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You have a fire in a building with a flat roof. Does your dept assign a pair of FF's to the roof? When does your dept. go to the roof? Who goes? Is it in your SOP? Does it matter where the fire is? What are your thoughts?

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On our job flat roof work is usually assigned to the entire company (officer and two firefighters). In the case of a trench cut or other labor intensive operations, an additional company or companies may be assigned. After making the roof if the officer of the truck finds the job easier than expected ( skylight vent only, etc.) he can redeploy as needed. Of course the decision to go to the roof depends on the location and extent of the fire and the type of building construction, or need for immediate rescue using the aerial device.
My dept doesn't have a set policy or standard for roof operations as far as who or when. That is left to the IC to determine as the incident developes. I think this should be in riding assignments but that's another discussion. Anyhow, I do have a question regarding flatroof commercial occupancies. Is venting ALL the showroom windows the better option than vertical venting? (All things being equal, roof stability, fire locale, life safety etc.) I think vertical is the better choice, does it become a manpower issue or with some preplanning, can it be incorporated into the initial assignments?

I ask the question because as I watch more and more videos, the ones with the above building characteristics with the showroom windows taken out, it "appears" to cause the fire to really take off inside the structure. Thinking of Vent for Fire, Vent for Life, I'm looking for some other perspectives.
vent high and things always get better
it localizes the fire (hopefully) to the area of involvement
\taking out the windows can (and usually does) pul the fire -- this can be disastrous
the windows can be taken out, but only after water is being applied and provided wind does not cause a bad sit
regardless, if u open the roof first, the window vent will not have as big an impact on the fire 's movement
-As a general rule the roof will always be inspected during a fire scenario but becomes a priority if vertical ventilation is being considered.
-Vertical ventilation will be considered and/or implemented if the fire is top floor fire on a flat roof structure or if the fire is involving the attic/cockloft space on a pitched roof.
-Usually the members that go to the roof are the Ladder Captain and a firefighter. If the Captain is engaged or involved elsewhere the roof operations will be performed by whatever Truck members are available.
-Typically, Ladder personnel are the very senior firefighters and Captains.
-Stay safe.


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