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Skip Coleman's Blog (37)

Two Story

Here is a blog indicating a fire of unknown location in two story house with bedrooms on both floors. Many more modern houses have sleeping areas on more that one area. The concern here is, where to start your search if the location of the fire is unknown and the fire occurs at a time where the sleeping areas should be searched first due to the time of the fire. 

As usual, the fire occurs at 0630 hours.  There are several bicycles in the driveway of the house and a swing set in the…

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Added by Skip Coleman on April 23, 2014 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Larger Ranch Search using Floor Plan

I got a lot of views to the last blog but only 2 with the courage to tell us what he would do.  Thanks Charlie and Justin.  Here are some of their comments . (Remember, these comments are for the last Blog and not the one below.  Do not get confused.  “From the outside we are looking at nothing more than a MODERN style split ranch, so to start our search we are going to start a right hand search towards the sleeping quarters due to time and day. With a three man…

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Added by Skip Coleman on March 26, 2014 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

Lets back up a minute Search Scenario

I must apologize.  Over the weekend, it dawned on me that I again, have put the apple cart before the horse.  All too often, I get an idea and get all pumped up only to realize that there is a key component or part I allowed to be missed. 

I did start out with simpler scenarios – yes that’s a fact.  I gave progressively more difficult scenarios - again, yes that’s a fact.  But this weekend I realized I should have started out from a more basic point. 

So, lets back…

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Added by Skip Coleman on March 19, 2014 at 4:04pm — 8 Comments

4 Story Older Apartment Building

Lets go back for a while and practice on some more residential occupancies we all may have. 

The exterior load bearing walls are wood with brick veneer.  It was built about 1900. there are four apartments on each floor. Three stairs serve the building. One of the "A" side, one the "B" and one on the "D" sides as well.  There is no egress in the "C" side. 

All units are believed to be occupied with an unspecified number of occupants.  However, while returning from runs and other…

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Added by Skip Coleman on March 6, 2014 at 8:39am — 8 Comments

Wing Type Nursing Home Fire

This is a wing-type nursing home.  The center or hub of the home contains the nurses stations, kitchen and dining hall, recreation area, offices and the like.  The wings contain the rooms for the residents.  Apparently,  there was a malfunction with the built-in automatic fire protection system.

This fire occurs in one of the wings.  This wing contains 12 rooms with two residents in each room. This particular wing contains all non-ambulatory residents.

The fire occurs at 0630…

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Added by Skip Coleman on February 14, 2014 at 4:28pm — 7 Comments

Older Large Apartment Building

This is an Apartment Building in my old city.  There are two sections to this building that has a fire rated separation down the center of the building.  Each section has a center stairway in the front with two apartments on each floor (one to the left and one to the right of the stairway).  As indicated in the rear view, each apartment has a rear balcony with a fire escape stairway. There are a total of 10 apartments in each section for a total of 20 apartments in the building.

Each…

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Added by Skip Coleman on January 22, 2014 at 8:41am — 5 Comments

Garden Type Apartment Fire

The Fire occurs at 0630 Hours on a Sunday morning.  The building is wood platform construction with a truss roof assembly.  The exterior load bearing walls are wood frame. The floors are constructed of a joist system with 2x10 joists supporting the floors.  The exterior has a brick veneer. All interior wall assemblies are drywall (sheetrock) on wood studs. There is no built-in fire protection system. Individual units have battery operated smoke detectors.  

This is a one section…

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Added by Skip Coleman on January 3, 2014 at 10:52am — 14 Comments

Boarded Up Multi-Family

Before I get into some Multi-family and Commercial buildings, let me cover a few other things.

As with all of these, "what you see is what your get"!  Its' 0630 hours on a Saturday morning.

These first questions are for the initial Incident Commander.  

1) Would you assign Search?

2) If so, what if any assignments would you make prior to assigning Search?

3) Is there anything you would want in place (additional tactics, evolutions or tools placed or set)…

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Added by Skip Coleman on December 12, 2013 at 2:28pm — 7 Comments

Victorian House Fire Search

Ever onward.  

Here is the next simulation.  This is of a victorian house.  It is approximately 4000 sq. ft. (not including the third floor).   

There are six bedrooms. The fire occurs at 0630 hours on a saturday morning.  What you see in the video is what you get.  

You are on your department riding your apparatus and are assigned Search by Command.  An engine company has arrived before you and is stretching a line to the front door.

1) What type of…

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Added by Skip Coleman on December 5, 2013 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

Quadraplex with a twist

OK,  Before I move on,  as a curiosity, if you pulled up and were assigned search - nothing else was said over the radio or face to face because Command was busy, would you first move towards the victim in the window in apartment C or, because of conditions showing, would you do something else?  Is this the time to split the Crew?  (Can you split your crew because of the staffing on your rig?) 

