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    Default Primary Search Theory/Tactics

    OK, here goes... We are doing some training in an aquired single family dwelling. We were practicing the oriented search in which the officer in a crew of 3 maintains orientation in the hallway and supervises his 2 firefighters doing searches in the bedrooms. The officer is the only one with a TIC. I realize there are an infinite number of variables to the questions that will follow. For the sake of limiting the variables, lets say its a 2000 square foot ranch house, with 1 common hall with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath down the hall. The fire is not involved down this hall but smoke is heavy, heat is not. I realize that in our dept., and many others, other crews will be attacking the fire and venting at the same time. But for the sake of my questions, I'm only interested in this 1 search crew.

    Question #1- What would you say is an appropiate search time for this crew of 3?

    Question #2- How thorough of a search would you do ( under beds, in closets, in bathtubs, etc. )?

    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .

    Question #4- In say a five minute time period, would you rather have that team do a 100% search of that hallway and rooms ( say about half of the house ) OR do a quicker search of the hallway and rooms ( say about 80% of the hallway and rooms )and within the five minutes be able to search other parts of the house?

    These are some discussions that arose from some of our training. There are some good and bad points in different views on this.
    Again, this discussion is only aimed at the 1 search team and not on the whole operation, as difficult as that may be.

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    #1 not sure
    #2 I would do a pretty thorough search. I would not search every little spot but I would hit areas where a victim could be located.
    #3 I would not just search with the TIC. I feel people tend to depend on the TIC way too much.
    #4 I would say it is better to do a thorough search of the areas where victim survival is likely than a crapy search search of the whole house.
    Last edited by TNFF319; 03-09-2008 at 03:55 PM.
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    ok TNFF, just playing devils advocate... in #2, if your not gonna search every little spot, couldn't the TIC to that by stepping into a bedroom for about 10 seconds and hit about 80-90% of the room while still maintaining physical orientation to the hallway with the 2 firefighters you left there? This is speeding up the process with technology and still maintaining orientation.
    In #4, you say you would rather do a thorough search where victims are likely to be...but in # 1 you say not to search every little spot. Wouldn't using a camera to hit 80-90% of the rooms in a fraction of the time be searching where victims are likely to be and then move on to other places where a victim might be. Who says victims are more likely to be in the bedrooms instead of asleep in the livingroom on the couch. Again, would it not be better to hit 80-90% of the bedrooms with enough time left to hit some other areas?
    Again, not disputing your opinions or anyone elses, just playing the devils advocate game.
    Oh, by the way, I'm not advocating one way or the other, just looking for others opinions in how things really play out on the fire scene as opposed to how the manuals teach you.
    Thanks for your reply !!

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    #1 Approriate time is the time it takes to get the primary search done

    #2 I feel like you need to do a thorough search. On top of beds, between the bed and wall, under the bed, in the closest, under the window, and the often forgotten but very important behind the door.

    #3 You have a ranch style house with 3 bedrooms and a bathroom that you want searched. You have 3 FF's counting the officer. That means to me that each one of you should search a room. In a ranch house you can maintain contact by yelling to each other. Let the officer go to the furtherist room and scan each room as he goes by. Whoever gets done first can hit the bathroom. It is more important to me to do a search of the room with your hands then with a TIC. The TIC can be fooled (ie if the person is in bed with the covers pulled up the TIC will only pick up with parts of the body is out from under the covers and that is still dependent upon what the temp is in the room and the temp of the victim.)

    #4 I say that in a 5 min period you should be well done searching the bedrooms, and bathroom and on to other parts of the house. This is a primary search after all. I would hope that your hose team would search the immediate area around the fire if you let them know that you were going to other parts of the house, but typically you should search from the location of the fire and fire room back to the uninvolved parts of the house.

    You asked about searching the couch for sleeping people or the bedrooms. Where you search first in my mind is dependent upon where the fire is as you search there first and then it depends on what time of day it is. If it is the middle of the day then as I work away from the fire I might search the common areas of the house on my way to the bedrooms unless you know for a fact that they are in a bedroom.

