1. #1
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    Lightbulb Search Line Tactics

    I am creating Search Line Training for my Fire Dept. I am wondering if you all can give me some insight as to what type of rope, tag lines, marking lights etc. your Fire Departments use. We are going to be using some of the ideas that I learned from Tim Sendelbach and Fred Endrikat. I have incorporated other ideas also. The training will be taught so that our Firefighters will know how to use it for Searching as well as RIT operations. I would like to share ideas as well as learn other new ideas and innovations.
    I cannot decide whether a strobe light, a big flash light, or a corded light (brighter) will be the best illumination at the point of entry.
    Should each Firefighter on a Search or RIT team be illuminated by a strobe?
    What do you all think.


    Rhett Fleitz
    FF/EMT-B
    Roanoke Fire-EMS
    13-B

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    in my level 2 class we had a big bad at the door or where ever. 1/2" in rope, evey 20' had a knot....40' had 2 knots....60' had 3 knots ect. you had one person that stayed on the line. then two others that each had a bag on there waist. at a point the two would tie into the line. back rack to the next mark in there bag (there at 10') then did a 180. so each side got searched. a full circle is made. then you would all meet up again andd go up another distance and repeat. run out of air. tie the main line down and remeber whic marker you were closier to and tell the next team. i havent been on a dept yet im just getting outta school so im just going by what we did in class. and the stobes.....could you really tell where they are futher than 10' out? i would think the smoke would spread out the light to much and make it kinda unclear....

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    Default Strobes

    We explored the idea of using strobes on our interior crews.
    They were found to be more of a hindrance in a room charged with smoke, do to the rapid flash pattern and the intensity of the light.
    It seemed at times the whole room would light up, but you could not indentify the location of the source (ff wearing it). Strobes had the same effect when placed near the entry point. A good flash light at E.P. seemed to work best in our case. It's good practice to leave a ff at the E.P. to feed hose and/or be in verbal contact for point of reference.


    CaptD

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    lights are nice, with the invention of lights that cut though the smoke it would be nice if our eyes could as well. the lighted search ropes are nice to use but expensive. i've never used the walmart brand christmas lights so can't say on those. our standard practice is each firefighter has a light to use. we use a regular rope to go in to search with. i don't see a valid reason for the strobes, maybe if it is for the downed firefighter. with all the firetrucks on scene with their lights flashing this could add to the confusion. just try to keep it simple.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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    Thumbs up Lighting the Search Line

    I like the ideas you all have posted. The knots in the rope for distance orientation(they also provide an anchor point for FF tag lines so FF can accomplish the search off of the Search Line). I also like the idea of having a ring on one side of the knots to show directional orientation.
    About the lighting I think that a normal FF flashlight(we carry big orange ones) is enough light for the entry point until a halogen light can be placed there.
    My fire dept. did not get the strobe lights for our crew or orientation purposes due to lack of knowledge. It seems as though you guys have stated many drawbacks to having strobes used.


    My new question is should the individual Search Lines be marked somehow so FF know which Search Line they went in on? Much like the idea of having different colored hose lines. I think that a simple colored marker at the point of entry or the anchor point outside the structure could identify each different Search Line. I am thinking of in case you had a large building with several entry points and the lines may criss cross etc. Or in case the Search team is lost we will know which line they were on.

    What do you think?
    A simple colored ball or marker?
    Dip the end of the Search Line in liquid rubber( that hardens)

    Let me know....



    Rhett Fleitz
    FF/EMT
    Roanoke Fire-EMS
    13-B

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    Default TIC

    Firefleitz:

    Don't forget to ioncorporate thermal imaging into your search line tactics. Why search blindly on a tag line when the use of thermal imaging will both speed the search process and make it safer for the crew.

    Nick Sohyda
    Rapid Intervention Training Assoicates
    "Steel City" FOOLS

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    I am a Fire Officer from Scotland, and as I had always thought, Fire crews the World over are faced with the same problems when using Search Lines.

