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Today's 10 Minute Drill
Apologize about the absence but I gotta tell ya, it has been crazy in the PLV office this year. Ok, let's cut the small talk and drill for 10 minutes....
Fire in a 2 story private dwelling. As you enter the structure, there are reports of people trapped. The boss orders you and a partner to search the second floor. As you pulled up, did you get a good layout of the dwelling? Notice any oddballs or obstacles that may affect us such as alterations or window bars / child gates? You should also be able to figure out a good layout of the inside. Bedrooms in the front, bathroom to the rear, etc. This will guide you in making a quick but thorough search.
Approaching the 2nd floor landing you notice the bathroom is right in front of you. Your size-up dictates that the bedrooms should be to the left and right of the center stairs. You and your partner decide to stick together. As you approach the bedroom on the A/D side, you decide to take a left wall and your partner goes right. Why not follow him? The "conga style search" means the lead guy is doing the work while the second guy holds on for the ride. Splitting up within the room allows for voice contact with your partner as well as a quicker search. When you run into your partner, go around him and continue your search to the door. You basically have double searched the room in half the time.
Call out to people. "Hey fire department, anyone here?" Remember, some people may be making a last minute plea bargain with "The Big Man". Letting them know we are here may encourage them to call out and lead us towards them. Also, it may deter someone who is sound asleep from thinking there is a burglar in their house. Many of times firefighters have come across unsuspected homeowners that may have been "under the weather" and thought to be an "unwelcome guest".
Use your tool to probe. Hold the halligan by the adz / point end or the axe by the head. Talk to yourself. YES, your not crazy. Muscle memory is key. "Bed, dresser, chair, etc " gives you a landmark of your location. Now, as you need to leave "chair, closet..." is not the reverse way that you came in. You WILL at some point of your career get turned around while searching. You need a plan to get yourself back on track.
Next Ten Minute Drill we will discuss locating and removing the victim. Thoughts and comments are always welcome. BE SAFE...
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