    Hope this helps. I am sure you will get hammered with the fact that a search team searches for more than just victims. They search for the fire and victims in immediate danger from it and then away from it toward victims who have better air and more of a chance of survivibility.
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    GFDLT, I totally agree with other crews searching as they attack the fire and so forth. Again, this is just a different thought process on primary searches and if we may be slow to change the way things are done because you know that change in the fire service is usually not taken very well because, well, thats the way we've done it for years attitude. I'm just wanting to spark some discussion on different theorys.
    Five minutes seems like a long time sitting here at the computer, but time escapes us very quickly when doing the job. I'm not convinced that in five minutes you should be well done with the bedrooms and onto other parts of the house. Five minutes after we arrive plus the time prior to our arrival that victims have been exposed to the elements will most likely be a recovery if smoke conditions are heavy. Again, should we consider searching 80% of the whole house instead of 100% of half the house. Again, I know that other crews will be searching as fire attack is taking place, I'm just focusing on 1 search crew.

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    I stand by my belief of hand over TIC. The tic can not see a kid in the closet. It can't see under the bed. When i say not every little spot i mean places a victim could not fit. I searched a house with another firefighter a few months ago, and he stopped to thoroughly check under a table maybe a foot and half wide. A simple hand sweep would have done it. You can not afford being tied up searching every little spot.
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    Question #1- What would you say is an appropiate search time for this crew of 3?
    - Primary, life saving search...about 5 minutes total.

    Question #2- How thorough of a search would you do ( under beds, in closets, in bathtubs, etc. )?
    - Primary, life saving search...you will skip over some non-obvious spots.
    - Secondary, recovery search...you will check every nook and cranny.

    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .
    - Officer scans the bedroom quickly with the camera, 1 FF then enters and searches that bedroom. Officer moves to next bedroom, scans quickly, 2nd FF enters and searches that bedroom. When 1st FF is done, he and officer move to 3rd bedroom, officer does quick scan with camera, FF enters and searches. Officer always knows where his FF's are, FF's know where officer is. Primary, life saving search.

    Question #4- In say a five minute time period, would you rather have that team do a 100% search of that hallway and rooms ( say about half of the house ) OR do a quicker search of the hallway and rooms ( say about 80% of the hallway and rooms )and within the five minutes be able to search other parts of the house?
    - Primary, life saving search...quickly done closest to fire as possible and outward from that point. Secondary, recover search...take the time to check everywhere.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post
    OK, here goes... We are doing some training in an aquired single family dwelling. We were practicing the oriented search in which the officer in a crew of 3 maintains orientation in the hallway and supervises his 2 firefighters doing searches in the bedrooms. The officer is the only one with a TIC. I realize there are an infinite number of variables to the questions that will follow. For the sake of limiting the variables, lets say its a 2000 square foot ranch house, with 1 common hall with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath down the hall. The fire is not involved down this hall but smoke is heavy, heat is not. I realize that in our dept., and many others, other crews will be attacking the fire and venting at the same time. But for the sake of my questions, I'm only interested in this 1 search crew.

    Question #1- What would you say is an appropiate search time for this crew of 3?

    In all situations you should attempt to remove remaining occupants within 5-10 minutes of arrival on-scene, depending on how quick your response time is. In a 2000 sq.ft ranch I would say that a three person crew would take approximately 15-20 minutes to effectively search this heavily smoke logged area. 12 minutes would be a good time. This suggests that more firefighters are needed or alternative tactics!

    Question #2- How thorough of a search would you do ( under beds, in closets, in bathtubs, etc. )?

    When we search we almost 'demolish' a room! Turn beds up against the wall; open cupboards; bathtubs definitely; on the floor; behind doors; etc. When we have searched a room this way it also shows crews behind us where we have already been

    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .

    If we have just three on the fire floor, one will remain at the doorway to control air-flows. The TIC will go in with the crew and they will remain in close contact in heavy smoke.

    Question #4- In say a five minute time period, would you rather have that team do a 100% search of that hallway and rooms ( say about half of the house ) OR do a quicker search of the hallway and rooms ( say about 80% of the hallway and rooms )and within the five minutes be able to search other parts of the house?

