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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 a 1 ¾” line through the front door.  You are the next in unit and assigned “Search” by the Incident Commander. 

  • Where would you enter the structure?
  • What type of search would you use?
  • How would you do it?

Here is the link to the video:


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Comment by Jon Nickerson on October 4, 2013 at 9:49am

I mean personally, I don't think I've ever looked in the attic for "life" unless there was signs of someone living/being up there (attic access already opened/ladder down). Hopefully the attack crew would be pulling some ceiling upon entering the structure to see if it has reached the attic.

Comment by Skip Coleman on October 4, 2013 at 8:24am
Nice job. As long as the TIC is working, use it! Just remember to ALWAYS have a back up plan in the event the TIC malfunctions or just stops during the search. KNOW where you are and how to get out.
You mentioned the attic. Would you search there (for life, not fire) ? What would be your deciding factor on when you would and when you would not?
Comment by Jon Nickerson on October 4, 2013 at 7:57am

I would most likely take my crew (3 person) through the front door, follow the hose line, meet up with the attack crew to see where they have checked already. Since they would probably already be at that first bedroom knocking down the fire, I would take my crew on to the next 2 bedrooms first and do a camera directed TIC search. Knock those two rooms out real quick... then continue on to the rest of the house. Hopefully at this point we are getting some ventilation so we can really fly through this place. Fire might be in the attic at this point.

Comment by Skip Coleman on October 3, 2013 at 9:23am

Good thoughts Justin. I can see both sides of starting in the "living" area as opposed to the "sleeping" area.  The time of the fire (6:30 am) is a tweener.  My dad used to get up at 6:00 every morning his entire adult life.  My opinion of these type of homes is adult occupancy as opposed to children.  Older folks don't like stairs.  

I also understand your stance on VES / VEIS.  I think its an excellent tool under certain circumstances (low on-scene staffing with more than possible life hazard) as long as done with two persons (oriented VES). 

Comment by Justin Renner on October 2, 2013 at 9:40pm
I am making my search plan based on the house found in the video since that is what we are going to see upon arrival. It would appear that we have a room in contence fire in a bedroom. Due to time of day there is a probability of vicitims in the common living quarters of the house. With a two man hose team in the hallway and the ability for them to search the fire room and additional rooms upon knockdown I would start my 3 man oriented search to the right searching living room, kitchen, and utility room area. With smoke visible from the garage door there is posibility of a victim being overcome on their way out of the house. I personnally am not a big fan of VES/VEIS on a single story structure as a first choice search tactic. I leave that as a tool in the box and a go to for multi-story structures. With the common areas of the house searched and cleared I would coordinate with Fire Attack as to what is left to search in the bedroom area of the house. As always smoke and fire conditions as well as location of other members on scene, will dictate whether it is faster or safer to remove said victim through the front door, back door, garage, or window. To answer your additional question to Timothy we are a full career department, a first alarm consists of (3) 3 man Eng, (1)3or4 man truck, (1) 2 man rescue and a Bat Chief.
Comment by Skip Coleman on October 2, 2013 at 7:51am
Then , In my opinion yours is an excellent use of oriented VES considering staffing available.
Comment by Timothy Bullard on October 2, 2013 at 7:39am

Chief,  Thanks for the reply. 1)Two person team, One inside(searching), one outside(orienting). 2) Total Vollie fire district so staffing is catch as catch can.

Comment by Skip Coleman on October 2, 2013 at 7:25am
Good job. Two more questions for you Tim, 1) would you use one-person or two-person VES and 2) what is your staffing on each unit and total on first alarm?
Comment by Timothy Bullard on October 1, 2013 at 10:32pm

VES the bedroom to the left of the front door via the Side 1 window. Fire Attack will be in the same area searching for fire so you may meet at the bedroom door. VES the corner bedroom. This takes time, the time that Fire Attack has been knocking down that fire in the first floor ceiling. The decision can be made continue VES or move to the front door for a traditional primary to check the Master Suite and paths of egress.

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