With the advent and influx of (TIC) thermal imager camera's, the simple technique of sounding the floor can often and easily be overlooked. This basic firefighter technique should be mandatory when you enter and advance through any structure that is being degraded by fire and heat insult. Sounding the floor is often overlooked because firefighters have "their eyes back" with the use of the camera. Some department's who have done well in grants and line item budgets have mulitple camera's on a working fire. With more and more cameras on scene, we are now seeing firefighter's using them instead of the officer. When officer's use the lead assist technique to direct blind firefighters, they (the firefighters) still rely heavily on their sense of sound and feel. So now with cameras becoming abundent on the fireground, firefighters with less experience need to remember to not abandon your other senses! The ability to absorb sensory information from sight, sound and feel will provide you and your company with a better understanding of the conditions herein.
In the picture below, you will note a very large opening in the floor of a building in my company's first due. We learned that just inside the exterior door, that the floor had been removed right up to the threshold plate. This would be a door that the truck company would force for entry on a working fire.
The importance of sounding the floor from the moment you arrive on scene is easily understood when you stand in a doorway like this one and look down. Stay focused, remember your basics, and use all of the senses that were provided to you.
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Thanks Jonah, the issue with the TIC is they read the thermal signature and if the h*** and the surrounding floor are of the same temperature and there is poor visibility due to smoke, the initial look if not a good 6 sided look with the TIC may not show a clear image of the hazard.
On another note, does anyone mark there buildings with hazards like this?
Billy (FETC) www.fetcservices.com
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