I'm confused, maybe somebody can help explain this.  When I took my level 1 (recently) we were told roof ventilation would not increase fire intensity and on an interior entry sounding the floor while searching is what you need to do while searching in zero vis.  Was just reading testing conclusions from UL and they say none of this stuff is accurate and in some cases more dangerous then helpful.  While reading there were other techniques taught in level 1 that are contradicted and possibly dangerous or wrong.


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In theory we would use a hose line when we search.  We practice both ways, with and without a hoseline.  

It gets kind of complicated for us as we rarely have enough people turn out to search and hit the fire at the same time.  Most of our structures are single family dwellings with few of them being over two stories.  Being a volunteer outfit, we dont turn out as fast as some other depts. so it seems like when we get there it is a room and contents fire or it is fully involved.  On the room and contents we usually have a short stretch and put the fire out and then search or we hit it from the outside and go inside.  

For us we have to concentrate on one thing at a time and extinguishment seems to be our best option.  

One positive about a search hose is if you get disoriented in a structure you can follow your hose back out.  Does that work or still not a good idea, I guess a search rope might be a better idea less cumbersome, yes?

Along with what Captnjak already mentioned, when doing a search and if you are using the wall, when you do enter a room, make note of where a window is, etc. While the push may be to use a hoseline to search to be able to follow the line out, it is also imperative to locate alternative exits. For victims, one can radio out that you have a victim and can get them out a window as opposed to hauling them back trough the structure you just came from. For the FF, they should be able to locate alternate egress points in the event they do get lost, seperated, or cut off from the exit.


One nice thing about using search rope or a line is that if your air gets low, the next team should be able to go in and pick up where you left off. Although, for the majority of structures, one should be able to complete a search with a single bottle.


Getting a victim out a window is not an easy proposition, assuming we're talking about an unconscious person. It is much more difficult to LIFT a person than it is to DRAG a person. Lifting an unconscious victim is way more difficult than lifting weights or dummies of equal weight. Not to mention the time it would take to TOTALLY clear that window so there are no snags, lacerations, etc. Also there is likely furniture in front of the window. And what's outside the window? A guy on a portable ladder?  What's he gonna do with that victim? Good chance he'll  drop him/her.

Our policy is that the first choice for victim removal is through the interior (or back the way you came). If you can't handle him/her alone, call for help.

Just giving other options out there and other things to consider. Conditions can also determine the best choice and going back through may not be it. Sure it could be difficult to get a victim out a window, but it could be your best option available. Another consideration is to call for a window to be cut down if on the first floor.

Additional help to come inside may not be available, depending on dept make up, staffing on scene, etc. However, a RIT team could be deployed from the outside to do such a cut down, etc.

Cutting down a window is another one of those things that sound better in the classroom than on the fire ground. Think of the time factor involved. In the amount of time it takes for a guy to get back to the rig, grab a saw, get back to the window involved and even begin the cut  the rescuer could probably have dragged the victim to the front door (or at least most of the way).

Interior search w/o protection of a hoseline can be a dangerous tactic. The searcher(s) should first locate and confine fire if possible before continuing search. If this is not possible, search may have to be delayed until line is in place. This will be quick in private dwellings. If staffing is real low emphasis should be on getting line in place before search begins. Conditions generally are already improving by the time we locate and remove a victim.

Not disagreeing with this either, I'm again saying other things to consider. I agree with having a line to the fire and did not say anything contrary to that at all. I never once said that there should be a search without having any line in place at all, I stated that a search team does not need to have their own line.


As for having a saw, that is something deployed with our RIT teams. While I know every dept does things differently, just more things to consider. As for classroom discussions and so forth, gee, that is why you train. You talk about things and then you go out and practice on them and then you find out what works, what doesn't and how to improve, what to change, what isn't practical and so forth.


To sit back on a forum and debunk things because you may think they are challenging doesn't help things either. Last time I checked the job was a physically demanding job and has become more of a thinking person's job as opposed to just being told to do something, you should know "why" you are doing something. Why not consider different options and different ways to do things, let those discussions take place at a company and dept level, go out and train on them to see if those options can work or if they don't. Sure makes a difference to look at things from that standpoint than to read some forum on the internet with many people saying some things and take those words as gospel.

