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Comment by Joe Meyer on July 9, 2010 at 6:55pm
Great video
Comment by Billy Morris on April 29, 2010 at 10:04pm
Dave LeBlanc,

In my opinion, it is a preferred method of ventilation. But with that being said, its the emergency that will dictate that. Weather conditions, building construction, fire conditions, hell even trained personnel available(If your with a volunteer service). Too many factors to give a Yes/No answer. It can be one of the best tactics on residential fires. What better of a way to prevent a hostile fire event than Vertical Vent. You also asked about greater roof pitches; well it can also depend. You could do a Ridge Cut, not common in most departments, but if understood can be very successful! Especially if you fear the roof is too steep... You asked about what if the fire is in the first floor?? Im not sure I totally understand you but if your asking if its ideal to still vent then my answer is yes! Especially if conditions are bad inside, and we need to make things better for the attack crews(or even victims). The stairwells can act like a Chimney...funneling all the smoke right up into the second floor...the possibility for a hostile fire event is prevalent. As to your last question about 9-10 foot height from rafter to sheetrock....we use a minimum of a 10ft Roof hook to punch through. Bottom line like Frank said....train train train, and know your SOP's. Dont be afraid to question them. By questioning them you will understand the process more and may even find a better way. Thats how you have progressive FD's. Better to be progressive than regressive.... Talk about this stuff at the Kitchen table every once in a while....Im always asking the younger FF's SOP questions. Table topping scenarios. Last but not least....ANY VENTILATION SHOULD BE COORDINATED WITH INTERIOR CREWS! Dept's need to get away from just running around venting as they go, or walking around the structure busting out windows. This operation must be fully understood by all members on scene. VENT EARLY.........

Capt Billy Morris
Comment by Mark Langston on April 29, 2010 at 6:44pm
" i would fall back away from the h***" I would much rather fall into the roof than fall off of the roof
Comment by Brandon Roark on February 15, 2009 at 9:56pm
Frank, great video, I just taught Ventilation to a group of FF I/II's. This is a great aid in instruction and I appalude your dedication to putting together this video for all of us to discuss. I, being a eastcoaster by birth and then confused by living out west and now in the midwest, want to pose a question regarding your first statement.

"This cut works great and dosn't require the h*** to be pulled. - I have to admit, I think if given the option i would rather pull a h***. My rational is that if my tool loses "bite" i would fall back away from the h***. Having to punch the h*** with a tool on a smoke obscured roof I may miss my target in the anticiapation of hitting "roof". Thus driving my tool and balance into into the emptiness of the freshly created vent h***. Just a thought? and to be fair I am an engine guy, so me being on the roof is a problem within itself;)
Comment by Paul J De Bartolomeo on October 24, 2008 at 7:15pm
With peaked roof ventalation we are normally speaking about a private dwelling. In my experience the 7/11 cut provides adequate vent for the companies below and is quick and easy to cut and pull. Most importantly the 7/11 cut can be done from the safety of the roof ladder. This version of a louver cut, and even the traditional 4x4 seem like overkill for a P.D. in my opinion, and they force the members to work off of the roof ladder which is very dangerous
Comment by Eric Hankins on October 23, 2008 at 6:47pm

i aggree Brother. We have actually started to teach our recuits to sound the roof and tell me where there IS NOT a rafter. This is much easier to do. Once you have identified a span that does not have a rafter/truss (this is the west coast we're talking about) you make a plunge cut with the saw and push the saw away from you until you hit a rafter. Now pull the saw back to you and find the next one. Now you have an idea what the span is between rafters. Roll the second rafter (the one you pulled back and found), continue the head cut and roll one, two, or how ever many you/your officer determine necessary. Now drop down a little bit and start making your dice cuts. Make you dice cuts near the "mid-span" between rafters and make as many as needed to cover the head cut. Finally make you bottom cut to connect the dice cuts. Louver the cuts based on the wind and puch the ceiling.

"Rolling" two rafters is a good start. Rolling two gives you about a 4' x 3' h***. Once the h*** is opened up, the saw person may continue to enlarge the h*** by rolling more rafters and adding dice cuts.

I tried to post the link to the training bulletin on my first reply but if any of you were not able to connect to it, go to and click on the training link. It is listed under in the training bulletins called Multi-Roll.pdf.

Keep training Brothers, It's what we do!!!
Comment by Frank Ricci on October 22, 2008 at 8:01pm
To me the louver cut, all the panels will louver. On this cut at times they will all fall in when you make the last bottom cut towards the ladder. Somethimes they will hang up and have to be knock in. On a ply wood roof it will have a greater chance of louvering.
Note I will sound a roof to get on it, but I do not sound to find rafters, hell if you took down a photo on the wall in my house there is aleast a few holes. I get up there and cut a h*** and push down the cieling. By no means is this the only why to cut a roof. Listen to your officers follow your SOPs and get out and train. No matter what cut you make. Make the one you trained on and praticed on. Always cut the h*** over the fire and as close to the ridge as possible.
Comment by Todd McKee on October 22, 2008 at 7:49pm
Great Idea Brother! But could you give me te differences between this cut and a louvered cut. I am starting to get confused Todd McKee
Comment by Frank Ricci on October 22, 2008 at 7:43pm
Note it took less than 3 min to get the h*** and push down the ceiling.
Comment by Frank Ricci on October 22, 2008 at 7:32pm
Thanks Eric,
Please post your bulletin on the Tactical Building Blocks Site. Being scrutinized is ok with me. This is what this site is for to share discuses and learn. I am a fan of this cut and use it as my primary way to open a roof. I learned it after comparing cuts on vacant and timing how long it took to open. This cut is quicker to make than a traditional 4x4 in most cases and you won’t have to get off balance to pull it. If you are going to make a 4x4 instead of making the cut out at the top I teach to just make one extra cut down the middle so you don’t have to pull it. I agree with leaving the saw running, this was done during a recruit class. We have all the recruits cut a 4x4 with just an axe and cut two holes, one with a cut off saw and one with a chain saw. I personally am a fan of the chain saw on any roof that has a pitch. I will post this same cut with the other saw after I cut it down. On some of these things we will all agree to disagree. Please post your cut, ideally on an acquired structure and not a prop. Note if this was a ply wood roof the saw goes right through it. This is a built up of roof with 1x6s with groves. Yes this cut if a ply wood roof will produce louvers or will drop the small panel through the h***. This is why we cut the bottom cut last so you are working towards safety. Many of our roofs have any wear from 2 to 7 layers of shingles or plywood over tong and grove. Note code only allows 2. Tell that to the contractor! Trying to pull the traditional 4x4 on a plank roof, it takes awhile. As for standing on the axe or halligan it works great and is an effective way to extend reach. Based on fire conditions and pitch the other firefighter should stay on the roof ladder.
Two roof ladders is not an option for us or most departments. We have great staffing with 24 on the box that arrives in minutes of each other. Staffing is a minimum of 4 on the truck and engine. To put up another ladder would take personal from other tasks that for us have a higher priority. In our department we have proved to be safe, efficient and effective on roof work. Most of all our work is in balloon frame structures. To answer the other question, yes I have made this cut under fire conditions on all types of pitches and found it very effective. Our general rule is cut a h*** that is at least 3 bays then push down the ceiling. Then you can extend the h***. I think we started something great that all will benefit. All you need to post your cut is a digital camera. Record the cut or any drill and the file is ready to up load.
Be Safe

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