    In the United Kingdom, we currently use 60 Metres of thin cord,with one end secured at the entry point, and the rest is stored in a bag, and taken in by the Breathing apparatus crews and tied off at points around the room or building to be searched.
    This allows them to return to their point of entry, and also search off the line to ensure large areas are systematically and safely checked.

    The problem we have had up until now, is the method of marking the direction of travel along the line. this was done by groups of thin cord tabs, one short and one long so that if you were coming out of an incident, you would come across the long tab first, then the short one.
    Confused ! you will be, especially when the gloves we use makes feeling the tabs almost impossible as well.

    I have devised a new system that is so simple that anyone can understand, and uses small indicators spaced at 1.5 Metre intervals along the line that are rough in one direction, and smooth in the other direction, when grasped by a person.
    All you have to remember is SMOOTH WAY OUT and and you will find your way back to your point of entry.

    I designed the system on the principle that the only one of your senses that is guaranteed to be of any use to you in a fire is your sense of touch, so you touch the line, and feel the indicators to see which way is in or out.

    Forgive me for being slightly cynical about flashing lights and luminous lines, but if you could see clearly in a fire, you wouldn't need a search line in the first place!.

    This new design has been evaluated by Fire crews in Scotland, and the response has been excellent, with almost 100% of Fire fighters saying they would rather use the new system.
    It is now ready for the market and more information about the system is available from www.simline.co.uk

    One final point is that when we are in situations where we may become disorientated and struggle to find our way back to the entry point, we need something that is so simple, that you cannot get it wrong. GRASP THE LINE, AND IF THE INDICATOR FEELS SMOOTH, YOU ARE GOING TO THE EXIT, What could be simpler?

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    Jim Crawford here, UNITED STATES. Not to be cynical but I do have a simpler way. Every ten feet down your search rope tie a series of directional knots. Tie a single knot, then at arms length distance tie two knots side by side. Repeat this process every ten feet down the entire length of your search rope. The system works by crawling up onto the rope, finding a knot series. Grab a knot and slide the rope through your hands until arms length. If you are holding a set of knots in each hand you have your system. One knot is in and two knots is out (we have one way in/one knot - but should always have two ways out/two knots). If you don't have another knot at arms length slide the rope the opposite direction until arms length. This system has been evaluated by firefighters in the UNITED STATES and has been proven to work 100% of the time. This system doesnt have to go to market my friends because it's FREE...
    James K. Crawford
    Assistant Fire Chief
    Midway Fire Rescue
    Pawleys Island, SC

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    Default Search Line Markings

    To mtlfdl6 the thermal imaging camera should most definitly be incorporated in Search Line operations. The TIC will speed up search and the Search Line will provide the orientation point for firefighters to use.

    Jim and Firescot, both of you have good ideas. Jim, your idea is very basic and therefore cost efficient. Most departments have some small diameter hose laying around that they can knot up and use. Some departments just cant afford a lot of extras, however this is an extra that can and will save lives. The search line may not be used every day but it definitly has a place in my cache of tools to use on the fire scene.

    Firescot, you are selling an idea that provides proper directional marking. I hope that your business flourishes.

    Neither of you guys described anything that pertains to distance orientation in the building. I was wondering if I missed the description or you guys left it out. Please reply if you have any ideas.

    I am teaching my department the basic idea that Tim Sendelbach teaches.
    Let me know if you guys have any questions.

    Rhett Fleitz
    Firefighter/EMT
    Roanoke Fire-EMS dept.
    13-B

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    Jim Crawford- your idea is very similar to the design that has been used in the United Kingdom for over 30 years now, only it appears that the knots can be felt, hopefully even when crews are wearing gloves.

    The other problem with the current design was the amount of different aide memoirs that crews use to remember the correct way in or out of a risk. these were numerous and some were extremely confusing, which is the last thing you need when your life may depend on it.
    On one occasion, 2 Fire fighters lost their lives whilst using the current system, as they became confused, and went the wrong way and ran out of air.

