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  1. #21
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    With a regular house you will search the whole thing by doing a right or left hand search correct?


  2. #22
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    First, I would follow whatever your local training and that of your crew is.

    If I was to search a house, my first priority (outside of something that stands out as unusual) is to get near the fire and work my way back.

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  3. #23
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    Ok...

    Again to re-iterate the most important thing is to make sure you follow procedures that your department trains on and your crew is comfortable doing -- one of the easiest ways to have operations go south and people get hurt is having firefighters do unexpected things.

    (For example, in my area Postive Pressure Ventilation is common...if somebody suddenly started doing Vent-Enter-Search tactics on their own, they'll probably get burned and the incident will turn to ****)

    I'd also more then welcome more input on these scenarios as I'm certainly not the most experienced or well trained in searching on these boards.

    My answers are based on an oriented search system -- Officer stays at a known point relative to the room or two being searched, and firefighter(s) work independently to search rooms staying in communication with their officer. Like I said in an earlier post, I believe this is a safer and quicker way to operate in residential buildings...even for departments that don't get a lot of experience with true primary searches for life.

    I *would not* use a straight right-hand or left-hand for a primary search of a typical residential fire. I want to get to the most endangered area for occupants, and work towards the least.

    You can't do that with a right or left search. Now, that's fine to follow for an individual room you need to clear. Not a floor in most cases.

    A straight right / left search would be fine, and I'd actually recommend it, for a secondary search where you want to thoroughly search the building and make sure absolutely no areas where overlooked.


    Scenario #1:



    I'd expect a hoseline in the front door, and to the master bedroom to start knocking down the fire.

    A scenario like that, you're not going to start a search in the living room -- most likely any victims trying to escape will be found along the path the hose took. And even if someone is asleep on the couch, they're not in the most danger.

    You want to get down and clear the two bedrooms and the bathroom while a hose crew handles the fire.

    Then I'd clear the living room; and finally the kitchen.

    And eventually the garage and utility -- but usually those are pretty isolated from heat and smoke...so I certainly wouldn't go searching them and neglect the kitchen that is closer to fire.

    As you can see, we've really not followed a Left of Right handed search throughout the building.

    Now, individual rooms should have been searched in that systematic way.

    We've also systematically searched the house, but by focusing on the fire first.

    Scenario #2:



    Very similiar situation.

    Sometimes you just punt -- if I only had two guys, one would stay in the hall, and it's a coin flip whether you search Bedroom 3 or Bedroom 1 first. One stays in the hall to orient, the other clears the room.

    It may sound trite, but I learned to always "stick to the right" playing first person shooters, and I do the same by default, so I'd take the room on my right (B3) first, then do B1.

    If you have a three person crew, the decision is easier -- officer stays oriented in the hall, one firefighter takes each bedroom.

    Should a victim larger than a child be found, the team is pulled back together...heck, with short-handed crews of 2 or 3 each, there's a good chance you'll tap the officer on the hose team and grab him and maybe the backup man to help remove the victim.

    Once the bathrooms are clear, I'd clear the bathroom and Living Room, and finally the kitchen and dining room.

    Scenario #3:



    This is a two story dwelling, with a fire in the kitchen and your typical open stairwell.

    This is going to take a bit more discretion -- but if I was assigned to search this, I'm going to the 2nd story first.

    Heat and smoke rises. While people could be in the living room or dining room closer to the fire, I have confidence a kitchen fire can be confined by a single hoseline. As bad as conditions will be for someone trapped on the first floor, the second floor with nothing to stop the heat / smoke will be much worse. Get up there and clear it because that's where victims, if any, are in the deepest trouble.

    Hitting the top of the stairs, this may be a perfect application of "one way or the other" searches -- start by clearing the room to the right, and continue around counter-clockwise to clear the floor. Or to the left, just get up there and without hesitating go one way or the other 'cause thats how you've drilled to perform.

    =========================

    Are we making this all clear as mud?

  4. #24
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    Dal,
    Thanks for the info! It makes a lot of sense, search from more to least dangerous (or more to lease likely to find victems), but each room could be searched as either a left or right-hand search.

    Doesn't a lot of that hinge on knowing the layout ahead of time? With a residence it may not hard, they tend to be pretty "cookie cutter", but you never know what a homeowner has done to the inside.

    With the Oriented Search, if the officer is in the doorway between the kitchen and the hallway and the searcher finds another doorway (to a living room), do they both move up and search the living room? I know this is the original question rephrased, but it seems to apply.
    Last edited by voyager9; 06-09-2006 at 10:16 PM.

  5. #25
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    Hitting the top of the stairs, this may be a perfect application of "one way or the other" searches -- start by clearing the room to the right, and continue around counter-clockwise to clear the floor.
    In scenario #3, wouldn't you search B3 first if you can since it is directly above the fire and therefor the most untenable?