Lastly,when you deciden…

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Added by Skip Coleman on October 31, 2013 at 2:59pm — 11 Comments

Search Scenario #4 Quadraplex Apartment Search

Still not a lot of people out there willing to tell me how they would search these scenarios.  To those of your that have "spilled their guts", Thanks.  

This scenario occurs again at 6:30 a.m..  I never mentioned this but for all of these, lets assume zero visibility in any area that shows smoke.  

It is unknown at the time of the fire if any or all apartments are rented with victims inside.  The attached photo has letters in the windows to signify apartments (A, B, C and…

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Added by Skip Coleman on October 15, 2013 at 10:19am — 18 Comments

Search Scenario #3 Large Ranch

Ok,  So far so good.  I would still like more of you to suck-it-up and post what “you” would do.  No one will pot-shot you.  I won’t let any negative, over critical or down-right mean post up there. 

This scenario is a larger ranch house (at least that’s what we would call it where I come from).  Again, what you see is what you get. 

Assume for this scenario that the first assignment given was “Attack”.  The first arriving engine company has secured a water supply and stretched…

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Added by Skip Coleman on September 27, 2013 at 9:29am — 19 Comments

Search Scenario Help

I have posted two scenarios now that depict a specific scenario that centers around search.  Each has a quick video showing the building and fire. Each has a floor plan of the building (or a close proximity). There is a quick explanation of the scenario and a few questions asking how you would search this building. 

This is supposed to be an interactive learning tool designed to allow you to participate by first thinking of what you would do in the same scenario and then answering the…

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Added by Skip Coleman on September 26, 2013 at 10:39am — No Comments

What Type of Search Would You Use #2? Split Level

Thanks to those that posted comments. They were good and showed some different ideas which is what I want.  

In this scenario, we have a fire in a split level residential house.  The fire occurs at 0630 hours on a Sunday morning. As with all these scenarios, what you see is what you get!   As a reminder, you are using your departments staffing, procedures and equipment.

Here is what i want to discuss:

  • Where would you enter the house to begin your…
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Added by Skip Coleman on September 17, 2013 at 11:10am — 4 Comments

Search Scenario #1 Bungalow

When I teach, I usually bring up the point that “there is always more than one right way to fight a fire and conversely, more than one wrong way to fight a fire”.  What works (or worked) in Toledo may not work in New York and vice versa.  

In my third book, “Searching Smarter” (published by Fire Engineering/Pennwell, 2011), in Chapter 2,  I discuss the four types of search I am aware of; those being “Standard Search”, “Team Search”, “Vent Enter Search (VES)” and the “Oriented…

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Added by Skip Coleman on September 6, 2013 at 10:00am — 12 Comments

Search Scenarios

For the next few weeks I am going to post blogs that ask questions concerning searching.  Of everything we do on the fireground, I believe Search is the poorest evolution we conduct.  I have my ideas why but that’s another  blog for another time.

I will embed video in the blog that shows a fire problem.  In each of these, assume you are operating in your jurisdiction with your resources.  If your staffing is 5 plus an officer or two, whatever - it’s what you have to work with.  Bring…

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Added by Skip Coleman on September 3, 2013 at 3:46pm — 2 Comments

What are You Going to Do? - Tornado's

Things get messed up on occasion at almost every level of almost every occupation.  As an example I posted a Round Table question in Fire Engineering Magazine a month or two ago.  Due to extensive and I must add quite insightful and interesting coverage of Hurricane Sandy in the June and July issues,  it kind of got lost. I think it was a great opportunity for those that “do”, to help those that “don’t” (but should).  And in an occupation that prides itself on brother and sisterhood, isn’t…

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Added by Skip Coleman on August 23, 2013 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

The Best is Yet to Come

I have good news and I have bad news.  The good news is that "things" in the fire service are finally changing and changing for the better.  The bad news is that some of you may not like it. 



I just got back from a weekend with some of the largest minds in today's fire service. (Not quite sure what I was doing there.) Here is some of what’s coming or in some cases, already here.

  • Did you know that every fire apparatus built after 2008 (I believe – maybe 2009)  has a…
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Added by Skip Coleman on August 14, 2013 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

They get it!

I saw this in the paper a few days back.  Someone taught them good! 

What do they have? A Vacant Storefront, 90+ degree temps outside and no exposure problems.

Not because this is my old department but examples of this reinforce the concept that some departments just "get…

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Added by Skip Coleman on July 26, 2011 at 11:10am — 12 Comments

Round Table Review - Seat Belt Policy

Just a quick recap of last question. Does your department have a mandatory seat belt policy? Is it enforced and who is responsible for its enforcement?  Does the officer have any culpability if a firefighter knowingly violates the policy and should he?

13 responses were all pretty identical (with the exception of 1).

All 13 said their department had a policy. Only one said that it was never enforced even with accidents and injuries. It was interesting that 4 of the responses we from… Continue

Added by Skip Coleman on July 7, 2011 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

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