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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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This is where the DOP gets me every time.......tough question......I think both things are important, but if you don't get the lid off, little if any progress will be made on the interior. The roof team can get the door off the roof access, and then vent any skylights in coordination with the advancing engine crew(s). If you sent the truck crew inside to search, they might make some headway, but eventually the heat would either drive them back or stop them in their advance, likewise with the engine crews. Once the roof crew gets the roof, they can try to VES off the fire escapes (if they are good, test them every time) on the fire floor or floors above.
i like your thinking
everything gets better when you pop the top
Too bad you were not my SME. The only time I think search might be my first choice was if I had a known victim, on or above the fire floor, that was in direct peril, even then, if you can't get in because of the heat, its a moot point. i didn't even bring manning into this, is it a 2 FF truck, 4 FF truck, or a 6 FF truck? This changes everything.
Chief, What is the staffing of the truck?
I like the question, but I think there needs to be more info.

1. the amount of people that are responding. is there more than 1 truck on the scene can you split the crews so you can do both at the same time.

2. the amount and location of the fire. if the fire is on a lower floor and room and contents you can have 1 person outside vent a window and send everyone else in to the building for search and fire containment.
thats all i can think of right now. great qustion, keep them coming

Well I am going to wade into this. Assuming the Truck is SHORTSTAFFED with FOUR. Two go interior and search and two go to the roof. The ones on the roof focus on bulkheads, scuttles and skylights as the best bang for the effort. Then consider cutting a h*** where it will do the most good. If the fire is not on the top floor perhaps the cut is made over the stairwells to relieve the interior. If the fire is on the top floor cut over the fire unit. If the Truck is properly staffed with six then three interior and two to the roof and one doing outside vent work and portable ladders. If the Truck is staffed with two....time to educate your city!
six mantruck companies only occur in fantasy land for the most part, five is just as rare and some depts including my own, long foir a 4 man company
we are going to complicate this a little just for the discussion
u have 1 truck with 3 FF's including the officer on it
what actions do u take?
in NHRFR, we have mostly 3 personnel ladders, but we respond two ladders and a rescue as part of the 1st alarm on a reported fire, smoke, etc.)
1st ladder to the roof
2nd ladder inside
rescue floor above
anyone can figure out to split a four FF crew
looking for a little dialogue about priorities and what devilations and/or adjustments are made when short-staffed ladders are responding as it the case in much of the country -- do we forego the roof to get the search done or do we make the roof to take the lid off and maybe be a little creatibve in how we address the search?
tough situation -- how many dept's are faced with this every day? -- what is done?
just stirring it up.....
be safe
A 6 FF truck crew doesn't even happen in the "big" cities anymore. In the town I work in in Hudson County NJ, we are still trying to figure out how to double the size of our 2 FF truck companies into four. As for going to the town for more FF's, if you worked in Hudson County, you have a better chance of seeing Moses. An old retired fire captain once said "hit them between the legs and that will double them up". As to how to split up a four FF truck crew.....sounds like a DOP test question. Here goes....if it's the first due truck, and it's a mid-rise (3-5 floors) multiple ordinary, I would have two FF set-up the truck and go to the roof, and the officer and another FF would go in to search the fire floor with the advancing hose line. And the only way it's going to advance, is if you pop the top. The roof crew need to safely access the roof via the bucket, ensure they have a second means of egress, light up the roof if it's night time, as soon as possible open up the bulkhead door and remove it from it's hinges. Then they should sweep inside the bulkhead opening as far in as possible with a tool, looking for victims. Then use the door you removed as a ramp to get on top of the bulkhead if it has a skylight, and after alerting crews below ( break just a pane or two, or radio) then take the skylight. Open any other natural openings and check for extension to the cockloft. You can then depending on the location of the fire, lets say top floor with extension into the cockloft, open up the roof, at least a 4' x 4' to start, not forgetting to push down the ceiling. Now once the 2 tired FF's that have gotten that far, they can then if so ordered, access the upper floors to VES. All of this needs to be done in coordination with the advancing hose line who have the other two FF's searching on the fire floor with them. This scenario varies only slightly if it's a fire on a lower floor. You still need to make the roof, and search when and where possible. Now try doing that with only 2 on the first due truck. Enter LAFD Roof Operations on You Tube, and watch that video. See how many FF's they send up to the roof. They do some pretty sick stuff, but they get the job done. Sorry to be so long winded, but flat roof ops was the class that I proposed to teach in Indy this year, and I had a lot to say.
I agree that 4 person Trucks are very rare, never mind 6. I just believe that even four person trucks are short staffed for the amount of work that Truck Companies should be performing. Hence your question. When short staffed what do we do at the fire you described. Forgetting the staffing issue, I still think the roof is critical. On another note if you're interested in a staffing study explaining that four person trucks are more cost effective than other models, let me know.
I agree with you too, Art. Unless you have a "known" victim, you really limit yourself by not venting in coordination with the engine. In these days where we are dealing with tighter buildings, unprecedented fire loads (even in residential buildings), and more toxic and unstable fire gases ventilation is key to an interior attack. Ideally, you want to get attack, vent, and search rolling near simultaneously, but in the current fire environment, it seems to me nothing can be done safely until we get that building to behave. In our department we run our ladders with an officer and two, sometimes three firefighters. We send two ladders on structural assignment and it seems to me that we really need to get that first ladder thinking ventilation first, and leave the search for the second due ladder or another unit. I'm a big fan of VES which can, in some ways accomplish both vent and search in a limited fashion. In my short time on the job, I've never known things to go down hill AFTER the roof was vented properly.
would be interested in that
u can send it to my atention to
11 port imperial blvd
west new york nj 07093
enough talk about 4 man ladders
what do u do with a 3 man ladder at these structures?
do u split them?
do u go the roof or save it for later-arrivers?
is there some other way of accomplishing the needed tasks in as s afe a manner as posible?

by the way, art, your answer is a DOP response that i would give a 5 -- keep up the good work


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