Firefighting, Survival Zone

Residential Search: Applying the Principles

Issue 9 and Volume 170.

By Mike Mason In the fire service, it has been ingrained in us that almost every structure should be searched for civilians. The decision making related to the presence of occupants and their rescue is one of our main fireground responsibilities. Such a dangerous task requires extensive training, sound size-ups, and drawing on related search experience. Every search differs from one residential fire to another. To ensure that we save lives and protect our firefighters, we must consider the following: The risk vs. benefit related to survivability for the civilian and the firefighter. The life occupancy and the priority areas in search size-ups including the time of day before and during searches. Search tools. The search team’s size and experience. The search techniques and their applicability for various types of searches. The accuracy and the speed of primary and secondary searches. Applications and door control with both oriented searches and…

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