Blue Flower

The topic of my article in "Firefighting" magazine February 2019 issue is window bailout. In this issue I am describing the foundation of any bailout technique – crawling out of the window on your belly head first and then locking yourself underneath the window sill using your arm and leg as hooks. Under the thermal load of a pre-flashover situation this is the only viable way out because it allows you to stay in the coolest portion of the window.

I am continuing to publish the back log of articles that was printed in "Firefighting" magazine. This time we will cove January 2019 article. This article continues the fireground survival series and is the first article of two that covers the topic of flashover.

December 2018 issue of  "Firefighting" magazine  came out with yet another article from my series. This time we have discussed the topic of emergency egress from a pre-flashover compartment.

The "Firefighting" magazine has continued publishing my articles in November 2018 issue, specifically it came out with an article about resolving team separation and disorientation emergencies. In this article I give rigorous and combat-applicable definitions of these two types of fireground emergencies and then discuss sequences of actions that increase your chances of resolving the trouble before it leads to a non-survivable event.

Moving on to October 2018 issue of the "Firefighting" magazine… As usual, the series on fireground survival continues with a fifth article. The topic of the month is mask confidence, because after covering how to avoid running out of air a month before, and how to use your PPE to the full extent, it is time to talk about how not to rip the mask off when things go wrong.

September 2018 issue of “Firefighting” magazine came out with a fourth article in the sub-series that describe fireground survival topics. In two previous articles we were discussing PPE, which is our last line of defense against all the dangers that fire presents to us, this time we will cover firefighter’s most valuable resource – breathing air.

August 2018 issue of “Firefighting” magazine has continued fireground survival sub-series of articles as part of my primary search series. A third article in sub-series serves as a continuation of the second – back in July 2018 we were discussing how to use PPE during the firefighting operations, and now we will touch upon the dangers that the same PPE presents to us long after the fire has been extinguished.

July 2018 issue of thethe "Firefighting" magazine featured a second article on fireground survival as part of the primary search series. One month before that we have recapped most important principles that lay the foundation of fireground survival discipline, and in July issue I have selected PPE (personal protective equipment) as a first specific topic to discuss in the fireground survival sub-series. The reason for this choice is simple – PPE is the last and most important line of defense between us and the fire.

Last 12 months were really busy for me workwise, so there was no time to sit down and update the site with all the new articles that came out in the "Firefighting" magazine (and yes, they were faithfully coming out every month). But, as they say, better later than never, so here we go. We will start where we left off and will first cover the June 2018 issue. We started the summer by expanding our discussion to fireground survival. This is because you simply can't conduct any searches safely and saving other people's lives unless you are proficient with taking care of your own survival and being able to save yourself.

As usual, the series of articles on primary search continued in the "Firefighting" magazine in May. After finishing sub-series on large area search a month before, this time we are looking at how your team can deal with the hybrid areas where you can encounter a combination of small and large compartments.

In April the "Firefighting" magazine continued to publish my series of articles on primary search. This time we are wrapping up the sub-series on large-area search with a fourth article. In the previous issues we have covered looked at two different approaches to searching large areas: simply defaulting to small-areas techniques and using full-blown methods of large area search. For the latter we have studied different trajectories that your team can follow and then we started learning how you can search the area in the vicinity of the your path. In March issue we were able to answer that question for "Zigzag" route, and in April it is time to discuss the rest of the trajectories.

March issue of the "Firefighting" magazine continued my series of articles on primary search. We are in the middle of a sub-series on large-area search. As you probably remember, in the previous two issues we have covered the basics of searching the large areas, as well as two different approaches to doing it: simply defaulting to small-areas techniques (and thus sacrificing the coverage in the name of safety) and using full-blown methods of large area search that involve separating from the wall under the protection of a search line. We have also looked at what kind of trajectories, or routes you can use in such searches. In March issue we begin discussing how your team members should search the surroundings while advancing along the chosen route.

January issue of the "Firefighting" magazine came out with my interview instead of another article. While sitting down with the editor of the magazine for a conversation was fun (we did this during one of the seminars that I taught in November 2017), I didn't think I should post a copy of that on my web-site: I aim to promote the knowledge about primary search, not myself. So this is why I skip January and jump right into February issue. As I originally intended, I continued presenting the topic of large area search in systematic way, and in part 2 of this installment we are discussing how you should route your search.

In the last month of 2017 the "Firefighting" magazine continued to publish a series of my articles on primary search. This time we tackled the topic of large area search. As the topic itself is as large as the areas we need to search, and so it would not fit into one magazine article, I intend to span the material across several magazine issues well into the spring of 2018. So December article serves as a part 1 of the sub-series on searching the large layouts.

My apologies for delay in posting the copies of the magazine articles here, we were quite busy recently teaching a few classes in Russia... Anyway, let's talk about what you can find in the November issue of the "Firefighting" magazine as it continues my series of articles on primary search. Last time we spoke about VEIS, this time the topic is conducting a primary search along the hose line.