    I would prefer the latter - although as I say, in heavy smoke you are unlikely to achieve this in just five minutes

    These are some discussions that arose from some of our training. There are some good and bad points in different views on this.
    Again, this discussion is only aimed at the 1 search team and not on the whole operation, as difficult as that may be.
    Good questions ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post
    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .
    YES. As an officer you should be more concerned about the safety of your crew. When I became a lieutenant I was told by a senior officer that is was no longer ME, US, and THEM, but MY MEN, ME, US, and THEM. Your job as an officer is to supervise and direct. The more hands on you are the less likely you are to do your "real" job.

    My job in the above situation is not to look for victims but to remain oriented to our primary egress, direct my crew in the search and keep them safe by monitoring fire conditions. If I am actively engaged in the search I cannot do my job.

    I'd sweep each room with my TIC looking for victims and hazards and then send my man in to do a good search. That way I know for certain where each of my men are because I sent them into that room. It also means that when they are done with a room they can tell me the status so I can inform command. That way we will not have duplicate primary searches of the same rooms by multiple companies (seen a bathroom searched by four different companies on the primary search at the last structure fire we made.)

    Once again as an officer your job should be towards your crew. Keep them safe by knowing where they are at all times and monitor the fire conditions. That way you lessen your chance of becoming part of the problem (lost firefighter, fall through floor, fire conditions worsen while you were not paying attention, etc...) That way your two firefighters can concentrate on their task because they know you have their back.

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    I was at a grant seminar on Friday and Brian Vickers said that he knew of a study that showed a 2 man crew with a TIC can complete a primary search of a singe floor ranch in 2 minutes and find a simulated victim 100% of the time. A 4 man crew searching the same house without a TIC took 6? minutes and found the victim 1 time out of 4.

    Maybe Brian could post a link to the study. It was an amazing result if true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kd7fds View Post
    I was at a grant seminar on Friday and Brian Vickers said that he knew of a study that showed a 2 man crew with a TIC can complete a primary search of a singe floor ranch in 2 minutes and find a simulated victim 100% of the time. A 4 man crew searching the same house without a TIC took 6? minutes and found the victim 1 time out of 4.

    Maybe Brian could post a link to the study. It was an amazing result if true.
    Must have been a pretty small ranch? Is he a TIC sales guy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    Must have been a pretty small ranch? Is he a TIC sales guy?
    Brian is a grant guy, Posts here under the username BC79er.

    I think he said it was 1800sf. Been trying to google for the study all weekend. Will probably email him and ask for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    YES. As an officer you should be more concerned about the safety of your crew. When I became a lieutenant I was told by a senior officer that is was no longer ME, US, and THEM, but MY MEN, ME, US, and THEM. Your job as an officer is to supervise and direct. The more hands on you are the less likely you are to do your "real" job.

    My job in the above situation is not to look for victims but to remain oriented to our primary egress, direct my crew in the search and keep them safe by monitoring fire conditions. If I am actively engaged in the search I cannot do my job.

    I'd sweep each room with my TIC looking for victims and hazards and then send my man in to do a good search. That way I know for certain where each of my men are because I sent them into that room. It also means that when they are done with a room they can tell me the status so I can inform command. That way we will not have duplicate primary searches of the same rooms by multiple companies (seen a bathroom searched by four different companies on the primary search at the last structure fire we made.)

    Once again as an officer your job should be towards your crew. Keep them safe by knowing where they are at all times and monitor the fire conditions. That way you lessen your chance of becoming part of the problem (lost firefighter, fall through floor, fire conditions worsen while you were not paying attention, etc...) That way your two firefighters can concentrate on their task because they know you have their back.
    Lexfd,
    I thought our job was to save life and property? Isn't rescue our first action priority? That is not to say you should disregard your crews safety, but lets face it, I/WE are firefighters. If you want a no risk in your job, sit behind a desk. Now dont take things out of context about what I'm saying, I believe we must take care of our crew as well, but we are here to do a job, and that job is to search for and rescue people and thats our priority.

    Then you say you would sweep each room with the TIC and then send your man in to do a physical search. Isn't that duplicating a search like you say not to do in your next breath?