    With the new design, only one aide memoir is taught (SMOOTH WAY OUT) and everything else is totally discouraged. The indicator tabs are also luminous,and will glow for up to an hour after all light has been removed.
    The new design has been evolved from the old system and has been modified and refined from the experiences and opinions of Firefighters who have used the old system, and realised its problems and limitations.
    We need to keep it so simple and easy to understand that it cannot go wrong, especially when you are under severe pressure at an incident, and I believe that the new design fulfills this task perfectly.

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    Question Glow in the dark markings

    Firescot, If you say that the markings will glow in the dark for up to an hour after the light has been taken away, how do you store the equipment. We keep most of our gear and equipment in compartments, thus snuffing out any light the markings may get. On top of that the Search Line should be carried in a deployment bag of some sort right. So I am wondering how they get the required light if they are stored in the dark.


    Rhett Fleitz
    Firefighter/EMT
    Roanoke Fire-EMS Dept.
    13-B

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    Excellent point rhett- you rightly say that the carrier bags for the lines prevent any light on them, but when in use, you could shine your torch on them and they would absorb the light and glow, although the main reason for them glowing concerns the following point.

    lets consider taking the design one step further and use it to assist people to escape buildings, prior to the arrival of the Fire Crews. If search lines give us security in smoke and darkness, think of the benefit it would give to members of the public who were totally unaccustomed to these conditions.

    The line would be fitted along the side of walls on emergency escape routes at waist height and people would have the security of holding onto a rope that would lead them to safety, even in smoke and darkness. SMOOTH WAY OUT is all they would have to remember to find the correct direction of travel to an exit.

    It should be stressed that only premises where it easy to get lost or go the wrong way are the ones that will benefit the most by fitting with this equipment, and more importantly, if it is fitted, the Fire crews can use it to locate and tackle the fire, safe in the knowledge that they are attached to a line that leads them to safety.
    Finally, if we can locate and tackle the fire quicker and safer, this should lead to a reduction in fire damage to the building.

    Less fire damage should equate to smaller insurance claims and maybe smaller insurance premiums as a result.
    For more information on this system visit www.simline.co.uk
    Your comments would be greatly appreciated on the points made above.

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    Question Search Lines

    I agree that your Search Line will and can be useful. However, I do not think that it will be used often while it is glow in the dark. The chances of having time to open up the bag and shine a light on it long enough for it to soak in enough light are slim to none. I know that I would not wait a minute longer than neccesary to go in on my assignment.

    I guess it is just an added security. I admire your ability to find something and better it. If every firefighter found something to make better we would be doing great.

    The fact that your department deploys search lines is enough in itself.

    I have another question for you and anyone else: What type of rope do you use?


    Rhett Fleitz
    Firefighter/EMT
    Roanoke Fire-EMS
    E13-B

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    The rope is made from 6mm polyester cord and is 60 Metres long.
    it is stored in a bag and once the 60 Metres has been used, you can attach another line onto the end of it.

    Lines can also be attached at a right angles to the main search line to allow crews to search larger areas such as Warehouses, ensuring crews will always be in contact with the line which will help to lead them to safety.

    This allows for a systematic search of premises to ensure they are clear, and also reduces the risk to fire crews.

    More importantly, all United Kingdom Fire departments use the same equipment and adopt the same procedures, and these may well be a good starting point for anyone tasked with implementing search line procedures within their Fire department.

    if you require any more info, I can E-mail it to you.

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    Default Search line - fireproof

    Rhett,
    I manufacture fireproof rescue gear. WE have fireproof search line (1/4 & 3/8) and bags and have recently finished a RIT bag system for a large department in NJ. The bag is 10"dia x 12"h with 2 side pockets. The Main bag holds up to 250' of the 3/8" HT2, the top hole is oversized since they use directional knots. The side pockets hold 25' each along with a biner & strobe (they specified the biner & strobe). The bottom of the bag has a grommet so the line can be passed through and connected to another bag if needed.

