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Thermal Imaging, No.2 or No.1?


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just  interested to hear what other services teach / or use when it comes to who takes and operates the TIC when firefighting & search and rescue ops? I was always taught and went with No.2 taking the TIC and taking REST moments for both No.1 & No.2 coming together to look through the TIC to get to some situational awareness. However, having recently transferred service and my watch getting a new recruit who's recently passed out from Morton, they were saying that they were taught No.1 takes the TIC and No.2 just deals with hose management and casualty handling. What does your service do and what is their reasoning / logic behind it? 

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We teach No.2 with the TIC as a rule as No.1 has the hose reel and is doing safety/gas cooling. But, it is not hard and fast and can be switched around. When assessing WA's I will usually ask the individuals their logic on which way around they chose and we'll have a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages.

Some things in BA are understandably safety critical however, things like this should be based on the team and how they see most appropriate for the situation IMO.

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From the same service so was taught the same, but the preference with our watch is for No.1 to have the TIC. Our reasoning being:

  • When opening a door, No.2 is on the door handle so cannot get a good look at floor level with the TIC. No.1 has freedom of movement to properly scan the compartment before entry. Also, whilst No.2 is searching behind and wedging the door, No.1 can be scanning.
  • Whilst pausing for No.2 to do hose management, No.1 can be scanning with the TIC. 
  • No.2 can still hold the TIC to guide No.1 aiming the branch. 

We've tried both ways and as a general finding, faster progress was made when No.1 had the TIC. 

Edited by Keith
Quote of post directly above removed
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It depends on whether I have comms or not. If I do, I like my partner to have it, as I find it’s too much stuff just dangling around. If not, then I like to have it. I’ve also found in most jobs we’ve tended to pass it between us depending on positioning and task being carried out, etc.

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Cheers for your responses. I've seen some Hereford & Worcester and West mids training videos all with No.1 with the TIC and as you mentioned @Firefox1608 It looks a boat load easier for door entry and door procedures. I must admit, No.1 with the TIC does make a lot of sense, even though it breaks the traditional training school approach I learnt! I reckon I'll give it ago in some drills see if I can get myself and my Opo used too it. 

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Prefer to have the TIC if I am team leader. I will always show no2 what’s happening via the lens of the TIC where appropriate.

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@Madams A lot of the school of thought is around gas cooling - most don't do enough of it. It is also a running theme that when a No.2 has comms/TIC removed they tend to be along for the ride with No.1 doing everything.

The most important thing is that all wearers get all the information so sharing of thermal scanning regardless of who is in possession of the TIC is the key.


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It doesn’t matter!!

Many people and FRS obsess to the n’th degree over who does what and usually have teams of people who can’t do the job and yet design and write policies about who carries what, who shouts out, who speaks on the radio etc... there’s not another job I know that is more over burdened with as much nonsense.

Just be safe!... get in and get the job done.

If number 1 wants to have a tic fine. If between them they feel number 2 would be better of using it and relaying info, fine too. Better yet, give them both one.


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@Percy 100%. My whole time brigade (LFB) are pretty flexible with the whole thing. We’ll usually discuss en route, as some of us have different preferences. I prefer no. 2 to have it as I’ve always drilled that way, but that’s just me. On call FRS are much more rigid about it. No. 1 has the TIC, no questions asked.

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  • 1 year later...

The day of TICs for both No1 and No2 are surely coming, technology and price etc HUDs as mentioned above.  No 1s job traditionally is primarily path finding and fire fighting with a branch and as far as door entry is concerned I'd rather have a branch in my hand as a No1 than a TIC.  Generally BA teams will figure it out, No2 has plenty on his hands, hose management, possible casualty handling as well as the TIC. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I much prefer to have the TIC as team leader/number 1. 

Means that I can scan a door, search a room etc with it whilst my number 2 hose manages. The number 2 works much harder so the less things for them to worry about, the better IMO. 

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I am not familiar with your british tactics, but if N°1 is a team leader (and n°2 his binomial / teammate / what ever you want), I like that N°2 has the TIC.

Here, in my country, N°1 manage the fire hose and secure his space, so most of us like likes that N°2 (wich his managing the hoses) to carry the TIC. But he must respond/obey to our orders.

When we need to check a door he comes to us with the camera.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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