This will be a series of videos that will describe in full detail the best ways to navigate inside any layout in zero visibility while conducting a small area primary search. In part 1 we will start with the simplest and most reliable navigation algorithm and in the following parts we will progress to more advanced topics.
Let me start by saying that the single best way you can improve your small area search performance is to reduce your team size to two persons. We will discuss this topic in a separate article in future in great detail, but for now I just want to state that larger teams are less reliable and much slower in zero visibility and unknown layout, so you should not even bother to use a three- or four-person teams in small area search. You could consider a three-person team in certain cases, but only if you have a TIC.
So, in this video I will explain to you how a two-person team can traverse any unknown layout using the simplest and most reliable navigation algorithm: "Door" + "Follow". Please don't be afraid of the word "algorithm", it merely means a set of simple rules that you want to follow to search safely and efficiently. I promise, there is no rocket science in it! You will understand the meaning of it all when you watch this training video.
I would like to remind you that in this video I demonstrate the work of an expert team that trains together often. In part 2 of the series I will show you how the same algorithm can be used by the team that contains a firefighter with limited experience and what additional measures the team leader needs to take to keep the search safe.
Bear in mind that all firefighters in this video are completely blindfolded at all times. This is the only way we train and this is the only way I teach primary search to others. It is done so that zero visibility becomes an operational norm for you so that you are not distressed by it in real fires. Yes, you might not encounter in every real fire that you will fight, but it only takes one bad encounter to become disoriented, panic and get killed. I want you to live, this is why I insist on training in zero visibility with no exceptions. I was previously discussing this approach in detail in "Two core requirements" article of the Introduction section. Make sure you have read the entire Introduction section before you start watching these training videos as it contains the information that is absolutely critical for your survival in modern fires!
Now click on the video to watch and learn! I recommend that you watch this video in full-screen mode to catch important details. To do that, press a "Full screen" button in the lower right corner of the video once it is playing.
Next: Small area primary search, part 2: Two-person team and the "Door"+"Follow" algorithm with a novice partner (video)