    Maybe training is the answer to keeping firefighters safer instead of the officer holding their hands. I realize newer firefighters may need more supervision that seasoned ones, but the more hands on training you do with them, the more experience they gain and the more the crew knows and can expect from each other.

    What I am asking is can you leave your crew at the entrance of the hallway, so you know where they are, and you can see them with the TIC to confirm that, and do a sweep of each room with the TIC ( which should get you about 90% of the room) in a fraction of the time of a physical search, and then get back with your crew to move on to other parts of the house?

    Batt18,
    You say 5-10 minutes for any area? I think 10 minutes is to long for a Primary Search. If its heavy smoke, they will be recoverys. My whole thought process in this is to speed up searchs, as in our dept, I feel we are taking to long.

    Also, you demolish a room??? WHY?? I like to orient myself by furniture in rooms also. If someone throws an arm chair across the room that I know was there when I went in and I go back to find that reference point and its not there, now what??? Besides that, is it not possible for you to throw something on a victim? Is all that demolition not using more energy and air consumption?? Never liked that type of reckless abandon in searches.

    It seems you agree with me on the faster searches and trying to get the whole house searched instead of just a hallway with bedrooms. I just threw out the 5 minute as a parameter, not for a goal. I'm not really sure what the goal is, but the faster the better I feel.

    I thank each of you for your responses and opinions and respect each one although we may differ in opinions. Differing opinions and respectful discussions are great in my opinion. Remember, Iron Sharpens Iron, a great quote from the Bible. God bless each of you !!

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    Batt18,
    You say 5-10 minutes for any area? I think 10 minutes is to long for a Primary Search. If its heavy smoke, they will be recoverys. My whole thought process in this is to speed up searchs, as in our dept, I feel we are taking to long.

    That's why I said it depend on your response time. Most places I have worked we got there pretty quick from the first call, mostly within 2-4 minutes. Studies have demonstrated that occupants may remain in the smoke for up to 15 minutes and survive. Obviously you are gonna work to get them out in the shortest possible time frame. We had a large number of hotels in one area I worked and these presented us with multiple rescue situations. On occasions we would pull up to fifty occupants out within the first few minutes. We had a target of clearing all floors within the ten-minute time frame.

    There have been other studies that investigated the time taken to search for occupants in differing levels of visibility. In the situation you describe, Dallas noted a search time of 163 sq.ft per min for a two person crew. In the 2000 sq.ft ranch you describe that would take one crew in excess of 12 minutes.

    Another study demonstrated something around 100 sq.ft/min in heavy smoke. That would take 20 minutes. Using guides such as these we developed search plans of anything up to eight or ten floors of smoke-logged hotels that demanded large numbers of firefighters to be committed quickly.


    Also, you demolish a room??? WHY?? I like to orient myself by furniture in rooms also. If someone throws an arm chair across the room that I know was there when I went in and I go back to find that reference point and its not there, now what??? Besides that, is it not possible for you to throw something on a victim? Is all that demolition not using more energy and air consumption?? Never liked that type of reckless abandon in searches.

    'Almost' demolish was the term used. We were trained this way and I prefer it. It is not reckless abandon in any way. We would up-turn beds and anything where someone, a child, could hid under. we would not 'throw' things around but we would try to work quickly, placing items near to walls. A searched room was then obvious and as (in the hotels) we had large numbers of rooms to search we had to ensure that crews following would not repeat the search and waste time. We also chalked the doors. I don't like wasting time to search with a sweep tool under beds (but that is just opinion ok) and would prefer to upturn the bed
    Good luck to you Truck and good work on this discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post
    Lexfd,
    I thought our job was to save life and property? Isn't rescue our first action priority? That is not to say you should disregard your crews safety, but lets face it, I/WE are firefighters. If you want a no risk in your job, sit behind a desk. Now dont take things out of context about what I'm saying, I believe we must take care of our crew as well, but we are here to do a job, and that job is to search for and rescue people and thats our priority.

    Then you say you would sweep each room with the TIC and then send your man in to do a physical search. Isn't that duplicating a search like you say not to do in your next breath?