October issue of the "Firefighting" magazine continues a series of articles on primary search. This time we are discussing VEIS method. While vent-enter-isolate-search might be quite familiar to us in the United States, it is relatively new in Russia. Now, Russian firefighters are really proficient in rescuing alert civilians from the windows during the fires using ground ladders, so I am not trying to reinvent the wheel for them. What is rather new for them is the concept of entering the building via the window and limiting your search to just one room of the highest probability of a find.

Time flies, and it's been a year since the "Firefighting" magazine has started publishing my articles on primary search every month. During this time we have covered important general fireground safety topics and how they apply to those conducting searches, we also delved into the systematic approach to primary search, starting from definitions and progressing into the overview of the types of primary search that we can conduct. After that we have spent some time discussing one type of search (small area search) in greater detail, presenting efficient navigation algorithms for a two-person team.

In September issue we are wrapping up small area search with an discussion how less optimal configuration of three-person team can still be used in this type of search with the maximum possible efficiency.

August is one more month to catch up with in our review of my articles published in the "Firefighting" magazine this summer. In August issue of the magazine we have continued our sub-series on primary search culture, and this time we are covering the topic of victim packaging.

The article starts with giving an informal definition of victim packaging, which is "attaching handles to the victim so that he/she can be transported quicker and with less effort". We then proceed with a discussion of when the packaging should be done and when it can be skipped. The general rule here is this: you need to minimize the total time to bringing a victim to safety, so the heavier is the victim and the longer is the return path, the more time you should invest in higher quality packaging because it will save time during extraction phase.

As we continue to catch up with what has been published in the "Firefighting" magazine this summer, we are coming to the July issue. If you remember, in June issue we started a sub-series on the tricks that can use to make searching small area layouts safer and more efficient. So, in the second article of this sub-series we are talking about the search team choreography.

By choreography we of course do not mean recording of the dance sequences as the dictionary definition of the term would suggest, but we do something similar that would be of use to the firefighters. Specifically, we outline specific recipes on how search team members should interact in pre-determined fashion in response to various events during the search, and how the roles within a team should be distributed up-front.

OK, we continue catching up on the articles published so far... As I was saying before, I was pretty busy starting this May, so, in addition to not posting anything on this website for a while, there was also no article in May issue of the "Firefighting" magazine. Because of that reason we jump straight to June issue in which the ninth article of my series on primary search came out.

June's article started a sub-series on the tricks that can use to make searching small area layouts safer and more efficient. The first article in this sub-series discusses why every firefighter should seriously consider using the search line in every primary search, including small area searches.

Starting this May I was pretty busy teaching several primary search seminars and doing course development work, so I kind of fell behind in keeping you up to date on my monthly articles that "Firefighting" magazine continues to publish. So, it's time to catch up on that.

In the April's issue article we were discussing the "Door" + "Split" method in further detail. As this method of navigation and team coordination is more advanced, it requires the use and understanding of several important points that we simply did not have space to discuss in the March issue when we introudced the "Follow" and "Split" methods. This is exactly why we dove into more detail in April.

As March is almost over, it is time to review what the "Firefighting" magazine has published in this month's issue. No surprise, the series on primary search continues, and in particular our discussion of small area search algorithms goes on. After figuring out that "Door" algorithm" should be always used over the "Room" method in the previous issue, this time we advance to the topic of fine-tuning the "Door" algorithm so that we can adjust it to various conditions and team expertise levels.

My primary search series continues in the "Firefighting" magazine and this time, in February issue, we get to the point where we begin discussing specific algorithms that you can use for small area search. In particular, I describe a "Door" and "Room" algorithms and explain why "Room", while being more intuitive (and popular among the firefighters, even if they don't suspect that they are actually using this algorithm) is actually a horrible choice in zero visibility and unknown layout.

As we begin a new year, the series of my articles on primary search continues in the "Firefighting" magazine. This time, in January 2017 issue, we begin discussing small area search (also known as standard search) and we start this discussion by presening the fundamental principle of the small area search – wall following – as well as listing and describing the most typical mistakes made by the firefighters when conducting this type of search.

December 2016 issue of the "Firefighting" magazine is out and it has a fourth article in my series discussing a primary search. In previous three articles we have touched upon the most important concepts that are part of the primary search foundation. In this issue I continue this logical flow and define the types of primary search that are usable in burning or smoked up buildings.

In November 2016 issue of the "Firefighting" magazine you can find a third article of my series on primary search. This time I touch upon the most important topic for the survival of a modern firefighter – fireground priorities. In my article I present a modified system of priorities that places your own safety on top of the list.

The Russian "Firefighting" magazine continues to publish a series of my articles on primary search. In October 2016 issue it features a second article in the series which discusses a topic of paramount importance for the safety and survival of those conducting primary searches. This topic is the fires have changed over the course of last 30 years and why they became significantly more dangerous to the firefighters themselves.

Beginning with September 2016 issue, the "Firefighting" magazine in Russia (a rough equivalent of the Fire Engineering or Firehouse magazines here in the US) will be publishing a series of my articles on primary search. In this series I will be both gradually presenting the systematic explanation of primary search as a discipline as well as touching upon important current issues and topics that firefighters conducting primary search are facing.