1. #1
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    Default When going into a burning building....

    what is the best way to grab onto the FF in front of you. I was told by his or her ankle, but have found that this constrains the person in front of you. Does anyone think that you could use a rope tied to the persons scba backpack and you hold onto this or what really is the best way to do this.
    Thanks

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    Grab onto them with your eyes, ears and voice. The majority of the time voice or eye contact is the most efficient way to go. You can cover more ground and get more done in the least amount of time.
    IACOJ

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    Yes, remember that the three methods of contact are touch, sight, and verbal. You don't have to maintain physical contact with your partner at all times - in fact, this will make your team slower and more awkward.

    Ropes & tag lines are usually best left to large area (commerical) occupancies. The everday things that are in most residenses will quickly tangle the rope up, making your team even less effective.

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    I agree with boxalarm187 for the most part. They teach you to maintain physical contact, but it is awkward and not always feasible. Not every entry will be "0" visibility. The best advice is, maintain contact with your hoseline!!!
    Even on large searches, tie off to the hose. We have mics on our SCBA, I highly recommend it. You may not be able to see, but holding on to your partner can give you false security too. Be aware of your surroundings, and prepared for anything (floor,walls, wires, debris, etc.)

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    As an academy instructor I preach physical contact. Its the only garunteed way to truely maintain contact with your partner. In the real world, I understand that this isn't always efficent. Worst case scenarios (2) in my opinion.

    1) You don't have rope or webbing available and have to grab your partners ankles to do your search. YUCK!

    2) You again don't have rope or webbing available and you have to maintain visual or verbal contact with your partner. RISKY!

    If I have the resourses available I will always use a 6' section of rope or webbing to connect myself to my partner. We have found this to be cumbersome in some situations and has payed off extreamly well in others.

    I have been interior when the floor gave way below us. Luckly we did not fall to the basement, we were able to get to stable ground before it completely fell, but had I been tied to my partner somehow, it would have made it easier to pull me back up.

    Remember you can use a hoseline as well. Some of my best "backup" guys on my hoseline were 6'-8' feet back on the hose giving me plenty of room to work and still maintaining contact with me via the line.

    I would say there is no "blanket" method that will work best in every situation, its a risk vs. benifit decision everytime that you and your crew must make. Which ever method you decide make sure you've trained on it before. The fire ground is not time to train, so make sure you've put your game face on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skcfa1523
    Remember you can use a hoseline as well. Some of my best "backup" guys on my hoseline were 6'-8' feet back on the hose giving me plenty of room to work and still maintaining contact with me via the line.

    I would say there is no "blanket" method that will work best in every situation, its a risk vs. benifit decision everytime that you and your crew must make. Which ever method you decide make sure you've trained on it before. The fire ground is not time to train, so make sure you've put your game face on.
    Spoken well!!! This is true with firefighting in general, "risk v. benefit". Sometimes we learn, but the lesson can be permanent if we mess up.
    A hoseline saved on of my partners at a fire.
    It wasn't even interior. We were on the roof. My Asst. Chief was walking just a few feet below me when the roof gave. He grabbed my outstretched arm as his lower body fell into the house. Because I maintained contact with my hoseline, I was able to prevent him from falling into the fire.
    Please, don't let go of that line!!!!

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    A hoseline when searching?
    A hoseline on the roof?

    Interesting. Neither of those is common practice in my area.

    In the rare occurrence of 0 visibility, we maintain contact by a hand on the SCBA frame. Other ideas above can work also. Best idea, keep it simple and train on it....whatever you do.
    "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?

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    Yes, when searching you can cover an entire room with two guys if you are several feet apart, arms and legs stretching. This way you can cover the width of a room. Rather than just the distance between two partners.

    The hoseline on the roof is not necessarily "common" practice. However, in this instance it was a concrete walled home, fully engulfed, with an earth berm to one side. The only access was garage and roof, and we were able to save over half of the contents.

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    Bones, in my area and the entire Provence i'm sure it's commen practice to use hose lines for both of those tasks. We always use a hose line while searching. The search team is the attack team. As for a hose on the roof, we only require one when venting. I've always found it odd not to carry a hose line while searching just in case you run across the fire. but I only find it odd because it's not commen around here.


