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You are on the truck Dispatched to a 2 story apartment fire at 0600. The 1st Alarm Assignment is 3 engines, 1 truck, and a Battalion Chief. While in route, dispatch reports there is a possible occupant inside. The first-due engine arrives and reports smoke and fire from floor 2 side C of a 2 story flat with a possible occupant inside. You are next due with a 3man truck. You observe smoke coming from the windows and eaves on floor 2 and fire from a window floor 2 side C.
What task do you think your truck should be assigned and why?

Chad

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Replies to This Discussion

Ron, sorry if there was confussion. I was not saying that the truck is making their own IAP, just what do you feel would be more important rescue or ventilation.

Chad
Somebody explain to me why PPV...other than it's a way to ventilate the building.

PPV works for specific situations. If you are conducting VES (contradictory in its own right), you shouldn't be using PPV; unknown location of the victim(s), you shouldn't be using PPV.

The problem with PPV is that once a window or door is opened (controlled or uncontrolled) that opening becomes the or an exhaust point. That window just may be the victims room. Not a good thing if you place life before property.

Don't get wrong...PPV has its applications.


Lt. Rob Fisher - L72
-Amen Rob. Something I have preached for a long time now is the tendency of some firefighters/chiefs to "place the survivability of the structure ahead of the survivability of the occupants". Remember the possible victims? They are the real reason we exist as firefighters... to save lives FIRST!
-Stay safe

Rob Fisher said:
Somebody explain to me why PPV...other than it's a way to ventilate the building.

PPV works for specific situations. If you are conducting VES (contradictory in its own right), you shouldn't be using PPV; unknown location of the victim(s), you shouldn't be using PPV.

The problem with PPV is that once a window or door is opened (controlled or uncontrolled) that opening becomes the or an exhaust point. That window just may be the victims room. Not a good thing if you place life before property.

Don't get wrong...PPV has its applications.


Lt. Rob Fisher - L72
Chad, I like your words. Engine - kill fire; Ladder - do search. I wouldn't be turning the fan in at any time. Why would we? The room is venting appropriately so it offers an 'exit' for the combustion products for the Engine. No biggie. PPV is just another tactic... not an "every fire all the time" tactic.
Brake the crew up. The officer and one go inside to search. The senior man goes to vent. When the second or third engine arrives, they send 1 to assist with the venting fire fighter from the truck.

Stay Safe
Yates
-Doug, I understand that limitations in manpower cause us to become creative in our solutions and splitting a Truck company on scene to perform tasks is nothing new. However, splitting the company is based on available manpower and experience as well as risk vs. benefit.
-The reason the example question gave three men on the Ladder Company was to specifically create an environment of not being able to split the company due to safety constraints and performance . Sending one firefighter to the roof to accomplish vertical ventilation is dangerous in the extreme as well as not being practical from a work standpoint of achieving the objective in a timely fashion.
-When there are not enough personnel available to accomplish suppression and rescue simultaneously, rescue must be given priority. When there are not enough personnel available to accomplish all necessary tasks, take those actions that protect the greatest number of lives. This is straight out of John Norman's Fire Officers Handbook of Tactics.
-In a High Rescue Profile Situation a wise and tactical move would be to implement VES which is an aggressive tactic that will require all three Truck members to perform safely and efficiently.
-What must be considered and cannot be know given the limited information in the example is whether aggressive vertical ventilation will directly effect and protect those trapped based on their location within the structure.
-Just a few thoughts, stay safe.
BRICK

Douglas Yates said:
Brake the crew up. The officer and one go inside to search. The senior man goes to vent. When the second or third engine arrives, they send 1 to assist with the venting fire fighter from the truck.

Stay Safe
Yates
I like Dave's response but I have a question. This is an understaffed ladder company and there aren't enough resources to do everything we need to do. Access the second floor via ground ladders on side A and start VES. Split the crew and assign the driver to get additional ladders up. If we know where he will throw the ladders first, we can plan our search strategy to take advantage of it.

My understanding of VES tactics is that you enter one room from the window, close the door, search and then exit back to the ladder or platform you entered from. Assume the house in this scenario doesn't already have a good platform (eg porch roof or balcony) that we can use to move on the exterior from room to room.

Is there a SAFE way to continue the search of the second floor without going back down the ladder and moving it to another window.

I'll put the idea out there that the ladder crew can search the first room, wait until the engine makes the top of the stairs and then continue to search the second floor safely under protection of the engine's hoseline and now having the stairwell as an additional point of retreat. Leaving the room on the second floor via the interior hallway BEFORE the engine makes the second floor would be contradictory to my understanding of safe VES tactics, however that decision would have to be made based on existing conditions. It would take an experienced and disciplined officer to make that decision, or perhaps it is unacceptable regardless of conditions. Leaving the relative safety of the original second floor room increases risk to the firefighters exponentially.
Chad, I heartily agree. There are too many unknowns to introduce PPV, and, I'd rather my driver (3rd person) was ensuring additional ladder placement via portable or aerial than dealing with a fan.
Good thinking Matt & Dave (atleast I think it is...someone may correct us!)

