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  1. #1
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    Default Search Techniques

    Alright this post stems from another were I had a disagreement with someone over SAR techniques. I say it is fine to seperate from your partner as long as you are not in tow different rooms and you can still hear them loud and clear. Now i am not talking about one person go left and one go right or being at two different ends of a building and yelling for eachother. I am talking about being 6 to 8 feet away from your partner on the wall while clearing a room or clearing a small room by yourself while your partner stays at the door. This is how I operate and is the way i was trained in the academy. What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    Depending on the circumstances, you can go left and right. Everything is situational. Prior to our minimum manning victory, I regularly split off from my Senior Captain as he took right and I took left, meeting up somewhere along the line.

    Even after, it was customary that he and the other firefighter would go right and I would go left--especially if there were reports of people trapped.

  3. #3
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    not even in regards to this........academy way is one way, best way is another!

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    That sounds a little too ballsy for me. I am not big on searching by myself, but if there are people trapped you gotta do what you gotta do.

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    We teach a technique using three members that allows all three to separate. Basically, three members enter a building with one staying at the point of entry. This person absolutely must not leave their position, that person is the way out. The other two members do a right or left hand search pattern, keeping in voice communication with the person at the entry point. They do their search independent of the other, maintaining good search habits and orientation.

    We will typically use this method in our large, three story wood frame homes.

    My opinion is that as long as one of you has the way out quick, and voice contact is good, search. The way out can't be lost, and voice contact must be maintained. It takes discipline, but it is just doing your job, in my opinion.
    Even if you're in voice contact with the way out, you should be maintaining good search habits.

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    Visual, physical, or voice contact. Those are our rules. I prefer visual and physical over having only voice contact if the situation is rough and conditions are poor.

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    I agree with what most of you are saying. During my fire academy prior to entering the fire service as a paid staffer, it was drilled into my head "do not seperate, always be in physical contact." Over and over again, well needless to say I was about 2 minutes into my first fire I learned that doesn't work very well, you just can't do an efficient search that way. IMHO if you are within visual or can be heard by your partner that is sufficient typically, there are always extreme circumstances, that will dictate how you do things. Another way I like to search is with my 25' loop of webbing, each holding one side you can get a good search and are still making physical contact, plus sometimes you will find something or someone with the loop between the two of you when it gets hung up. Just my .02

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    2 people take a hose and as long as you both hold that you'll be fine ans each person can find their own way out if they have to.

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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I like Jasper's method, and that is what we teach. For small rooms, leave one guy at the door, and the other(s) search the room and then the group moves on. Very fast.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    2 people take a hose and as long as you both hold that you'll be fine ans each person can find their own way out if they have to.
    So you're telling me that you take a hose with you on every search? That isn't very efficient

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    2 people take a hose and as long as you both hold that you'll be fine ans each person can find their own way out if they have to.

    Searching with a hose line is slow at best. I have always thought that to be putting out fire and maybe finding a dead person

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    We train and train using the same methods as jasper and mcaldwell. Our firefighters all carry a 20' section of webbing (This meets the vast majority of our business's and SFD rooms). Wether it is RH/LH search with the webbing and the extension of the FF's you can easliy search a 30' area. Allows us to get in and get it done.

    T.J.

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    Keeping big buildings(retail and warehouses), high rises and areas of public assembly out of the equation, two man searches in my opinion are the way to go. When searching with a partner, which you should try to do (not saying
    always and not saying never), leaving one man at the door while the other searches is a great method. Having one person conduct the search will depend on the size of the compartment being searched. Keeping a person at the entrance to the room provides the search firefighter with a verbal beacon if you will, keeping the the search firefighter oriented to his egress point. If using two firefighters will provide for a faster more aggressive search then by all means do it, one goes left one goes right, playing follow the leader is ineffective, inefficient, time consuming and simply a waste of time. For those of you who still believe the two search fireighters should keep in physical contact, try to find another method you can get comfortable with, holding onto each other does nothing but slow you down.