  6. #26
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    Dal, you and I come from the same school of thought on searches. Oriented searces for the primary are the way to go, with a little practice and coordinaton, it can be the quickest and most efficient, especially if ahead of the initial line.
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  7. #27
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    I have read each of your responses and each of you have given several good points when conducting a primary search. The one tool that was not mentioned in any of the replys was the use of the TIC. We carry one on each Engine, Ladder and Squad. This tool is very useful during searches and other applications. As an officer on a squad and assigned to search and rescue at working fires the TIC has enhnaced our abilities to perform a productive search. We do a camera lead search, I will lead the crew to the area we are searching, when we reach a room we are searching I will do a 6 pt check with the camera. As they are searching I will direct them as to there location within the room. As I'm doing this it allows me to check the room left to right, top to bottom, front to back (Oriented search) what's in the room is very important. I also make sure my search light is on at the door for the search crew, as well as each firefighter having there search light on and tools in hand. I know it sounds like a lot and time consuming but with proper training and your crew knowing there job the TIC will make your search much easier. I agree with starting as close to fire as possible when feasable. I'm not saying this is the answer to all searches but it's worked well for us. Training is the key to this type of search. Keep up the good work & STAY SAFE.
    Last edited by fdsq10; 06-11-2006 at 11:02 PM.

  8. #28
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    Hmmm...

    Excellent point on the TIC -- I have to laugh, because it's something I know that isn't in my "hands" skills yet...those being things you grab / do automatically because of a combination of drilling and experience. And part of that is because the last several drills I was at using a TIC I was running the drill and not participating closely in the "hands-on" side.

    I can write the lesson plan to use it...but when you ask me out of the blue (like this thread), or if I was to jump off a fire truck today I revert to the "hands skills" that are simply automatic and go to a conventional, non-TIC assisted search. It's the same principle why so many times you see a 1-3/4 line pulled when it's obviously a 2-1/2 fire...people are used to automatically doing certain things. Gotta get doing different things drilled into the hands.

    Also, good point, and B-3 would be the better place to start the search. Not only for extra heat, but also in case the floor is weakening, get the "live load" searching over and done as early as possible.

    As for when teams move up, I don't know if there is a hard-and-fast rule. Most houses are not that much of a maze...the ones that are make oriented searches that much more important so you don't get lost.

    If I had a door at the far end of a room, most likely I'd open it, sweep it with my hand / tool -- if it's bigger than a closet or bathroom, I'd probably complete the sweep of the main room, then get back with the officer maintaining the orientation point -- we could move up together to go and sweep that other room. If it seems like a closet/bathroom/etc, I'd shout over "Hey, I have a bathroom I going in to check."

  9. #29
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    those being things you grab / do automatically
    That's Ok Dal, cuz the guys that are used to searching with the TIC all the time also need to spend time doing the search without it and knowing the procedures. It works both ways.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  10. #30
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    I agree with you 100% and we do train without the TIC. I have had screen failure during a search and had to continue to search without it, adapt and overcome. It's like venting the roof with the saw and it craps out then you use the Axe that should be with you. Again training is the key to your success and setbacks. STAY SAFE!!!!!

  11. #31
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    Default Great topic

    Great topic, guys...glad to hear someone else is teaching the "oriented search" method.

    If I missed this during the perusal of the thread, please forgive me...using tools to search was mentioned...and I FULLY advocate carrying a tool with you, however--I was taught to sweep with an axe handle or halligan. Lt. Rick Kolomay taught me in one of his classes a few years ago to use the tool to find your way back to the wall. His point was the fact that you need to use your hands (tactile senses) to tell whether or not you found a victim. A pillow or toy or cushion might feel the same as a human body. Also, you probably don't want to stab a victim with the fork or hook of your halligan!

    We're just starting to use the TI-directed-oriented search. Officer sits in the door with the TIC and directs the movement of the search crews.

    As an aside, has anyone read "Incident Management for the Street Smart Fire Officer?" The Author advocates having the "Search Team" and "Rescue Team" separate, if a victim is found, the rescue team does the removal, so that the search team doesn't lose track of where they were and where they were going. What does everyone think of this?

  12. #32
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    In normal FF operations, we do not use the Search Team/Rescue Team. We do, however, use that setup for our F.A.S.T. In those cases, it has worked well.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  13. #33
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    To put it simply...it depends on not only the fire location but visability.

    You must maintain contact with your partner. If visability is crap, then you must use touch. If visability is not so bad you can use sight.

    Rapid search means just that. Move as fast as you can looking for victims, hitting all the areas but doing it quickly. A secondary search is a slow, methodical search of everything.
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