    Maybe training is the answer to keeping firefighters safer instead of the officer holding their hands. I realize newer firefighters may need more supervision that seasoned ones, but the more hands on training you do with them, the more experience they gain and the more the crew knows and can expect from each other.

    What I am asking is can you leave your crew at the entrance of the hallway, so you know where they are, and you can see them with the TIC to confirm that, and do a sweep of each room with the TIC ( which should get you about 90% of the room) in a fraction of the time of a physical search, and then get back with your crew to move on to other parts of the house?
    The priorities are the same but my job as a company officer is different on the fire ground. With putting on the gold changed where I fit into the larger picture. As an officer should no longer be 100% hands on. I no longer get the knob, run the spreaders, open the roof, pump the engine, etc... It's not my job anymore. I get to direct and supervise my company, hands on when it is absolutely needed.

    #1: Saying I am supervising my company in no way means we are not doing search and rescue. I am paid and charged to supervise and ensure the safety of my company. They are the ones that do the work. The more hands on I am the less effective of an company officer I am. If I am watching their backs they can concentrate on their job (searching.) If they get in trouble I am close.


    #2: I am old school and do not trust the TIC as far as I can throw it. The number one problem with a TIC is that it takes batteries. Using a TIC to keep a visual on your company, in my humble opinion, is a poor choice. Worst is using a TIC to maintain your orientation in a structure.

    Secondly, the TIC cannot see through closet doors or under beds. It cannot see around corners in the room. I believe we rely too much on our new technology and that is what gets us into trouble. If I am at the end of the hallway, as you suggest, I cannot see my crew as they work in the different rooms. So I have no visual or touch contact and voice might be a stretch. If I do not have one of those at all times I am not in contact with my crew. When things go south how do I contact them when I am down the hallway?

    A TIC search and an actual physical search are two entirely different things. If you are sweeping a room with a TIC and calling the room clear you are not searching. Anything other than a 100% search is not correct, in my opinion.

    Don't get me wrong the TIC is a wonderful tool. But like any tool it has its strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these will help you use the tool better.

    As for hand-holding. My company does not require any. We train and they know what expectations I have for them. They have told me my job is to sit up front and talk on the radio.

    As an officer your job is to supervise and direct. Pitch in a little when you have to. But if you are hands on 100% of the time you are not doing your "real" job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post
    OK, here goes... We are doing some training in an aquired single family dwelling. We were practicing the oriented search in which the officer in a crew of 3 maintains orientation in the hallway and supervises his 2 firefighters doing searches in the bedrooms. The officer is the only one with a TIC. I realize there are an infinite number of variables to the questions that will follow. For the sake of limiting the variables, lets say its a 2000 square foot ranch house, with 1 common hall with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath down the hall. The fire is not involved down this hall but smoke is heavy, heat is not. I realize that in our dept., and many others, other crews will be attacking the fire and venting at the same time. But for the sake of my questions, I'm only interested in this 1 search crew.

    Question #1- What would you say is an appropiate search time for this crew of 3?

    Question #2- How thorough of a search would you do ( under beds, in closets, in bathtubs, etc. )?

    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .

    Question #4- In say a five minute time period, would you rather have that team do a 100% search of that hallway and rooms ( say about half of the house ) OR do a quicker search of the hallway and rooms ( say about 80% of the hallway and rooms )and within the five minutes be able to search other parts of the house?

    These are some discussions that arose from some of our training. There are some good and bad points in different views on this.
    Again, this discussion is only aimed at the 1 search team and not on the whole operation, as difficult as that may be.
    ill post a fresh take on this, as i was just training on this very topic

    Q1. 4-6 minutes = death. your goal for all primary searches should be inder that time frame.

    Q2. " your looking for bodies, not poker chips". you must cover as much as possible, but remember the time limit

    Q3. A 3 man search can turn into a cluster if its not organized. The boss with the tic should be mostly using it to monitor conditions above and behind his crew if possible. when you arrive at the doorway, send one guy into the room.
    if he encounters another door, he should make sure its not a closet or a bathroom, then call for his other guy at the door, and the officer stays. he goes in , does the other room, and they both come out, etc.. etc.. never go more than one room away from your guy in an "oriented" search.

