With all of the arguments regarding VEIS versus VES, it seems that we have forgotten about the “E”. Let’s talk first about mnemonic's. I’m not the biggest fan of them because my personal belief is that if you need a checklist to do your job you should probably become more engaged in your job. Do you need a checklist to do your side job when cutting grass? Ever since RECEO VS was written by Lloyd Layman in 1950, the fire service has used it in multiple textbooks for initial size up. The breakdown of RECEO VS is that RECEO is sequential and the VS is an action of opportunity. The creation of SLICE RS by Chief Eddie Buchanan from Hanover County, Va. caused a storm of controversy because it was different than something that was created in 1950.
Chief Buchanan had the same intentions as Lloyd Layman and those good intentions were to educate firefighters on initial actions when arriving on a fire scene. For some reason, the controversy swirled into SLICE RS being solely sequential actions and not exactly what it was meant to be which is the same as RECEO VS. SLICE is sequential and RS is an action of opportunity. Do you really think that any firefighter would place “R” for Rescue behind all of the other letters in a sequential list? No way. That’s why it’s a misinterpretation of the SLICE RS model and many firefighters have discarded SLICE RS because of the bad press.
There are so many other mnemonic arguments out there that don't make much sense. This includes the argument of VEIS versus VES. I understand that the “I” is not needed because it’s assumed that the interior door is to be closed or “Isolated” by the firefighter. But that’s assuming the firefighter knows that they are supposed to close the door, which is the most critical piece of the entire operation. If you’re upset about the “I” in VEIS what about the “E”? Is it not assumed that you are going to Enter in order to Search the room? Don’t you have to Enter the room in order to Search it? Why do we need the “E”? Couldn’t we turn it into V.I.S.? My point is not to create another pneumonic that will cause confusion and controversy but to bring light to the craziness of the arguments. The fire service admittedly doesn’t like change. Can’t we all just focus on Aggressive and Intelligent firefighting rather than getting lost in the weeds over some silly letters? Let's start focusing on Fire & Smoke Behavior during VEIS operations to make us more proficient. The Close your Door and Close Before you Doze campaigns are educating our citizens to stay behind closed doors during a fire. We should be prepared to go into a window and rescue the trapped citizen, no matter what it's called. #StopBelievingStartKnowing
LT Sean Gray
Cobb County Fire