Training, practicing and trying things out on a company or department level is fine. But why not use all available resources. Forums like this are one of those resources. If something proves to be inefficient or unreliable for  most other departments it will probably prove so for yours.

I don't mean to debunk anything. I was trying to point out to young FF Hutchinson that cutting a window is really an alternate type of tactic and probably would only be done under extreme or unusual circumstances. You certainly don't have to take this as gospel, but how many times is it actually done? Who does this with any regularity? So now you're training on a specialized tactic. Nothing wrong with that. But I would encourage firefighters in any department to be entirely proficient at bread and butter tactics before they start spending time on alternative tactics.

I don't have a problem with RIT members doing size-up, throwing ladders and even doing some CONTROLLED ventilation. But once you "put them to work" on a rescue they're not really available as RIT any longer. This needs to be very carefully evaluated.

I really want to bring up more training issues at our next meeting but I know it's gonna go over like a lead balloon.  Our meeting are usually sit around and talk money and things we can't do, nobody seems to give a shit, pisses me off because i'm a sponge for knowledge and want to practice interesting stuff not just go out and spray water on the grass and practice running the pumper.  Who wants to put me up for a month or so down there so I can gain some real knowledge.  lol

 If something proves to be inefficient or unreliable for  most other departments it will probably prove so for yours

Maybe, maybe not, too many variables to account for. Sure there are definately tactics or techniques that have stood the test of time and there are those that have flown by the wayside. What we do know is that the fire service is changing and evolving, one to meet the budget constraints, work within staffing allowances, and yet meet the changing building construction industry and so forth.


Today's FF needs to be more educated and aware of the surroundings and incidents and to understand why things are done and how to do them. Just because other depts found things to be inefficient doesn't mean it would be for your own. Let the dept make that determination, not some forum, nor what other depts do or may not do, don't just pass off something because other depts don't like it, or what is read on some forum. Just look at the little talk on positive pressure attack and how quickly some frowned upon it, yet there are places that do it and find success regardless of forum opinions.


I don't mean to debunk anything. I was trying to point out to young FF Hutchinson that cutting a window is really an alternate type of tactic and probably would only be done under extreme or unusual circumstances


At this point, this discussion has become broader than just addressing the OP. Sure, there can be challenges involved with techniques etc, but again, it is about looking for options, to be aware of conditions and surroundings.


I would encourage firefighters in any department to be entirely proficient at bread and butter tactics before they start spending time on alternative tactics


I definately agree, not saying anything countrary, but again this discussion goes beyond just the OP. However, at the same time, one should be aware of options as well and to be understanding why one does something. I would argue that one of the most important tactic to train on before even going in is MAYDAY and FF rescue situations. Going through bread and butter tactics does no good if one finds themselves in a MAYDAY situation and doesn't know what to do. Being aware of windows and doors as one searches and knowing those can be an egress route if need be is hardly an alternative or specialized tactic.



"Going through bread and butter tactics does no good if one finds themselves in a Mayday situation and doesn't know what to do."

I'll point out the glaringly obvious here and state that the opposite is also true. But concentrating on the bread and butter might PREVENT you from finding yourself in a Mayday situation. We may not like to admit it but a fair amount of our Maydays are the result of bad decisions or bad judgment. (Too Gung Ho, ignoring risk vs. reward, etc.)

To be very clear: I'm not against training for emergency situations, but let's not put the cart before the horse.

I described the cutting of a window for victim removal as an alternative tactic. I did NOT describe being aware of windows and doors as an alternative tactic. I pointed out that search should be done off a wall and that "landmarks" can be used to locate yourself on the way out, as opposed to using hose line or search rope for egress guidance.

To find your way out of a structure this is what we were shown.  Start entry with say a right hand search alpha side.  To get back out turn around and go back the way you came with a left hand against the wall and you should find yourself where you started.  Does this always work or with rooms and closets etc make it very easy to get confused and lost.

The bigger the house, the harder it will be to keep your bearings. You'll want to try to keep track of the number of doorways you pass, along with recognizable furniture, objects, etc. These are your "landmarks". If you're on your way out and not recognizing anything by feel, you may have gotten spun around somewhere. Don't forget to keep voice contact with other members. Just because you're spun around doesn't mean they are. It's very reassuring to hear those other voices.

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