    I also like the idea of one oriented man in the hallway with a firefighter searching on either side of the hall, very effective. Keep in mind, conducting searches under fire conditions is not something you should be assigning your rookies to. If you do find yourself about to conduct a search and you are alone, remember a few things, again, not gospel, just my opinion; close the door behind you, or leave it ajar ever so slightly, the last thing you want to do is pull the fire to your egress point, provide a fire with more oxygen, expose the common hallway to extension. You can leave a tool, a light or anything else you do not need to conduct the search at your entry point which is also your egress point. Before conducting any search, inform command and the other units on ethe scene and incoming of your intentions. Just my thoughts.

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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    I've searched rooms by myself away from the officer and other members on the inside team....can or irons. I'd say it happens everyday where I work. Examples are the OV comes in through the window...and has a room to himself and the Roofman on the floor above of a FP will be alone until second due arrives. How we work is that the first due truck enters to locate and confine the fire. There are 3 men, and officer, can man, and irons man. The officer and can generally stick together till they find the fire, the irons man, once all the door have been taken will break off and search the area up to the fire.....while the can stays at the "fire compartment" with the water can and holds the flames back. The officer communicates with the engine officer and tells him where the fire is located. For the most part, the can is the first water on the fire, he holds until the engine gets up with the line, the irons, searches most of the area up to the fire and the officer helps where ever he can, most of the time hes between irons man searching his immediate area. The you have our OV who depending on the conditions, will Vent enter and search alone initially.

    As for two members searching one room. Unless the room is HUGE, its seems like a waste to me. Most rooms I've encountered are (talking apartments) not that big and are full of furniture and other debris.....and can be covered by one person. Now, if we are talking about commercials or large open areas....then bring a search rope and tag off of it...one guy goes one way the other goes the other.
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    When i went through fire 1, they taught the "hold your partner's ankle" method...as soon as i went to fire 2, they recommend the method where you leave you partner at the door and you search the room yourslef if it seems likea relatively small room. then when you get to the next room, you catch a breather at the door while your partner searches. throught drilling with it, it seems to work well

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    Quote Originally Posted by swfire42 View Post
    Alright this post stems from another were I had a disagreement with someone over SAR techniques. I say it is fine to seperate from your partner as long as you are not in tow different rooms and you can still hear them loud and clear. Now i am not talking about one person go left and one go right or being at two different ends of a building and yelling for eachother. I am talking about being 6 to 8 feet away from your partner on the wall while clearing a room or clearing a small room by yourself while your partner stays at the door. This is how I operate and is the way i was trained in the academy. What are your thoughts?
    Its called an "oriented firefighter search method" and is widely accepted.

    I've also read good things in this thread posted above.

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    The techniques used in a primary search are directly related to the firefighter's experience and training.
    As an example if you department does VES, you can't have a guy just out of the academy doing the search. It is far to dangerous because he is working opposite the hoseline, alone, and in a position of high risk for high benifit.
    If you have a couple of new guys doing a routine primary I would have them search together. If I have more experienced guys doing the search then having one enter a bedroom while the other stays in the hallway is just fine. Or even searching bedrooms opposite each other and meeting back in the hallway prior to moving on.
    If I have two new guys going above the fire I may send them with a line or a rope, while experienced guys go without the water for a faster search.
    No way is completly right or completly wrong it depends on the occupancy, fire conditions and your team.
    For those of you who advocate holding your partners boot while searching I have a question to ask. Did you search fast enough to save someones life? Did you both fit in that 10X10 bedroom with a twin bed, dresser and desk? Wouldn't it make more sense to go through it by yourself with your partner just one or two steps away while crawling?

    This stuff isn't practiced in the right conditions often enough in my opinion. How many of you have rooms set up in a tower or drill building that realisticly simulate what we crawl into. One of the better drills I attended involved a set up room about 12X11 with a bed, dresser, nightstand, desk, stuffed animals scattered around, toys and other misc. junk. (just like real life) Now before the 1403 police start screaming we used fake smoke, but it showed how difficult it can be to find someone in all that stuff. I don't know about the rest of you but we don't get the opportunity to search in a really bad conditions that often. A lot of times we can see OK and the rooms aren't that disorganized. We have to train for the worst and then we will shine when it really counts.

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