocates that theTruck company primary should be done using an 1 and 3/4 hand line in all situations. I advocate quick s&r can be done with a 50-75' length of rope much faster with less exertion, and beyond the typical 150' of pre-connected hose. I need opinions as well as sop's that support either position. Thanks and take care.

  2. #2
    Staylow Guest


    I would not agree with your captain. A search done by either a truck company or a rescue squad should not be done with a handline. This will only unnecessarily slow down your search. The people who need help inside don't have the time to waste. If you do not have the confidence to search without a line then give the job to someone else, or train more to gain the confidence and experience needed. Also, if a search crew encountered fire they may be inclined to fight the fire instead of search. Leave the hoselines to the engine crews.

    I personally don't bring a rescue rope in with me unless it is a larger building type with large floors that you will have to travel across, such as a highrise or warehouse. These are confusing because you have to leave the safety of the exterior wall in order to search the large floor area in the middle. The more common 2 story residence or 4 to 6 story residential apartments are far less confusing, and a rope tends to get in the way more than anything.

    Stay Safe!

  3. #3
    FireLt1951 Guest


    I agree with staylow. You should not use a handline while performing a primary search,slows your progress. Remember that a primary search and rescue is to be done quickly as possible in areas of highest probability of finding victims,it must be done as quick as possible. Then the secondary search begins and this is done more throughly after the fire has been controlled. Always remember to take a tool with you. It helps in finding victims and will help if you need a quick exit after possibly finding yourself in a world of s**t.

  4. #4
    lumpy649 Guest


    I've got your backs, Staylow and FireLt... dragging a line around is not the most effective way of performing a primary search. There might come a time where you'll find it necessary to bring in a line, or stay with the engine crew to further your search, but I wouldn't bring one on every search. That will just bog you down... and you may have to "agree to disagree" with the Captain.

  5. #5
    FireLt1951 Guest


    OK lets carry this further.The structure envolved has a lot to do with how you perform your primary search and rescue.In my city,the majority of search and rescues are performed in 1-12 story apartments or single family dwellings and 4 flats.I do not take a handline in with me nor does my partner.To many entanglements involved and slows your progress. Depending on the size of your department and the number of personnel responding to the incident will also dictate your actions.Here I know that when our primary search begins the handlines are not far behind.Our SOP's state that upon a report or finding that people are trapped a primary search is to be done immediately and performed quickly, the decision to take a handline is up to the discretion of the officer,it does not state that is mandatory.You are to search the areas with the highest probability of finding victims. After 28 years,I will still not drag a line with me.It slows your progress to the point where to much time is consumed.Your primary search will not be in an area that is already consumed by the fire.Again,here I know that the engine crew is right behind me and the fire itself will be controlled. If we have a larger structure i.e. commercial or industrial,we use a tag line.One firefighter will search the area while the other holds the tag line at the door.This allows you to sweep the entire area without worrying about getting disoriented.You must size up the situation as it exists and make your decisions accordingly. Again,here we have mostly single family dwellings that are of wood construction and apartment buildings made of concrete or brick and morter. We also have a lot of 4 family flats that are made of wood construction.Let the situation dictate and remember that no 2 fires are alike.As you gain more experience and confidence you will vary you're decisions on search and rescue while considering time and safety.

    [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 02-14-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 02-14-2001).]

  6. #6
    RJE Guest


    The bottom line: Primary - areas likely to find victims that can be saved. Secondary - everywhere.

    On a hi-rise w/ fire on the top floor, the whole building except maybe the next to the top and top floors, can be "primaried" by cops, medics, whatever. On the other hand, if it's fire on the bottom floor, the truckies better get it in gear to save those "up top".

    Then again, on a manufactured (mobile) home, well involved on arrival, you're unlikely to find anyone alive on ANY primary search. If it's only going on one end, I might force entry on the other, with a hose line to protect my back, then search that end, but you aren't going to search the end that's engulfed anyway, until you knock the fire down!

    SOPs need to take this (different scenarios) into account. Also, it depends on what's behind you. If a vol. dept comes up to a trailer w/two engines, I think I'd put one on a hose towards the fire, and one with a hose to search the uninvolved part (if there is one).

  7. #7
    51Truck_K Guest

    Thumbs up

    V-E-S.........Any Questions?

  8. #8
    GBordas Guest


    Doesn't your search team carry an extinguisher with them? For primary and secondary searches we take a can (2 1/2 Gal. pressurized water extinguisher)with us.

    Alot of firemen often overlook the capabilites of a water extinguisher and how much fire it can knock down when utilized properly. We don't use a hoseline on a search. I'm in the same boat with StayLow.


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