Blue Flower

Previously in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series we have learned about the simplest and most reliable navigation algorithm for small area primary search – "Door" + "Follow". Among other things we have learned that this algorithm does not guarantee complete area coverage if there are loops in the layout. In Part 3 video we will study a more advanced navigation algorithm that addresses this problem. It is called "Door" + "Split" and it allows a team of two to safely visit more area while searching in unknown layout and zero visibility.

If you have not watched Part 1 and Part 2, stop now and watch these videos first!

Just as a reminder, we are focusing our attention on the team of two in this series because this is the fastest and most reliable type of team for small area search. Larger teams tend to either move slower or separate more often. We will discuss the problem of the team size in a separate article.

Another important thing to remember as you watch this video is that "Door" + "Split" is an advanced algorithm and its ability to cover loops does not come free – this algorithm requires more coordination and continuity management within the team. It is not the algorithm that should be tried by novices. Any team that wants to perform well in small area search must first master a simpler "Door" + "Follow" algorithm before trying "Door" + "Split" method.

I also continue to remind you that everything we demonstrate in this video is done in zero visibility, start to finish. This is the only way you should train too unless you want to become a victim of "a sudden deterioration of visibility conditions followed by the team disorientation" that we read about too often in LODD reports. The best and safest way to achieve zero visibility in training is fully obscured masks. You should only use theatrical smoke when obscuring the masks is not practical, e.g. when you practice thermal imaging during training searches. And you should never, never, never use any real smoke and/or actual combustion when you teach primary search. Leave it for the comprehensive drills involving full fire suppression, safety backup hoselines and teams already trained in both primary search and fire suppression. I have previously discussed these crucially important topic in greater detail in "Realistic training" and "Train in safe environment, then fight" articles of the Introduction section of the site.

With that being said, please click on the video to watch and learn this advanced navigation algorithm! 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.