    The bag and line are 100% fireproof. We test our products in flashover sims to test to the extreme limits of firefighting. The bag material is mylar faced HOT-STOP"L", the facing will ressit 95% radiant heat u to 2000F and the base fabric has a 2080F melting point.
    Last month we placed a personal bag packed with FDNY nylon line in the upper chamber for a 30 minute evolution. Discs are available that have video of all testing.
    Stay safe,
    Tommy



    Fireproof Rescue Gear
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Search Lines

    Unfortunatly for you guys, my department has already purchased a system that I am already in tune with. However, A lot of people read this and may very well inquire about the gear.

    Tommy C I like your setup. I think that this is along the lines of the gear we bought. I am beginning the Search line training for my department (approx. 300 FF) the beginning of next month. If you or Firescot would like to send me a demo I would be glad to test it out myself. We will probably be teaching other depts. in our area and can give it some exposure. Totally up to you guys. Email me if you want we can talk further FireFleitz@comcast.net .

    I am wondering Firescot, you said that you can attach lines perpindicular do your Search Line. How do you attach them.
    Our directional is a ring placed at knots, we attach a beaner and it will not move. Do you use a prusic cord attached to your line or what?

    Any info is great.Not just for me but for anyone reading..


    Rhett Fleitz
    FireFighter/EMT
    Roanoke Fire-EMS
    FireFleitz@comcast.net
    E13-B
    Last edited by FireFleitz; 08-31-2007 at 07:31 AM.

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    Tommy C- Your product seems to be of an excellent standard, but could possibly be improved further by a simple marking system as my indicator tabs can be fitted to any line, and will fit directly onto 1/4 Inch lines.

    Rhett- when we use search lines we try and secure them around the wall of the area to be searched. If the area is so large, we can use other search lines to be attached to the original search line by means of a knot, and then go at a 90 Degree angle into the centre of the premises. We then call this additional line, a Branch line and vast areas can be searched in this way.
    This is why the marking of search lines is so important,and needs to be simple, as you may come to a junction and can go along a Branch line by mistake, which will take you farther into the fire.

    I hope your training for your fire crews is a success, and your system helps to make their job safer than it is at the moment.
    I will gladly send you a sample, but after seeing tommy C's search line, I think that his quality of rope, and my marking system would be a sure fire winner with your Fire Departments in the United States- What do you think?

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    Default Search Line

    Firescot I would love to have a demo of your product. Send me your email or email me and I will get you my address. I will be able to show it off during my training classes. I will also be able to show other jurisdictions. FireFleitz@msn.com . Please let me know of any other Search Line info. Thanks

    Rhett Fleitz
    FireFleitz@msn.com

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    Default rope bags for RIT

    I just finished my RIT class, and it was a real eye opener if you have never taken it before. The instructor showed us a way to help you locate were you are if you get off the line, and were witch way is out if you get disorianted. The way it works is every 20' put a ring in your rope your first 20' will have 1 knot in it about a fist grip away fron the ring. The ring will lead you outside the not will lead you to were the downed ff should be. Ever 20' you put another ring and another not. So it will be like this 20' in you put 1 ring then 1 Knott. another 20' you put 1 ring and 2 Knot's so now you are 40' and 2 Knot's in the structure. Keep doing this till yuo run out of rope. I hope that I didn't confuse the simplicity of this system.

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    Default Search Line Training

    I am attaching a few websites that assisted me in my Search Line training cirriculum.

    www.tes2training.com
    www.2savelives.com
    www.ritrescuesystems.com
    www.rapidintervention.com



    If you want a copy of my course cirriculum or powerpoint presentation I would be happy to email them to you. I will have pictures in a few weeks. I also would like to invite any instructors who would like to come and take the class to feel free to email me for further information. Please feel free to contact me about anything else, We might learn something. The classes will be put on by Roanoke City Fire-EMS Department located in Roanoke, Virginia.

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    Default Search Lines

    I wanted to bring the topic up to the top.
    Last edited by FireFleitz; 01-16-2004 at 11:18 PM.

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