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How Do You Use TIC During Search

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  • How Do You Use TIC During Search

    Just curious, how are you guys using TIC during search?

    Do you do a camera-directed search where officer (or other member) uses TIC to size up area and then stay in position to direct other members who perform search?

    Does the officer (or other member) lead the search by advancing in while using TIC?

    Are you restricted by staffing issues to using TIC to locate fire and then all hands are on hose line with search taking place after line advancement?

    Other options?

  • #2
    For the most part, our interior search team is 3 guys. Officer and 2 FF's. Hose team is separate, usually 3 guys again officer and 2 FF's. Officers will have TIC and do a quick scan of room, then send a guy in to search. Scan of next room and send guy to search. Officer stays in hallway to coordinate.

    Officer on hose team will have a TIC as well and he uses it to direct stream and such.

    That's in the "perfect" situation. All else....well, it's still all based on that approach.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    • #3
      Our job has just recently agreed to issue TIC's to engine companies. Hasn't happened just yet. Definitely a good idea.

      Like everything else around here (maybe everywhere), proper and full use of the TIC is hit and miss. It wasn't embraced by some. Change comes slowly.

      It can be a real time saver in locating fire in certain situations. Minutes count. Big time. We should use every tool available to us.

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      • #4
        Our officer's carry the TIC's and direct the attack or search, but have the latitude to hand off the camera if the situation fits. We're in the process of finalizing our purchase of additional cameras that will allow one for each engine, our tower and one in the chief's buggy. As noted change for some took a bit of time, while others grasped the TIC early. We had many officers who would leave it on the apparatus until "needed", while some of us clipped it on every call. I 'm confident that those of us who took it on every alarm got much more versed in what we are seeing, allowing for more confidence in the technology. But, alas, today it's part of the officer's tool assignment and even our holdout's seem to see the value and embrace the use.

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        • #5
          Most often the TIC is used by the officer to scan the area being searched for victims and to keep track of the crew physically searching ahead of the officer.
          Crazy, but that's how it goes
          Millions of people living as foes
          Maybe it's not too late
          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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          • #6
            Wow, three whole replies! Guess I should have asked about a lightbar or attacked my own department if I wanted a discussion.

            Thanks for the replies.

            Looks like TIC is most often used by officer to direct search vs lead the search. We are the opposite. Officer leads search (with TIC). Firefighter left at apartment entrance door is there to control flowpath, direct engine company to fire location and to act as exit beacon should it become necessary. One can make a strong argument that officer should lay back with TIC for overall coordination and control. But then he doesn't get to "make the grab".

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            • #7
              Not sure how I missed this thread, but I'll throw my couple of pennies into the foray. Like several of the others have said, both of my departments embrace the idea of the officer using the TIC at the door while the firefighters perform the search. Why? For all of the same reasons that you listed above - coordination, control, more situational awareness, etc. The firefighters can be tactically focused on the search while the officer (with the TIC at the door) can focus on both tactics and strategy.

              Is having the officer (versus a FF) "make the grab" part of the culture there?
              Career Fire Captain
              Volunteer Chief Officer


              Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                Looks like TIC is most often used by officer to direct search vs lead the search. We are the opposite. Officer leads search (with TIC). Firefighter left at apartment entrance door is there to control flowpath, direct engine company to fire location and to act as exit beacon should it become necessary. One can make a strong argument that officer should lay back with TIC for overall coordination and control. But then he doesn't get to "make the grab".
                I like the thought that the officer leads with the TIC, at least in searching. If you send personnel ahead of the TIC, they'll slow the FF with the TIC. This is where there has to be some latitude. Maybe the officer with the TIC leads and then stops and has a member search a room of the hall, and if conditions allow, he searches another with the TIC. Other times, the TIC FF will remain in the hall monitoring conditions. The person who can see will be faster every time, so do we limit that speed by making them direct others without sight? Great case for more TIC's, but the price is still to much for 99.0% of us to put one in everyone's hands. That said, we will have TIC on each apparatus (3 engines/1 tower) and the Chief's SUV by July 1, where now it's one each on the first due engine and tower.

                On fire attack, in practice our officer goes in finds the fire and directs the stretch and application from a position "in front of the nozzle" when possible/necessary. Same thing on speed: having the TIC behind the hose team advancing blind would seem to slow the potential speed of the attack.
                Last edited by RFDACM02; 05-13-2015, 01:31 PM.

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                • #9
                  Heck, I didn't suggest anyone do what we do. But if the officer's job is to supervise, it sure is easier to do that when you can see your firefighters and the area you are in. The TIC is used to search for victims, fire, and keep track of the troops.
                  Crazy, but that's how it goes
                  Millions of people living as foes
                  Maybe it's not too late
                  To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
                    Not sure how I missed this thread, but I'll throw my couple of pennies into the foray. Like several of the others have said, both of my departments embrace the idea of the officer using the TIC at the door while the firefighters perform the search. Why? For all of the same reasons that you listed above - coordination, control, more situational awareness, etc. The firefighters can be tactically focused on the search while the officer (with the TIC at the door) can focus on both tactics and strategy.

