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OK,  Before I move on,  as a curiosity, if you pulled up and were assigned search - nothing else was said over the radio or face to face because Command was busy, would you first move towards the victim in the window in apartment C or, because of conditions showing, would you do something else?  Is this the time to split the Crew?  (Can you split your crew because of the staffing on your rig?) 

Lastly,when you deciden to go to the victim,  would your first reaction be to get to the victim via ground ladder or stairs and once you contacted him, what do you do next?  

Here is the video:

Questions to answer are in Bold and underlined.  Add anything else that you deem important. 

First photo below labels apartments.  Second larger is snap from video. 

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Comment by Justin Renner on November 13, 2013 at 4:33pm
We too have a dedicated truck which we try to run with 4 guys. Our guys like to hit the roof cutting even when it may not really be the best choice. We have an older city with alot of legacy construction in the old town and light wieght in the new developed area. The main body of fire is on the main floor, there is smoke on the second floor and from the roof vents, but that doesnt mean that there has to be fire there. I would say horizontal vent and get a good knock on the fire. I like to see a guy go to the attic on every fire it is just a practice that my previous dept. practiced and I became used to it. If you get a knock on it and still have smoke pushing then you may be looking at hidden fire and in which case further venting may be needed. When availible and pending conditions a second line to the 2nd floor may be warrented. As for victim removal with this victim I would say just normal ground ladders. He is semi-alert and hopefully able to help out a bit. Our first in Ladder most likely is going to be a ladder tower but if it is going to be set up for victim removal then not much in the line of venting will be done as far as the truck guys go. ladder high points are a good tool to have but as for a first arriving engine a throw and go is going to be our starting tactic and save the other methods for plan "B and C"
Comment by Grant Schwalbe on November 13, 2013 at 2:57pm

Thanks Kevin…it seems like departments with dedicated trucks do more with the vertical vent.  We have a ton of one stories, new construction, light weight trusses, barrel tile and metal roofs…it's the exception rather than the rule for us.

Comment by Kevin Dippolito on November 13, 2013 at 1:59pm

Grant, if the interior stairs are not an option, we'd try to bring them down a ground ladder. If the victim were obese, or unable to be brought down a ground ladder for some reason, we may have to use a tower ladder. As for the roof ventilation, I had mentioned putting the aerial to the roof. And yes, we would open it up. The pic & video show smoke from some sort of attic vent, and also the front door, so at a minimum we'd be opening that attic vent and putting a h*** directly above the stairwell.  Kevin

Comment by Grant Schwalbe on November 13, 2013 at 1:42pm

I have two questions for everyone...

If we are not able to use the interior stairs what is the preferred method to get the victim down?  I am comfortable with my ground ladder skills as it pertains to victims, but I wasn't until a year ago when I got to do some training with Paulie Capo.  Now it's in my toolbox.  I am hesitant to do any kind of lowering (like high anchor) and the only other way I can think is to protect in place until the stairs can be vented.

My other question is on ventilation.  Horizontal or Vertical?  One person commented about ladder to the roof for ventilation.  We are getting away from roof vent in my because we don't do it much and aren't that good at it and lightweight trusses are so common.  In this video I see what appears to be the main body of fire in division 1.  In my mind horizontal would be best.  I would expect fire to travel where I place my vent (if it's not out) and that would bring the fire right up the stairs.  In my limited experience if the fire has not breached the ceiling into the attic then horizontal is best.  I look forward to anyone's feedback.

Comment by Justin Renner on November 8, 2013 at 3:37pm
The victim in "C" appears to be having some problems, he doesn't look like your standard victim yelling that his apartment is on fire. As far as the way he is slumped over the window and all. Attack is going to be in "A" as with the previous senario FF would team up with Attack officer and preform a search of "A" due to it being a bit cramped for a three man search team and a hose team. Search Captian and Driver would make a window rescue of vitim in "C". I agree that a search of "D" is high priority after "A" but I believe in going with the guarantee over the could be. There could be a victim in "D" but after you force a door, make entry, search and get an all clear is your victim in "C" still in the same condition as when you last saw him. The member that entered the window for the rescue can assess conditions and get a quick search of "C". with vicitim on the ground the remainder of the search can be completed of "D" and "B".
Comment by Skip Coleman on November 7, 2013 at 3:30pm

Good thoughts all.  Heavy smoke (or any smoke for that matter) coming from his window may have changed all of your responses.  This is what I mean when I say "look at the 'picture' in front of you" and then make decisions based on what experience and your gut tells you along with staffing on-scene what you "know" they can actually do.  Lets see if we can get any more responses before we move on. 

Comment by Kevin Dippolito on November 7, 2013 at 2:20pm

Skip, assuming I have a crew of 4, I would split us. I would have 1 FF grab a ladder and pick the person hanging out the window. The driver could assist if needed before throwing additional ground ladders and putting the aerial to the roof. Myself and the remaining FF would head for the interior to search. If by some slim chance I found the interior stairs clear enough to bring the person down the interior stairs, I would advise that Firefighter so he/she could bring the person down the stairs.


Comment by Jon Nickerson on November 7, 2013 at 1:10pm

I think this one is tricky. You cant just ignore the guy, Id agree with Grant that the D/O can throw a ladder and get him while the Officer and FF make their way towards apt A. I don't think you should take him through the stair case due to smoke inhalation issues. Hopefully the D/O could do a quick search of apt. C after getting the guy out of there. Then meet up with crew in apt. A

Comment by Skip Coleman on November 2, 2013 at 8:19am
Thanks Grant. Now I understand. I'm still a little squeamish about using a ground ladder as the FIRST choice as the video eludes. But that's just me.
Comment by Grant Schwalbe on November 1, 2013 at 9:18pm

Here is a Fire Engineering Training Minutes Video with Paulie Capo showing conventional window lifts.  Pregnant Lady is the first example.  It is shown removing a FF (Taking his SCBA off first) but can be used for civilians.  Looks a little awkward at first but is really easier than other methods.  Victim can be lifted to window with 2 rescuers (video shows 3).  Enjoy!

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