    Mike

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    hills191, sounds like an interesting house.

    firemanmikey, never said it's the only way, just the more common way around me. Search team has a 2 1/2 gal water can. Can control a good bit of fire with that. And if they find the fire, they radio location to the engine team so they know where to stretch the line to. Nothing worse (IMO) than dragging a hose through a house in smoke trying to find the fire. I'd rather let the search team find it and then tell the attack team. I know, people do different things different ways. Best of luck.
    "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?

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    Talking

    In the british fire service, each SCBA is equipped with a personal guide line, I forget the actual length, (I think it was about 15 metres) it was less than a quarter inch diameter rope covered with plastic, much like a clothes line, it was kept coiled in a pouch attached to the waist strap. in use you could let out 3 metres and attach to your partner or let out to the full length if desired. the end that clipped to your partner had a snap hook with serrations on one side, if you needed to search off of a main guide line you clipped the snap hook with the serrations pointing to the way out. The way searches were carried out was standing upright and sweeping the floor with the leading foot, keeping your weight on the back foot.I cannot recall many instances when we would search by crawling as we do here, the only times we would connect to our partner was if the smoke was so thick that visibility was nil, or if on a main guideline., the system seemed to work quite well,

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    I wasn't saying it was the only way bones, I know what you're saying. Was wondering something else, since your from around New York City. I've bee watching Third Watch lately and I've noticed when recue teams go into a structure they've come out by themselves with a victim and sometimes not. Bottom line is that they don't know where they're partner is. Is that actually commen or does it just make for good T.V.? I also notice they don't wear their SCBA as much as I would. Just a few things I've always wondered.

    Mike

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    I wasn't saying it was the only way Bones, I know what you're saying. Was wondering something else, since your from around New York City. I've bee watching Third Watch lately and I've noticed when recue teams go into a structure they've come out by themselves with a victim and sometimes not. Bottom line is that they don't know where they're partner is. Is that actually commen or does it just make for good T.V.? I also notice they don't wear their SCBA as much as I would. Just a few things I've always wondered.

    Mike

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    I like the idea of the coiled line between scba.
    I'm sure we fight differently. Being in NYC, you have more high rise, multi-family, maybe poor access to entry, or level of entry. Here in rural Iowa, we are stacked with hundreds of feet of hose line. It is not unusual to have 2000ft or more of hoseline at a house fire. At larger fires, we may need an artificial water supply. I remember one fire when a neighbor town ran out of water from their tower. We trucked over 40,000 gallons from 3 miles away, and setup 6 portable tanks and two relay pumpers. We even had a portable main (5") running down 8-10 city blocks.

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    I recently took a fireground rescue class that was taught by 4 guys from Chicago. We did a blind search and I went in with a partner holding his ankle doing the room search. They were watching us and their comment for each group was faster faster. When we finished they showed us how they did it. They had 3 guys and they spread out on hands and knees and searched with both arms and legs. They moved very fast though each room and kept in constant verbal communication with each other. They would go down a hallway and one would stop at the door and one or two would go in the room. They kept contact verbal the whole time saying where they were and what they were finding. They were able to search the complete structure very fast. I think that is an excellent way to do the search. They were never more than a foot or two from each other and kept in contact.
    I think any way you are going to search the most important thing is to train that way and discuss what worked and what didn't after you are done. Also a good way we used to practice 0 visibilty was using some womens headbands as blindfolds. You could see some light through them but to me it was more realistic than stuffing your mask or covering it with tape.

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    I am not a FDNY member (but have gotten training from a few) and Third Watch is a TV show, not a documentary.
    "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?

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    If you are spreading out and only maintaining verbal contact with your partner in a smoke filled environment, how can you be sure the space between you and your partner was completly searched and there is not possibly someone there?

    When we search by contecting ourselves with rope or webbing we use that to "clear the middle". If the rope/webbing catches on anything the "wall man" holds his position, while the "center man" figures out what the rope/webbing is caught on (clears it if it is not a saveable life) and moves on. With training this has become a very efficent and effective manner of searching.

    As always, open to suggestions or ideas.
    Last edited by skcfa1523; 09-08-2006 at 05:43 PM. Reason: typo

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