Blue Flower

The next component of my approach is doing away with beliefs and preferences, often baseless and plain wrong, yet pervasively popular. Every time I recommend one method over another, I back this not by “trust me, it works”, but by a concrete objective evidence. Because I am not only a firefighter, but also a computer scientist, I can’t have preferences, I must be in constant search of the truth. Let me tell you how I attain that.

Wherever possible, I present a formal mathematical proof. You don’t need to memorize or understand it, but it is there for anyone curious to examine.

Because primary search is conducted in less than certain environment, not everything can be productively formalized and presented as a closed-form mathematical solution. In such case I resort to the second best method of proof – computer modeling. A computer, when programmed correctly, can compare how different search methods perform in hundreds of thousands or even millions of input conditions combinations, essentially giving you the answer what would happen in million different fires. Slightly more than any of us have seen even in the busiest house in town, eh?

Finally, some scenarios are so uncertain that you can’t even build a realistic computer model. In these cases I share with you the timings of actual repeated searches that we perform in training. One training after another, one seminar after another, with many different teams involved, we attain surprisingly repeatable relative results – the methods that I declare to be inferior to others yield longer search times and higher failure rates. Oh, and yes, these timings are backed by top-down video recordings of these searches. Because I record and then let my students review their search performance. Do you now understand the full extent of what I mean by “objective evidence”?

Again, you won’t need to take higher math or computer science classes to use my methods, I have done all the homework for you. Especially I will never ask you to do any math on the fireground. At the end, I will just tell you which simple methods to use, but if you are curious, you can always examine the basis of my recommendations.

Next: Combat applicability