                    Is having the officer (versus a FF) "make the grab" part of the culture there?
                    Actually, having the officer make the grab is not part of the culture. Whoever finds 'em finds 'em. But the officer being first in and leading the charge is part of the culture. Getting him/her to take a less aggressive stance would require a sea change.

                    I believe positioning is based on type of occupancy and size of area to a large degree. In a small ranch house an officer could probably run the whole show from a position a couple of feet inside the entrance door. In a large area he/she would need to get further in to the actual fire location.

                    For us, it is not a real sacrifice in control to have the officer lead the way deep in. There is always another officer supervising line advance. The second engine generally assists the first with the stretch so the second engine officer is also there to keep an eye on overall picture, from a position in public hall or at entrance door, etc. There will also be a BC as fire sector chief (later in operation) in addition to a BC and DC at Command Post. Even with only one truck on scene (early in operation) we have three on the inside team and three on the outside team. With good communications, no one really operates blindly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      Heck, I didn't suggest anyone do what we do. But if the officer's job is to supervise, it sure is easier to do that when you can see your firefighters and the area you are in. The TIC is used to search for victims, fire, and keep track of the troops.
                      I agree that there is a risk of tunnel vision on the part of the officer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                        Actually, having the officer make the grab is not part of the culture. Whoever finds 'em finds 'em. But the officer being first in and leading the charge is part of the culture. Getting him/her to take a less aggressive stance would require a sea change.
                        Understood. Obviously, each department has it's own culture and expectatations. Ours, for example, requires that the company officer and senior man train the rookies that they're going to be making the push with a more senior man behind them (likely, that person will be the officer) based on our staffing models.

                        I believe positioning is based on type of occupancy and size of area to a large degree. In a small ranch house an officer could probably run the whole show from a position a couple of feet inside the entrance door. In a large area he/she would need to get further in to the actual fire location.
                        Agreed. Admittedly, I was viewing your question from a residential occupancy frame of mind (be it a PD, tenement, or whatever you might have in your response area). While we use TICs for many of the same things on commercial/manufacturing/retail jobs, the very different atmosphere of these types of fires generally requires a different command and control role for the CO.

                        For us, it is not a real sacrifice in control to have the officer lead the way deep in. There is always another officer supervising line advance. The second engine generally assists the first with the stretch so the second engine officer is also there to keep an eye on overall picture, from a position in public hall or at entrance door, etc. There will also be a BC as fire sector chief (later in operation) in addition to a BC and DC at Command Post. Even with only one truck on scene (early in operation) we have three on the inside team and three on the outside team. With good communications, no one really operates blindly.
                        Sounds very much like we operate, although we're only rolling 27-31 personnel on a first alarm, so it takes little longer to build our scene staffing model versus you all.
                        Career Fire Captain
                        Volunteer Chief Officer


                        Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We get a total of 29 personnel on a reported structural fire.

                          Once a working fire is confirmed by 1st arriving unit it pretty much doubles.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                            I agree that there is a risk of tunnel vision on the part of the officer.
                            I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, can you explain?

                            For us, it is not a real sacrifice in control to have the officer lead the way deep in. There is always another officer supervising line advance. The second engine generally assists the first with the stretch so the second engine officer is also there to keep an eye on overall picture, from a position in public hall or at entrance door, etc. There will also be a BC as fire sector chief (later in operation) in addition to a BC and DC at Command Post. Even with only one truck on scene (early in operation) we have three on the inside team and three on the outside team. With good communications, no one really operates blindly.
                            This difference in the number and rank of officers on scene between what you can respond with and what we can dictates our tactics.

                            We get a total of 29 personnel on a reported structural fire.

                            Once a working fire is confirmed by 1st arriving unit it pretty much doubles.
                            No department I am currently a member of can muster 29 for a reported structure fire, let alone 58 if it is confirmed a working fire. Those numbers both require mutual aid and MABAS boxes. That isn't a slam, it is simply reality.

                            Difference in tactics are brought about by looking at staffing and doing the best we can with what we have. Searching with an officer scanning the area with the TIC allows the 2 other firefighters to rapidly move out ahead of the officer to search. The officer scans the area for victims, changing fire conditions, and location of their firefighters.
                            Crazy, but that's how it goes
                            Millions of people living as foes
                            Maybe it's not too late
                            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The "tunnel vision" comment was in reference to the possibility of an officer keying in the search for victims in one area and neglecting other responsibilities as far as command and control of his team, communications to IC, checking for fire extension, etc.

                              There is no doubt in my mind that staffing and response times do more to affect tactics than any other factors. If they don't they should. Take two guys off each rig and cut the number of apparatus way back, then double or triple the response time and FDNY would be no more aggressive than any other department.

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