Tell me if I'm way off base...
Here is an example of a recent training that I did. A little background first...we have a Volunteer FD with approx 40 members in a Rural Area. Our response time averages 10-15 minutes (Time of dispatch, response to station, response from station to arrival). We are sometimes lucky during the day to have 5 people on a call, and even luckier to have 5 people that can "go interior." After surveying the district, and knowing that most of our fires end up as "surround and drown," I developed a SOG for "Rescue Mode." It was presented with the understanding that there are 5 personnel that can perform interior firefighting functions, that the Officer arriving notes that there may be savable victims in the house, and that there are either reports of parties trapped or very, very high suspicion of parties trapped. Participants were shown pictures and videos (we have a lack of experience, myself included) of house fires that were "well off" vs. house fires that may have the viability of survivable occupants. Participants were also told that this is the absolute most dangerous operation that can be undertaken; officers were asked to have the maturity to know if they can rely on their crews. They were told if there was any doubt that any one of their crewmembers could not perform their duties for a successful operation, that it should not be undertaken.
Here was the plan they were taught...
Must have 5 people--Officer, Driver, Nozzleperson, Outside Vent Person, Control Person.
Officer--SCBA, Radio, Halligan--performs size-up, notes if Rescue Mode should be taken--If so, advises all personnel and dispatch by radio. Attempts to get a good idea of where the fire is located from the outside. Communicates Ventilation point to OVP.
Driver--Radio--Sets up pump, assists with stretching line, lights the structure, takes medical bag to front yard, assists with laddering as needed.
Nozzleperson--SCBA--Stretches hose to front door, goes in with Officer to knock down fire.
Control Person--SCBA, Radio, Axe--Assists with laying LDH @ driveway as needed, assists with stretching handline, chases kinks, assists with forcible entry, maintains position @ front door of structure to feed hoseline, maintains this position until officer notes that fire is located and knocked down. When fire is located and knocked down, becomes part of search and rescue team, performs primary search.
Outside Vent Person--SCBA, Radio, Short (or long) Pike Pole, Halligan--Creates secondary means of egress (back door) and performs the "10 foot" sweep of this egress for possible victims, positions himself @ ventilation point, ventilates as directed by officer and/or when he sees stream hitting fire. As soon as fire is ventilated, teams up with Control person and performs primary search.
If victims are found, they are to taken outside for aid to be rendered by any other available personnel. If, at any time, water pressure is lost, crews are to back out. If the primary search is negative and the initial 5 personnel are the only ones on scene and the fire is not u/c, crews are to back out. If there are more victims to be taken care of, crews are to back out and render aid.
Let me know what you think--I realize that this doesn't really meet OSHA/NFPA standards--it is put in place more due to the fact that citizens should be able to expect us to rescue them if they need rescuing. It is taken with a great deal of risk management techniques placed on the initial company officer.
Side note--We peformed this evolution with two separate crews. The first crew took 9 minutes to get their hoseline in the front door upon arrival. This was unacceptable, and they were advised that if this can't be done in a more expedient manner, they shouldn't even attempt it. The second crew had the fire located, confined, with a primary search complete in four minutes after arrival. Hopefully they learned whom they can trust to perform this operation....
Thanks for your constructive input...