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At a fire in a multiple dwelling with a flat roof, is it more important to send the first ladder to the roof to open the building up or to work with the hose team and search the fire area first? What are your thoughts?

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Sounds like a discussion that should be continued over a beer or two in Indy. But that's months away. Different thoughts from different areas. I'll stick with my theory...get the smoke and heat out, by whatever means....and everthing gets better. If you can clear the common spaces early on in a fire, the crews you have searching, advancing lines, and doing horizontal venting, can do it safer, faster, and better. Horizontal venting in a multi-occupancy is only going to work in the fire apartment, it probably won't help clear the hallways, stairwells, and other apartments (because the doors are still closed until you search them). It does work great in 2 1/2 story frames, I don't vent peaked roofs because of as you state the cluttered attics, and that really is a time and labor intensive event. Even though it's not the safe way to do it, 1 good truckie can clear a couple of skylights, pull the bulkhead door, check all the airshafts, check Div "C", and report back to th IC that they have "made the roof" and are now going to VES, all in about 5-10 minutes. That short amount of time will make all the difference in the world for everyone inside, firefighters and civilians alike. And it does it for all the floors right down to the basement (providing it's an old law tenement). I don't think you are going to go right to the top floor to search and/or vent at any fire. You are going to the fire floor or floor above initially to search or supress, then to the top floor, and then work your way down. So the floors above the fire don't always get vented fast enough to save anyone. On a flat roof building, popping the top, to me is a matter of life, or death, it clears all of the common areas fast. Now, cutting a vent h***, that can wait, and does ussually only help a top floor or cockloft fire. Unless it's like the hundreds of thousands of Class 3's here in the northeast with voids, chases and channel rails. Then the fire will be in the cockloft sooner than you would expect. Fire is as fire does. And I do agree that all of the acronyms have rescue and life safety first, but a lot of times, that is done to have the acronym actually spell a pronouncable thing. Don't get me wrong, rescue is why we do this, but IPL, and OEERC don't sing.

Art
Amen Bro....well said.

Art Bloomer said:
Sounds like a discussion that should be continued over a beer or two in Indy. But that's months away. Different thoughts from different areas. I'll stick with my theory...get the smoke and heat out, by whatever
means....and everthing gets better. If you can clear the common spaces
early on in a fire, the crews you have searching, advancing lines, and
doing horizontal venting, can do it safer, faster, and better.
Horizontal venting in a multi-occupancy is only going to work in the
fire apartment, it probably won't help clear the hallways, stairwells,
and other apartments (because the doors are still closed until you
search them). It does work great in 2 1/2 story frames, I don't vent
peaked roofs because of as you state the cluttered attics, and that
really is a time and labor intensive event. Even though it's not the
safe way to do it, 1 good truckie can clear a couple of skylights, pull
the bulkhead door, check all the airshafts, check Div "C", and report
back to th IC that they have "made the roof" and are now going to VES,
all in about 5-10 minutes. That short amount of time will make all the
difference in the world for everyone inside, firefighters and civilians
alike. And it does it for all the floors right down to the basement
(providing it's an old law tenement). I don't think you are going to go
right to the top floor to search and/or vent at any fire. You are going
to the fire floor or floor above initially to search or supress, then
to the top floor, and then work your way down. So the floors above the
fire don't always get vented fast enough to save anyone. On a flat roof
building, popping the top, to me is a matter of life, or death, it
clears all of the common areas fast. Now, cutting a vent h***, that can
wait, and does ussually only help a top floor or cockloft fire. Unless
it's like the hundreds of thousands of Class 3's here in the northeast
with voids, chases and channel rails. Then the fire will be in the
cockloft sooner than you would expect. Fire is as fire does. And I do
agree that all of the acronyms have rescue and life safety first, but a
lot of times, that is done to have the acronym actually spell a
pronouncable thing. Don't get me wrong, rescue is why we do this, but
IPL, and OEERC don't sing.

Art
Art, well said. Drop me a line and we can definatly get together at FDIC. I'll be teaching there again in 09.
Mike,

Sounds good....I made the mistake of listening to a request to change my topic...I did and they didn't pick up my new topic. But I will be out there....testing the quality of the beer...playing the pipes....and learning from my brothers.

KTF
Art
This is a very good scenario and it further pushes the point home about proper staffing on apparatus. With a crew of 1 officer and 2 FF's, We are already behind the 8 ball, but we do what we can with what we got. I am going to the roof in this scenario and depending on where the fire is and the smoke conditions we are opening up. Then we are throwing ladders and VES ahead or above the Engine. One luxury that our bothers/sisters in bigger more established FD's have is manpower and I pray that they never take it for granted. Even the best 3 FF's in the history of Firefighting can not compare to a 5 men Engine or a 6 man Truck. Some tasks just can not get done in a safe and timely manner.
Shareef,

The "bigger" departments that you speak of are relegated to places like NYC and the like. I work in a Hudson County N.J. department. We are the most densely populated county in the most densely populated state in the country, and almost every department (career [there's only one volunteer dept]) rides with three on the engines, three on the trucks, and maybe 4 or more on the rescue and squad companies. This is the current trend. We are all going to have to figure out how to do more with less. An old captain on my dept. used to say " Chief...I'll get your more guys....just kick em in the nuts....that'll double em up..." Sad...but true.

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