Stealing from the old CPR technique of Look, Listen, and Feel, we apply the same sequence to our search tactics starting with the why and what we are looking for:
"The dwelling’s building style lends visual clues that may assist us in our operations. Visual building landmarks (doors, stairs, window
sizes, and layouts) can assist us in identifying floor plans, living vs. storage spaces, location of stairs, and presence or absence of basements. Before we even enter the IDLH, we should be able to visually identify specific features in residential buildings that we can use to assist us to perform at greater efficiency.
What are we looking for? That we are looking for victims, fire,
and smoke are the obvious answers, but we should also be aware of the home layout, furnishings, and other building construction features that will act as reference points to help us remain orientated in the home." (Pg.240)
This first in a sequence of actions by the Company performing the primary search at a working fire can provide vital information that will affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the search. We took an oath to save lives and our job is to determine the best manner in which to execute this mission. That successful execution comes from our experience and the knowledge we can gain on the fireground at the incident. Sometimes a simple "look" down low before you control that door can spell the difference between "hero" or "zero" on the fireground.
What are the things you look for when you arrive at the working fire in a residential structure and about to initiate your primary search?
Thanks for sharing.