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ive been battling with the question of weather or not we should fight fire or vent first to assist with rescue( wich is allways first priority! every building is occupied until we prove otherwise!) let me set the scene..... the dept. i wrk for is a small rual fire dept. we run 3 man on two pumpers and one cheif.our stations are separated by 13 miles. we are usually alone for atleast 10 minutes before the next in company arrives. we are always taught that we cant vent untill a line is inplace. but in our situation would it be better and safer for us and the victim to vent first ppv or vertical depending on the situation or fight the fire or search through blacked out conditions for the victim?

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This is tough. It really is going to boil down to the conditions when you arrive. If conditions are heavy, puffing smoke you probably should ventilate. However, I would not use PPV until you are able to locate the fire and the victim. How you venitlate will be dictated by the department SoGs and conditions and type of building. Training and experience will be important for the decisions that are made. Ultimately, the better you can make the conditions in the building, the better chance your victim has and your fire attack crews have of finding the fire. Hope this helps.
3 man engines separated by 13 miles...hmmm...the two in/two out answers this one directly dont you think...? unless you can justify your entry for OSHA...id say youre stuck in defensive mode at the onset of every fire youre dispatched to...however given a justifieable life safety issue and a big fat pass on the two in/two out rule...if lives were in danger, id take my guys in using vent, enter, search tactics....or VES for short...you get me? if your dept has not invested in thermal imaging equipment...now might be the time to start thinking about it...

so to answer the question? if lives are in danger...VES with no hoseline in place...yes its can be dangerous...but it is consistent with our general fire priorities of life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation...dont know what VES is...look it up under the video training portion of this website...be safe fcanez@northwestfire.org
thanks thats pretty much the idea i had but it helps to have other input

Jason Hoevelmann said:
This is tough. It really is going to boil down to the conditions when you arrive. If conditions are heavy, puffing smoke you probably should ventilate. However, I would not use PPV until you are able to locate the fire and the victim. How you venitlate will be dictated by the department SoGs and conditions and type of building. Training and experience will be important for the decisions that are made. Ultimately, the better you can make the conditions in the building, the better chance your victim has and your fire attack crews have of finding the fire. Hope this helps.
two in two out is our rule. and we do the best we can to abide by it. verticle or ppv? thanks for the imput

Nando Canez said:
3 man engines separated by 13 miles...hmmm...the two in/two out answers this one directly dont you think...? unless you can justify your entry for OSHA...id say youre stuck in defensive mode at the onset of every fire youre dispatched to...however given a justifieable life safety issue and a big fat pass on the two in/two out rule...if lives were in danger, id take my guys in using vent, enter, search tactics....or VES for short...you get me? if your dept has not invested in thermal imaging equipment...now might be the time to start thinking about it...

so to answer the question? if lives are in danger...VES with no hoseline in place...yes its can be dangerous...but it is consistent with our general fire priorities of life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation...dont know what VES is...look it up under the video training portion of this website...be safe fcanez@northwestfire.org
Remember, the 2 in and 2 out rule can be deviated from if rescue is indicated. Make sure and use your head for conditions that are presented. If the space is not tenable for life, think about that.


chance said:
thanks thats pretty much the idea i had but it helps to have other input

Jason Hoevelmann said:
This is tough. It really is going to boil down to the conditions when you arrive. If conditions are heavy, puffing smoke you probably should ventilate. However, I would not use PPV until you are able to locate the fire and the victim. How you venitlate will be dictated by the department SoGs and conditions and type of building. Training and experience will be important for the decisions that are made. Ultimately, the better you can make the conditions in the building, the better chance your victim has and your fire attack crews have of finding the fire. Hope this helps.
For a known rescue a thought might search off the hoseline as well as fight fire. Along the way you might want to think about horizontal ventilation. Horizontal ventilation can be a GREAT tactic. If you know the location of the victim and depending on conditions you might be able to get in and get out. Conditions dependent! VES is another option as mentioned earlier.
I am a proponent of ventilation being a number one tactical priority and therefore in my teaching I provide free of charge a Power Point Presentation that addresses how a three person engine company using Positive Pressure Attack can provide their own ventilation prior to entry. Effective ventilation can have a positive effect on both the Firefighter and any trapped vicitims. If anyone is interested in my PPA PPT, contact me at fckrisk@yahoo.com.
This is my opinion:

If you have the people and knowledge to vent correctly that is the way to go for fire extinguishment and rescue. The problem is you work for a small department so coordinating the vent, doing it correctly, and extinguishing the seat of the fire may be impossible! I say if you don't have the people to do it focus on rescue techniques with a TIC.

If you try to vent, search, and rescue at the same time without the proper staffing the results can be deadly! There's been more than one time that PPV has caused an "unstable" structure fire to get worse!

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