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.
As a reminder, in previous articles we were discussing the best methods of navigation and coordination for a two-person team conducting small-area search. We focused on two-person teams because they allow for the fastest and most reliable work in zero visibility conditions in small areas. Larger teams come with an increased burden upon the team members (and primarily on the team leader) to maintain the team continuity. Despite the fact that some of us might have adapted to working in three-person teams during small-area searches because in some cases this is the only configuration being taught locally, this does not make a three-person team optimal. The objective fact, confirmed by numerous timing exercises in my practice, remains: the smaller the team, the less of a chance of team separation and the higher is the speed of search.
However, for those of us who are forced to work in three-person teams during small-area searches, there are still ways to improve your quality and speed of search and make it safer. In this month's article we are taking a systematic look at all possible ways how a three-person team can search small areas and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method.
If you can't read Russian, you would have to wait a bit for a separate training video ton come out on this topic, as existing training videos on this site only cover two-person team small-area searches.
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.