Search sticks: Feeling around instead of squatting

Large areas must be searched to save people from smoke-filled underground transport systems (UTS). The International Fire Academy recommends the use of search sticks, which it has developed especially for search and rescue.

Squat, squat, squat...

Getting down on your knees and searching the area for people with our hands or an axe stick: that's how we had learned it once, and that's how it had worked in small rooms. With large areas, such as in tunnels or underground car parks, it becomes clear after just a few squats: It is far too exhausting. You use far too much breathing air. And it also takes far too long to be able to use the rescue window realistically. So a new method had to be found. What started with hazel rods, we have developed with the support of visually impaired people. We asked them what to do best when you don't see anything. Their answer: Just use white canes! Together we further developed the search stick for the special requirements of fire services.

The search stick as an extended arm

Sticks for the visually impaired function like an arm extension. When standing up, the emergency personnel can use it to search large floor areas or areas that are difficult to access, such as the road under a truck, the space between the rows of seats on a coach or the luggage racks in a passenger train. The sticks are so "sensitive" that, with little practice, users can clearly distinguish whether the tip of the stick hits a metal object, a rubber tire or a human body. Below is a sequence of images with application examples.

It can also be used for deployments in buildings

More and more fire services are also using the foldable search sticks for search and rescue in buildings. Even in ordinary living rooms, searching is considerably accelerated thanks to the search aid, and even areas that are difficult to access, for example, areas under beds can be reliably scanned.

Fire service version is available in the ifaSHOP

The so-called white canes are available in specialist shops for the visually impaired with a telescopic extension, in a rigid or foldable version. The foldable variant, which has been further developed by the International Fire Academy into a fire service search stick, has proven itself for deployments. Search sticks can be ordered directly from us.