It’s No Game
Man Hunt is a version of hide and seek. Remember as kids playing hide and seek? Everyone went and hid, while one kid sounded off to ten, twenty, or whatever count was determined. After so many games or turns, eventually someone would count out loud and then just quit without warning. They would not search, or advise that they would not be holding up their end of the bargain. You would now have numerous players hiding and waiting to be found. But, no one would be searching. Man Hunt is played in different ways/versions. One version my kids choose to play is at night and with a flashlight. Why a flashlight; so they can see in the dark. My kids even request to use my TIC. Of course it’s always a no, because a TIC is no TOY, it’s a LIFE SAVING TOOL. A tool to be used outside and inside a burning structure. A tool to determine survivable space within a given structure and determine where we stretch the first, second, and third lines too. A tool to determine if we need to flow water before entry or if it’s ok to vent more before water application and a TOOL that SAVES LIVES when taken inside and used like a set of binoculars sizing up the beach. I can see so much more at the beach when standing still and looking left and right down the shoreline, sometimes my eyes venture out toward the Gulf. You should use the TIC to observe from a stationary position and get a mental picture of the land. A TIC should not be an optional tool when performing a SEARCH or ATTACK at a structural fire. Can you imagine the advantage a child searching would have using a TIC, when playing Manhunt in the woods? The other participants wouldn’t have a chance. Their BODY HEAT “Not the Movie” would be seen every time. So why would a trained firefighter not want to utilize a TIC each time they search a building that’s on FIRE? Why would they not start at each room and like sizing up the beach, look over the entire room from a stationary position? Hide and Seek, Manhunt, and tag may be a game; but a PRIMARY SEARCH at a FIRE is no game. Lives depend on you doing your JOB!
Regardless of what version of Man Hunt my kids play, I expect them to search after counting and when they decide their not up for searching anymore; make it known by all that they’re quitting. So, if you and your FD are choosing to stand outside and assume nobody’s inside and if there was somebody inside that you think they’re already dead. Make a Public announcement, that CITIZENS are a part of an incomplete game of HIDE AND SEEK.
Regardless of Fuel Packages, UL Test, Wind, and whatever else we may take into consideration on today’s fire ground; Oxygen still remains the same. That’s where understanding the door and window of opportunity come in. They control the oxygen and can limit your stream reach. We understand when the windows hold; the fire will consume the oxygen and become O2 controlled. When the door to an interior room is closed it’s creating a bearer and this could be assisting in the survivability of trapped victims. So your stream might be extinguishing the fire and cooling that room, but will not assist the victim on the other side of that closed door. Regardless from where you apply water, we need to get inside for the civilians sake. We need to stop interior fire spread, minimize property damage, and look for trapped civilians. Remembering that every door that you find closed could lead to a room of highly survivable conditions. A Window normally gives access to that room, where as the front door gives access to the house. The front door also gives us a better evaluation of smoke intensity and oxygen supply. I like the door knob as a point of reference. If the smoke is below the door knob and pushing under extreme pressure, you may need to apply water while advancing. You may need to vent opposite the attack line, while still flowing. This would be cooling the fire gases and venting them in a coordinated effort. The FRONT DOOR is where you can utilize the DOOR KNOB and the coupling on your hose. Yes, the coupling can assist the Chief or Driver outside of how deep the crew has advanced and whether they’re getting close to the seat of the fire. It can determine if they’re beyond the point of no return. Utilizing the photo below; imagine the first coupling at the door threshold and fire still blowing out the FRONT A/B windows. This would tell us they have 50 feet of hose inside and have maybe missed the turn down the hallway. They could be headed towards the rear add-on. This would be the time for the EYES in the FRONT YARD to communicate with the ATTACK CREW. If a second/Back-up line is at the FRONT DOOR; have it advance in as a backup or it can become the ATTACK LINE.
We go through doors all our life and use the term door of opportunity in more than one way. In the Fire Service, I view the front door, as the door of opportunity. I view it as the most simplistic way to control all areas of a residence. The FRONT DOOR is more times than not, the way our kids go and come when getting on and off the school bus. It’s where a large number of people hang their coats in the winter and usually has the least number of obstructions. It’s the door that is usually in close proximity to the stairs of a multi-story residence. The FRONT DOOR has proven for decades to be a great choice for our FIRST LINE ENTRY, most of the time. In a smaller ranch style house, with a bedroom to the left or right of the FRONT DOOR, we know the hallway leading to the other rooms is within 12 or so feet of the FRONT DOOR. The FRONT DOOR is usually 30 or 32” wide and is usually pretty easy to force by the first arriving companies. This is a point of entry that the driver can usually view from the apparatus during the first few minutes and monitor smoke conditions for the ATTACK CREW. The FRONT DOOR allows smoke to escape and oxygen in. Yes, OXYGEN feeds the FIRE, but only if you allow the FIRE to SURVIVE. If your ATTACK LINE is ready and I mean READY; stretched, charged, FLOW PRESSURE achieved and enough hose properly flaked for total house coverage. Then once you open the FRONT DOOR and move in w