    Q4. you cant half *** half the house to half *** the other half. Youve got to clear the whole house. wouldnt you want that for your family? You should be able to barrel down the hall with 3 guys spread all of about 4 feet and cover 100% of that hallway, easy, as for the other rooms, say 2 beds and a bath, you should be able to cover that in under a minute, no need to search the hallway again, back out. And remember, if there is no heat and the fire is opposite your location, you should have hit near the fire first, then made the hallway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeatherHed4Life View Post
    Q1. 4-6 minutes = death. your goal for all primary searches should be inder that time frame.
    With 3 firefighters in a 2000 sq.ft ranch that is heavily smoke-logged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post

    Question #1- What would you say is an appropriate search time for this crew of 3?
    It all depends on conditions, how well the line is moving and time of day are just some of my quick thoughts. You can't put a time frame on it because all these factors are unknown until you get there. What are the room conditions? Where is the fire? Type of room? Are all other quick thoughts. A primary search is just that....FAST! You have to hit the areas of common travel. Sweep beds and couches, you are not looking for loose change. Find a wall and GO! Quickly! But Being sure to maintain room orientation. Also...CLOSE THE F'ING DOOR! You WILL buy time!

    Question #2- How thorough of a search would you do ( under beds, in closets, in bathtubs, etc. )?
    Again, you sweep, you can not be looking for loose change. All those places you mention can be checked and checked quickly with experience and training. Each member should be able to identify what they touch with a gloved hand with a good level of accuracy.

    Question #3- Do you feel the officer with the TIC should be held up in their search due to the 2 other firefighters searching? Could the officer with the TIC leave his crew of 2 at the entrance of the hall for oriented purposes, and do a quick ( 5-10 second scan ) search of every room down the hallway just using the TIC .
    Sure you can do that, the TIC is a great tool, BUT too many rely on it. And once its taken away, they are lost. As long as you teach old fashioned room orientation, basic search skills, and TIC use, you shouldn't have a problem. But remember, TIC can not see through walls and under beds and blankets.

    Question #4- In say a five minute time period, would you rather have that team do a 100% search of that hallway and rooms ( say about half of the house ) OR do a quicker search of the hallway and rooms ( say about 80% of the hallway and rooms )and within the five minutes be able to search other parts of the house?
    A primary Search is not a 100% search, a Primary and a Secondary would be. Your secondary search is the painstakingly thorough one that hits EVERYTHING. Remember your primaries are to hit the common avenues of travel, you are either looking for life and or fire. If you are having crews do both types of searches you are over tasking them and they will miss something eventually.

    Also remember....CLOSING THE DOOR will buy you tremendous amount of time! And keep you relatively safe. Another idea would be to breach walls from room to room. With the doors closed, you can have a network of mouse holes for you to operate is somewhat safe and not so charged areas. But that practice is something that has to be in accordance with your building types.
    IACOJ Member

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    Lex, I think you may have missed what I was saying about leaving your crew at the entrance of the hallway. I was asking about leaving them stationary at the hallway entrance and the officer ( or whoever has the TIC ) go down the hallway and take 1 step into the room and scan the room and then move on to another room. The crew of 2 will be oriented and the hallway and rooms will be searched quicker, even though you will not see in closets or behind beds. I am not saying to have the TIC go off while the crew searches other rooms !! Basically switching the more traditional roles and search with the TIC and be oriented with the others, not be oriented with the TIC as you stated. Also, I'm very aware of the supervisors role of supervising and not hands on all the time, but I feel this is one time when you may have to be hands on, when your looking for life.

    Leather, I'm not worried about the hallway, thats just the means to the bedrooms. I dont believe you could miss anyone in the hallway. I dont believe you could search 2 bedrooms and a bath in under 1 minute as you say.

    Vinnie, I was beginning to believe that I was the only one that thought a Primary search was hitting the high spots and moving on. The most likely areas !! Not the any possibility areas. Thats just my opinion. Thanks !!

