Firefighter Survival – SCBA Boot Camp: A Firefighter’s Survival School

Issue 3 and Volume 168.

BY TREVOR STEEDMAN Firefighters are introduced to new technologies at an increasing rate, which helps us to perform fireground tasks with greater safety and efficiency. Unfortunately, many firefighters came to rely on technology such that they have allowed it to replace rather than enhance their basic firefighting skills. This occurred when firefighters first trained with thermal imaging cameras (TICs) and positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fans. Initially, with TICs, many firefighters abandoned their basic search skills and failed to remain physically oriented during searches, relying solely on the screen display to guide them through the structure to their objective. Then, when a TIC was dropped and couldn’t be recovered or the battery died, the firefighter might as well have been in the middle of the ocean without a compass trying to find land. These experiences forced us to revert to our basic search techniques to reorient ourselves and either continue our…

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