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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) prior to a allowing search to begin?

4) Any additional thoughts as an Incident Commander.  

NOTE: We will discuss the actual search (if any) later.


Here is the link to the video:

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Comment by Skip Coleman on December 24, 2013 at 6:50pm
Again, good comments and thoughts.
Let's take a break over the holidays and I'll be back at the first of the year to set some more challenges for you.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year to all of you and PLEASE be safe.
Comment by Justin Renner on December 19, 2013 at 10:19pm
I too believe that every structure needs to be searched. My city under went major flooding back in 2008 and as a result large areas of the city are now plagued with flood houses. It is not uncommon to be called out to a working flood house fire. Vacant houses, especially in our area, have sheetrock romoved from walls, stairs removed etc. etc. So with a structure such as this being compartmented into 5 or so families you would excpect fire and smoke to stay in certain areas. Having smoke and fire throughout would lead me to believe that the interior of the structure may now be comprimised and in some way demolished. Before FF's are sent in on search the sheeting that only appears to be on the main floor would be removed so that egress is not limited. I am also by no means a super fan of the "transitional attack" but with this type of structure (in our city) I would use it to get a solid knock on the fire. With the sheeting removed and the main body of the fire knocked the interior contents can be examined. This would be the point at which we would commit crews for interior attack/search. We have used this similiar tactic on real fires and it has worked well for us. Tactics change if "squaters" are suspected.
The structure looks to be pretty well ventilated so I would like the truck guys to instead throw a couple more ladders then they normally would, due to a possible confusing interior layout. When crews are working inside a structure such as this an active RIC team would be a nice tool to have waiting on the outside.
As far as IC I'd think about getting some sticks in the air, covering B and possible C exsposure.
Comment by Skip Coleman on December 16, 2013 at 12:09pm

Thanks Grant. All Good comments so far. Someone taught you folks good!

Comment by Grant Schwalbe on December 16, 2013 at 5:34am

I believe we need to search all buildings...once we get the "All Clear' checkmate...we could burn it down but we did what we swore to do.  Initially on this I recognize a large structure with multiple entrances (multi-family).  This will give me compartmentalization of the fire, but my egress points may not be so obvious for each unit. 

First unit-Attack.  (Once the fire goes out our problems go away).  Second Unit-Search (Split 2/2).  Third Unit-Backup Line, Fourth-RIT (Ladders/Remove Boards Div 1 if necessary.

As an IC I recognize when my "Play" may not work.  I'd ask for a second alarm recognizing that I have no room for something not to go right.  My whole first alarm is assigned.  Should I need a second line, another unit for search, vent crew (beyond OVM/PPV) or should I have rapid fire progression as I try to make the building safe (removing boards) I need units in reserve to quickly regroup.

Comment by Kevin Dippolito on December 15, 2013 at 4:26pm

Chief, although this structure is a "duplex" I see at least 5 mailboxes on the house which indicates the structure has been chopped up in to apartments and is probably a maze inside. In addition, the building has deteriorated to the point there are holes in the roof indicating decay of the structure, and allowing the elements to attack the interior of the building as well. 

So in this particular case, I would not rush to commit crews to search until after the fire was knocked down and we were going in to hit hot spots. I'd also want to make sure my RIT was in place just in case. 

Comment by Skip Coleman on December 13, 2013 at 4:24pm

OK, Good Comments.  Lets see if others take the "surround and drown" attitude with no search if all of the building is boarded up. 

Comment by Eric S Perry on December 13, 2013 at 12:55pm

Based on the scenario and the video, we have fire on the 1st floor, second floor, and attic space or third floor on a boarded up building that appears to be a duplex.  I would be hesitant to extend an aggressive interior search in this building due to the extent of fire involvement showing particularly with it boarded up.  Should my 360 sizeup show that the duplex opposite the fire is potentially occupied, I may think about extending a quick search into that unit, but it would be nothing more than a quick search and get out if at all.  With the entire thing boarded up, this would be a surround and drown defensive fire due to the risk versus reward profile. 

Additionally, my size up indicates a building of lightweight wood frame construction with an elevated foundation and narrow single hung windows, indicating a 1930's/1940's era building with the potential for balloon frame construction.  This would further reinforce my hesitance to extend a search interior with no indications of probable occupancy.

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