Size Up Drill

There is a lot of talk about the different kinds of size up in regards to survivability profiling.  Although I respect those views, I just don’t think we are doing ourselves in the fire service justice by creating an additional “method” for performing your size up.

I still believe that a size up is a size up and the information you gather during it, along with experience, training and knowledge, will direct you into the right direction.  If the building is tenable or not; if it has burned before; if it is in poor condition; it doesn’t change how you size up. What changes is how you use the information.

That is if you have trained properly.  Let’s face it, not all company and chief officers are adequately trained in giving a thorough size up and applying that information into your strategy and tactics.

So, here is a little drill that is simple but yet effective.  I am going to give you four sides of a single-family dwelling and you need to size it up.

In addition, what can you tell about the layout of the house just by looking from the outside?  What are the indicators or clues that you are using to make these educated guesses?

no images were found

Share your experience and techniques, new officers and firefighters need this  stuff, so be generous.

Train often and stay safe.

1 Comment

  • Nate Q. says:

    This house (or something similar) is a common sight in my first-due. Here’s my take from the walk-around…

    First it’s a manufactured house (think double wide without the wheels). To me, this means crappy small-dimension construction and hot/fast progressing fire (lots of synthetics and glue). Possible disabled occupants (ramp in the front). Most likely living/dining kitchen area in the front and bedrooms in the back.

    B-side confirms construction type (crawl space opening), and gas meter going into house (most in our area have 500# LP tanks too).

    C-side symmetry also confirms construction type.

    D-side door and carport location confirms layout (side entry 99% leads to small utility hall off kitchen (can see furnace stack on roof). Also shows electric meter (for us, main breaker is usually just below the meter box).

    In a fire situation, we commonly enter from the D-side, being that the driveway gives you a straight stretch along with quicker access to the bedrooms. The nozzle FF (or search crew) can flip the breaker while preparing for entry, and I can fliip the gas valve on my walk-around and possibly take a window on C if needed (walk-around is quick and my guys are quick with the line on these).

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Tim Westlake
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Steve. Thank you. I to am a Training Officer both in the NYS Department of Corrections as a FBTI and as a CFI/MTO and Lieutenant of a 60 member Volunteer Department. I to do not train enough. I agree with everything you said. My biggest problems are also not the few but the many. As…
2015-08-18 03:25:36
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
I totally agree with your comments regarding training and preparation I want to know the person standing next to my son / sons are capable of fighting a fire with knowledge dedication and standing shoulder to shoulder with a motto of " no man left behind " the only safety line you have to getting…
2015-07-04 02:13:54
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
2015-07-04 00:04:50
Ryan Huffman
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
I am a volunteer lieutenant in a rural department and I work full time on a medic unit. This article is very powerful and was a very good read. I love to train and train harder everyday that I'm at work or at the volly house and when I'm not there I'm constantly reading articles…
2015-07-03 13:19:23
Kevin Hurl
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Too True, I am a big fan of the saying "you can never train to hard for a job that kill you" Well said and I'll copying the link to this to our brigade Facebook page.
2015-07-01 22:40:09

Jason Hoevelmann's Discussions

/* Removes Buzzboost Logo (MBT) */ div #creditfooter{ display: none; }
Follow Jason Hoevelmann

AFFOWE Calandar

November 2010
« Oct   Dec »

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter