Back 2 the Basics: Part III

Search- The first thing I want you to notice is I did not include rescue, that will come later . It was not until an article written by Michael Briclaut in the Fire Engineering, that I realize I was one of those guys who did not understand that search and rescue where not lumped together as one operation, but also need to be recognized for their independence much like PB&J. So lets prepare to search. First you must have a searchers mindset: its not clear unless I clear it. Then it is your responsibility that you clear it in a timely fashion, but be thorough.  The basics of search:

Before entry:

Don’t be a clown do a walk around- yes you may arrive on side alpha of a building and one person may be hanging from a window,  but there maybe three on the charlie side.

General Impression- much like running an EMS call that walk around time should allow for you to get a general of the layout of the structure note: I do realize this will not be able to happen in all cases. Take the opportunity to use the TIC to scan the room, and lay flat and see if you can look under the smoke to get an Idea of the room or floor plan layout before entering.

What is the smoke telling you? What are signs of Flashover? What are signs of a backdraft? Do you and understand what a smoke explosion is?

Does the IC know where you are?D11 fire The radio report of where you are and what you are doing is critical. We suggest the CAAN method of radio reporting- Conditions, Actions, Air, and Needs.


Primary search ( Searching for Life )-  It is imperative that you start your search as closet the fire an work back, this allows you the ability to track a victims potential route out of the fire, and find them if they did not make it out. Left or Right handed search pattern and this means stick to the left or right, and not switching walls. Radio command let them know how many your searching with, where you all entered, and the pattern to be used. This helps on several fronts; if you find a victim and ask for help the IC already has a general idea of where to send it if the location becomes unclear. If you were to call a mayday again the IC has a location to direct the RIT team. During this primary search you must keep yourself oriented by staying on the search pattern established, sweeping for windows, and doors.


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