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Skip Coleman's Blog (44)

New Residential

The fire occurs on a Sunday morning at 6:45 am.  The house is 3800 sq. ft. and had four bedrooms. One on Division 1 and three on Division 2. Your crew is assigned Search.  There is 1 hose line stretched to the front door at the time you are assigned by the first arriving engine.  

How would you conduct your search?

            Entry point

            Type of search

            Where would you start? Division 1, 2 or basement!

            How would you and…


Added by Skip Coleman on January 23, 2015 at 12:01pm — 6 Comments

Another Bungalow Scenario

The fire occurs in a small, 540 sq. ft. Frame bungalow.  The alarm is sounded at 0630 hours on a Sunday morning.  As in the photo, there are vehicles parked on the “D” side of the structure. 

“Attack” has been assigned to the first due engine.  Your crew is assigned “Search”. 

Develop a search plan including entry point, where you will start and end up the search.  Also include search type and any other considerations.

View video at:   …


Added by Skip Coleman on December 10, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Vacant Multi-family

This fire occurs in a vacant wood frame building.  It was originally built (1920’s or 30’s) as a multi-family dwelling and has been renovated several times over the years. 

The building is located in an old section of your community where blight and deterioration has overtaken the area.  There are many homeless people in the area and drugs and prostitution is prevalent.  

Your company is approaching and awaiting assignment. First on-scene crews are…


Added by Skip Coleman on November 19, 2014 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

Upper/Lower Duplex search

Your company is assigned to Search. The first in Engine Company has already stretched a line in through the front door on the A/B corner and heading up stairs.   One firefighter of that crew is assigned to “Door Control” until the fire is located and darkened.  So we have two firefighters on Division 2 with a hoseline (the remainder of the first in Engine Company).  Their focus is on darkening the fire.

Again, you are assigned search.  Staffing is whatever your crew would be staffed…


Added by Skip Coleman on October 20, 2014 at 10:57am — 5 Comments

Garden Apartment Search Blog

I would like to continue with the search blogs.  As a reminder, I will post a video of the fire scene and provide some basic information.  I would hope you would respond to the blog by commenting at the bottom of the page.  If you are a little timid, (you’re probably not a “B” shifter) at least think about the situation and figure out what you would do if you were assigned search at that fire. 

This fire occurs in a three story garden type apartment. One level is mostly below grade…


Added by Skip Coleman on September 19, 2014 at 11:18am — 4 Comments

My new Scenario based training site at

I am adding another web article to Fire Engineering’s web site in Fire Dynamics. It is called “What Would You Do? Here is the link:

Twice a month, I will post a scenario on the web site.  It will contain a looped video of a fire situation, a brief description of the building and…


Added by Skip Coleman on September 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

What I did on my summer vacation. "A Homework Assignment"

I know it’s been a while since my last post and yes – for those of you that liked the search posts there are more to come.

I have been working on a few projects that have taken time from me, and will continue to do so for most of the summer. However, I do have an assignment for you.  (Hence the title of the blog.)

School is out.  Where I live, it doesn’t start back till August 28th.  So!  Here is what I want you all to do. “Make a Plan”.  Figure out what you are…


Added by Skip Coleman on July 15, 2014 at 10:17am — No Comments

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…


Added by Skip Coleman on April 23, 2014 at 3:13pm — 3 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…


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…


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…


Added by Skip Coleman on March 6, 2014 at 9:39am — 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…


Added by Skip Coleman on February 14, 2014 at 5:28pm — 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.



Added by Skip Coleman on January 22, 2014 at 9:41am — 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…


Added by Skip Coleman on January 3, 2014 at 11:52am — 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)…


Added by Skip Coleman on December 12, 2013 at 3:28pm — 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…


Added by Skip Coleman on December 5, 2013 at 10:00am — 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…


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…


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…


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…


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

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