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?
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Share your experience and techniques, new officers and firefighters need this stuff, so be generous.
Train often and stay safe.