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I would first like to say that the use of the following article is not meant to be an armchair quarterback or to be critical of the department involved. However I do feel it can be a learning opportunity for us, to at least review some basics of having a search plan.

Article:

A man died in a blaze after four firefighters failed to spot him during two searches of a burning building, an inquest heard today. Danny Holt, 33, collapsed in his lounge after a chip pan caught fire - but the emergency services failed to spot him. Both groups of firefighters assumed the other had searched the room in Eccles, Greater Manchester.

 

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Comment by John Shafer on February 5, 2012 at 12:11pm

Thanks for reply Christopher

Comment by Christopher Huston on February 3, 2012 at 6:05pm
This may seem as though it adds more traffic to an already burdened system, but what about reporting all clears after a tactical area is complete. In a one story SFD this may not be necessary but in a two story couldn’t the all clear report be given after each level? If command tracks tactical objectives then he could track tactical area task completion as well.

Let me throw this out there. Does the primary search team brief with the secondary team? If the secondary team goes in with no idea of what they may encounter will they perform a better search? If the primary team gave them any insight will they enter with bias? I am just throwing these ideas out there. The mind certainly is a complex machine and if the team is focused on seeing or feeling what the first team informed them on, it will distract them from providing an independent search. The primary and secondary searches, relating to patterns and what was seen, should be independent in both time and freedom of thought.

Nice topic to add John!
Comment by John Shafer on February 3, 2012 at 12:01pm

Very good imput Scott and thanks for comment!

Comment by Scott Thompson on February 3, 2012 at 12:00pm

Another case for pre arrival assignments.  Our plan dictates that the truck addresses search.  If the truck is unavailable, the quint is expected to assume the duties of the first truck.  An all clear is not communicated until THE TRUCK, our whoever is assigned to do the truck work, has searched the entire dwelling.  As soon as possible, a secondary search is assigned and the second all clear is not communicated until that that company has searched the entire dwelling.  On multi family, larger dwellings, the same plan is followed only utilizing more companies.  The critical thing is to make sure someone is assigned so there is no assumption. If you don’t run with a truck, and maybe with an engine or two, make sure before the event, there is a plan for who will address forcible entry, ventilation, search, fire attack, water supply and IRIT at an absolute minimum.  I don’t think I have ever been involved in an interior fire attack situation in which all of the above did not have to at least be addressed.  Just because a department responds with less resources does not mean the above don’t apply.  Every department needs to know their capabilities and limitations and working within those parameters, find a way to make it work.   

 

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