    Thanks to everyone responding. Even though we may differ on things, I like the discussion. I also realize there are many factors involved that could change each situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckee1 View Post

    Leather, I'm not worried about the hallway, thats just the means to the bedrooms. I dont believe you could miss anyone in the hallway. I dont believe you could search 2 bedrooms and a bath in under 1 minute as you say.
    why not? how big is a ranch bed room? 10x12? bathroom? 6x8? full of furniture? how much is left? 50sq ft? and a bed? come off the bed spread out and sweep. it shouldnt take you more than 1 min to cover the bed/bath room. try it at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    With 3 firefighters in a 2000 sq.ft ranch that is heavily smoke-logged?
    should it take more time? I think it would take less because you should have a relatively fresh guy searching each room. 4-6 is the goal, not the end all say all. it may take longer, but despite conditions you should give those people the best chance by trying to clear within 4-6.
    Last edited by LeatherHed4Life; 03-16-2008 at 08:46 PM.

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    The speed at which you are able to perform a primary search depends largely on the available manpower to conduct the search and the condition under which the search is being performed. Taking all that into consideration, I have always been trained that a "quick" primary search in common areas (beds, closets) will likely yield a higher victim count in a shorter period of time than a time consuming search of all areas of the house. Thats why we condunt a secondary search.

    During a primary search we quickly search the room (most often alone since on a typical fire we only have 1 guy on each ladder dedicated to this assignment) checking for obvious victims and extention of fire.

    During a secondary search we COMPLETELY search the room (most often 2 FF) checking for not so obvious victims, like the ones under trash bags of clothes.

    In the above situation, if I remember right, you have 3 guys. I would much prefer to see each guy take a room then delay searching other rooms while a bunch of guys search 1 room.

    That makes more sense to me.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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    PFD, I agree with the 1 firefighter per room. We do not play follow the leader when searching. We usually have an officer with the camera directing 2 other FFs doing the physical search and send a ff in each room and move along as they finish each room. My question is should the officer do the search with a camera while leaving the crew at the hallway entrance for orientation. He can still maintain contact with his crew either with the camera or by voice. The officer with TIC should be able to search the rooms faster than doing the touch every spot search. They wont be able to see behind or under beds or in closets, but the faster search would allow other parts of the house to be searched in the same time frame instead of just searching the bedrooms doing a touchy feely search. I feel the primary search should hit the high spots and move on, searching the MOST LIKELY spots to find someone, not searching areas that someone could just physically fit into, like closets, or under beds. If you see its a childs room, maybe search those areas as children are a little different animal. Everyone keeps saying closets and under beds, but I've never heard of finding an adult in a closet or under a bed ( thats not to say it hasn't happened ). I feel its more likely to find an adult in another part of the house like on a couch asleep in the den or near another exit as opposed to under a bed. The time you take to search in closets is time you could be searching a more likely spot in another part of the house.

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    How about letting the officer do his job (supervise, watch out for his guys, watch for fire progression, etc) and give the camera to the guys searching?

    Are you proposing that the officer do the search while the 2 guys sit in the hallway doing nothing? Seems kind of backwards to me. Just trying to understand your proposal.
    "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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    primary search is always necessary.the information that no one is at home can be wrong.a search of the interior must be performed in a coordinated and systematic way.a one directional search of a room should be made by keeping close to the walls and reaching out as the room is encircled.the use of a pattern ensures that all areas are checked(right hand or left hand search).children can be hidden everywhere:closets,bureau drawers.....when this primary search is done,the room is marked.that is what i have been told.

    secondary search will cover the entire structure:interior and exterior.you could examinate all debris,it could have a victim.

    usually the company officer will assign firefighters areas of the buiding to be searched.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    The primary should start in the area(s) of greatest life hazard - closest to the fire, and then work out to less life hazard. The primary should be fast, and cover a good amount of the room, as much as possible. The secondary should be thorough, and check every spot. The crew preforming the 2nd search should also be a different crew than the crew that did the primary.

    With my company, the primary search is supposed to be also used to locate the fire. But 99% of the time, you can see the fire from the street, so the engine crew knows where they need to go. But if we have smoke showing, but no location on the fire, the primary crew needs to work fast to find the fire, and relay that info to the engine crew.

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