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Compartment search procedure

With this method of search, each compartment is mapped out systematically as the breathing apparatus search and rescue teams progress. The team progresses around the room using either a left or right hand search pattern (identified to the BA team as part of their brief prior to entry). As they do so each door encountered is checked and swept for casualties, immediately visible or within touching distance, from the doorway.

Once a full circuit of the compartment has been carried out the team progresses into the first door they encountered on their search to carry out this procedure again. This promotes the concept of fully searching compartments before progressing on to the next identified compartment, enabling accurate recording of the search and assists crews with orientation whist operating in low visibility conditions. Compartment search procedures can also assist with the efficient management of firefighting hose due to the fact that hose is always returned to the initial compartment after subsequent compartment searches have been carried out.

This procedure is suitable for a range of structures, particularly multi-compartmented structures which may have interconnecting rooms.


Example of a BA team performing an initial entry into the first compartment, checking and sweeping doorways,  using the compartment search procedure


Progressive example of a BA team performing a left hand compartment search