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Implementing the Incident Commander’s Order to Conduct a Search

Winter Fire School


Drew Smith

Fire Chief
Prospect Heights Fire Protection District, IL

Drew Smith, EFO, CFO, LP is the Fire Chief of the Prospect Heights (IL) Fire District. He has been a member of the fire service for 39 years, the past 28 as a chief officer. He has served in volunteer, part-time, private, and municipal career departments. He has served as department training officer, regional firefighter academy director and executive committee, regional technical rescue team director for 20 years, and chair of the MABAS-IL Statewide Technical Rescue committee. He is a community college faculty member. Chief Smith holds multiple state certifications in firefighting, technical rescue, hazardous materials, officer, and Instructor/Training Program Manager. His experiences include the formation of a new fire department, implementation of paramedic transport ambulances into existing fire departments, transitions from volunteer to career staff, the implementation of a first aerial apparatus into fire departments, and the formation and operation of two recruit fire academies. He is a member of several state and national fire service organizations including the IAFC and ISFSI. He has presented at FDIC numerous times over the past 23 years.

  • SAT AM Unavailable
  • Start: 8:00 A.M., Saturday, February 3, 2018
  • End: 12:00 P.M., Saturday, February 3, 2018
  • Repeat Delivery
  • SAT PM Unavailable
  • Start: 1:30 P.M., Saturday, February 3, 2018
  • End: 5:30 P.M., Saturday, February 3, 2018
  • DFS 4-Technical Rescue

Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

Typical orders from an incident commander or per the standard operation guidelines designates a company to perform a primary search. Exactly what does that mean? Many firefighter one programs focus on a traditional left-hand or right-hand search that starts at the building’s entrance or the fire floor’s stairwell door and leave it at that. VEIS has received much attention but when and how do you use it? Should the search be managed differently when a survivable victim’s location is highly probable versus when the order given is general in nature such as, “Squad 3, conduct a primary search of all floors above the fire.” This program prepares the acting or appointed officer to take the order, use size-up information, and quickly plan and implement the search. In order to do this the officer needs a variety of search methods and an understanding of structure characteristics that influence survivability and search success. Using visual imagery and radio transmissions the participants function as the search group leader to determine and implement a search based on the incident commander’s assignment.