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.
As a reminder, the previous issue of the series was dedicated to explaining why any primary search team should always prefer a "Door" algorithm over extremely unreliable and confusing "Room" method when operating in zero visibility and unknown layout. In fact, the "Door" algorithm remains to be a tool of choice even when you know the layout and enjoy some visibility.
In March issue I build on that foundation and present two ways how firefighters can use the "Door" algorithm in practice.
The first option is "Door" + "Follow" in which a partner simply follows on the side of the navigator, while the latter moves along the wall on the side the team chose as a general direction of search. This is the simplest and most reliable method of navigation in small area search environments, in fact, this is the first method that should be mastered by any firefighters in the process of training. We also discuss one important limitation of this algorithm – it does not guarantee full coverage if there are loops in the layout.
The second option we begin discussing in this issue is "Door" + "Split" algorithm. It is similar to the first option, but in this case the team splits (without losing contact) upon entering any new compartment. This method requires higher coordination between team members and is only good for experienced firefighters who train together often, but it does allow for deeper coverage in case loops are present in the layout. As the "Door" + "Split" algorithm is more complex, we can only describe its foundations within this month's article. A more detailed discussion of this advanced technique will follow in April's issue of the magazine.
However, if you do understand Russian, you can either download and save a copy of the article in PDF format or you can view it right here on this page.