Truck Ops According to Jake - Episode #8
Vent. Enter. Search.
Three words that detonate an adrenaline “explosion” in a truckie!
Sure; squirting water is fun and there are times when positioning the big bores can be pretty demanding, but THAT is mundane, when compared to standing on a roof that is so hot that your boots stick to the tar; when standing on a roof that is so spongy, you’d swear that you’re bouncing on a trampoline! And when you cut that h*** and the black, acrid smoke pukes out, followed by fire that is hot enough to melt your face piece, it will quicken your pulse to a sprinter’s pace!
You have to be fast at opening a roof. Lives depend on it. Your partners’ lives and the lives of the victims, who may still be inside the structure. The roof guy is opening the roof; creating a window that will give the search team a glimpse of a motionless arm or foot. It may buy precious minutes to get the victims and their own a**** out before the room combusts into a fiery tornado that devours everything in its path. Though the search team will surely take a beating from the interior activities, it will at least be bearable with a vent h*** of proper size and location.
Jake was playing it out in his head when the engine came to a stop just past the house at 1542 South Division Street. Doing this gave Jake a look at three of the four sides. Davey Boy had already reconned the backside of the house, so it was straightforward tactics. Jimmy Mac was going to the roof with the saw. Ladder 15 will put up the platform to the roof and prepare for big water. Engine 68 will provide RIT and provide coverage to exposures. Vinnie was to go with Jimmy Mac. KJ was pulling off the pre-connect hose and setting up for water when Jake asked, “Chief, can I have Sid?”
“Yep; I got it out here; you got interior command”, said Davey.
In a flash, Jake and Sid Vicious are onto the porch, crouched in front of the door and waiting for the word that the h*** is cut. No hose; no ropes; just the two of them going in to search for victims. The pre-connect will be positioned at the front door and after Jimmy and Vinnie get done with the roof, they will man the hose while Jake and Sid continue their search.
Jimmy radioed that the h*** is cut and Jake and Sid are through the front door.
Vinnie went down the ladder first and Jimmy handed him the vent saw. When Jimmy let go of the saw, the weight of it caused Vinnie to lose his balance and he fell from the ladder. He fell into a shrub bush, but he hung on to the saw!
Jimmy yelled down, “Is the saw OK?”
Yeah and thanks for your concern”, snapped Vinnie.
They re-positioned the ladder to the upstairs window as an emergency escape, if needed for Jake and Sid. Then they took up their positions on the hose; Jimmy on the nozzle and Vinnie as his back up.
Davey Boy radioed Jake that the ladder was up and the RIT was there. Engine 68 had a supply line from Ladder 15, so there would be plenty of water. 68’s crew paced like caged animals. They were RIT!
Jake had developed the habit of searching a structure clockwise, turning left when he went through a door. He listened to his breathing, to give himself an idea of his air consumption. Funny thing about breathing in an SCBA; you can’t help BUT hear yourself breathing! You can feel your heart beating-no; POUNDING-out of your chest.
AND YOU CAN’T SEE A DAMNED THING!
It is as if someone has thrown a black hood over your head. And unless you have new SCBA masks with voice amplification, you will sound like you’re talking with marbles in your mouth. Grandview doesn’t have the new masks yet; they still have “marbles in their mouths”!
Jake and Sid are upstairs. Jake is going left; Sid is going right.
“Meet you back here”, Jake tells Sid.
Sid nodded to the affirmative…
The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© is a fictional literary work. It is protected by federal copyright. The article is published under The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie© umbrella and is the intellectual property of Art Goodrich a.k.a. ChiefReason. It cannot be re-printed in any form.