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The Sunday Preach:
"I" Save Lives
I, I, I, I, I... There we said it. Not to add the "I" for personal gain, fortune, create a new blog page or cult following... but just to tweak an old friend to help those who help others.
Granted, "I" am not new, we have always taught members to go and close the door after entering the room... even if it wasn't listed in the acronym as such.
And we agree that it is really not needed for many of US (those who have already been taught proper VES techniques). That said, in the modern fire environment the ISOLATION is an important factor in limiting the ventilation until coordination is facilitated with the engine companies advance.
It is for the next generation of firefighters and fire officers and to bolster the importance of coordination in ventilation in our modern environment. And most importantly, to isolate the area so as to aid those civilians whom we are entrusted to protect!
There is no revolution spawning, if there is... it certainly isn't being led by "I". This job is always about "WE" not "I".
We consider ourselves to be 'traditionalists' in our trade. We love the rich history, passion, bravery and love that we share with each other! We also have a passion for listening, learning, sharing, and passing information along.
That said, we feel the "I" had earned its position in the VES equation. We added it after considerable review of fire behavior and the reporting of such. And again, noting that "flow path" isn't a new concept, but just perhaps a "newly named" one...
The two fire dynamics that we as the fire department can greatly impact in terms of fire behavior: #1 WATER ON FIRE to extinguish and #2 VENTILATION EFFECTS on the structure. We have the ability to have some control over 2 of the 3 legs of the fire triangle.
While water applied to fire still extinguishes it, fire behavior (largely due to modern contents & furnishings and home construction) dictates the need for coordination in engine company advance and the timing of ventilation. The tactical decision to VEIS an area of the home may have an impact on that balance, hence the importance to add it in the formula.
While we can certainly understand that there are several steps that are not listed to perform this life saving technique on the fireground, we certainly don't need to dwell on it. We certainly wish that there was as much pertinent training in the concepts to make it happen more on the fireground as it is an extremely successful tactic that SAVES CIVILIAN LIVES!
"There is a school of thought to add the letter "I" to the VES equation forming an expanded acronym... we feel that since isolation (by closing the door) is a critically important step to curb the impact of ventilation effects on the fire. We have always taught our firefighters to close the door and search the room. In fact, most fire department acronyms leave several bits of information out because they serve a merely a guide for operations not a full and complete recall of all the considerations. That said, we feel that if if helps your firefighters recall this particular step, so be it. In light of new scientific modeling, we have put it in there." (Pg. 291)

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