An experienced ladder operator should be able to drag 2 ladders at a time to the building, having them placed infront of the VES team so they can quickly go up a ladder, VES, down the ladder, over 10', up the next ladder, VES, down the ladder...you get the point.

The next time I have the chance I'm going to try the timing on this, just to see if it can be done without the ladder operator sprinting accross the fireground.

Another good day, I learned something already, and I'm only on my second java!
Jeff and Marques, well said... iNow it's good to see someone is thinking of the 'Swick" method of toting two ladders. There is no way thatBut, as a LT of a 3 member truck company for many years, the reality is that two are heading up the ladder for VES, and, the driver is setting another portable, etc. Doug, I respectfully disagree... you're going to need all three of you if you have an unconcious victim; and besides, I want someone on the ground getting ready for anything we need, like another ladder quickly to another window. We may not be coming out the same window we entered. Why deploy someone to vent? The room is venting. Even if it's in the overhead (maybe) from the size-up of smoke from the eaves (smoke, not fire, smoke; which it would be anyway) it doesn't have overwhelming possession of the attic space. And any decent engine should be able to gain control rapidly.
Gang, remember, this is about the person that is reported to be in the involved structure.
Be Safe
As a member of an inner city Truck Co. in a large metropolitan department, it's nice to know I'm not the only one riding on the 3 man Truck. This is an everyday occurance.
To add to the discussion, I feel the Truck's primary responsibility is RESCUE. The VES concept is ideal with the limited staffing situation. It gets you in quick, you perform your search, and make the grab if you find someone. Hopefully the Engine crew is on their game and gets the appropriate line in place and achieves a quick knock down. This will ultimately make conditions get better for all (putting the bulk of the fire out).
To accomplish this coordinated fire attack/search, my department would have 4 members operating interior. The Engine backstepper and Officer are on the line and the Truck Boss and Backstepper are on search. The Engine Chauffeur is on the panel and trying to get a water supply while the Truck Chauffeur is laddering, setting up lights, etc. on the outside.
I'm going to throw something in to bust the bubble of the whole scenario. What do you do when one of your crew members is a "Load" (Someone who doesn't pull their weight, so you have to carry them)? This completely throws the effectiveness of this operation out the window. My house has terrific firemen, but many "employees" (I can't bring myself to call them firemen) at several stations in my city are their for the days off, benefits, and days off. You can not and will not make them go into a fire. Some of them won't even do work on the exterior. They expend more energy getting out of work or trying to "hide". The "load" contributes little if any, the fire continues to grow, and a human life that could have possibly been saved is lost. I know this isn't just happening in my neck of the woods.
They guys I work with are extremely effective and work well together. We have an Engine/Truck house and run with 3 and 3. We've all been together for at least 8 years, and the Truck Boss, Chauffeur, and Engine Capt. all have over 30 years on the job. The years operating, training, and experiencing our jobs together seals the deal for us. Everyone works hard, knows their assignement, and effectively executes. It's like a well oiled machine. Occasionally we are thrown a curve ball, but I think we do pretty well.
Another thing for us regarding this scenario, I am located in the inner city. If we get there with an Engine and Truck, two more Engines, a Rescue, and a District Chief will all be their very quickly. In other parts of the city, the first due might be on scene for a while with no help. This will also factor.
-Many respondents have noted or spoken to the value of VES as a viable technique for performing a primary search. Personally, I like VES, I use VES and I teach VES. That being said, VES is not a tactic for everyday use and it is certainly not an acceptable technique to substitute low/poor staffing.
-Some basic and necessary components for VES implementation are:
1. a know or highly suspected victim
2. the victim is in a known or highly suspected location.
-In other words, there is a High or Urgent Rescue Profile in one of the High Target Areas of the occupancy.
-A issue of much confusion about VES is that it is an entry technique, a point of entry to search a floor or area. In fact, VES is an aggressive search technique used to search a specific room only; a High Target Area. If conditions permit an extended search of the floor then you're not using VES your searching the floor. This point bears reiterating; VES is for conducting an aggressive search for a known victim (highly suspected and not just bystander information), in a High Target Area, a specific room only.
-VES is not a substitute for staffing but rather to be implemented under very specific conditions, usually by very experienced members working ahead of the attack line and in direct proximity to the fire, in order to search and effect the rescue of a known victim in a known location.

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