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UL PPA Results Are OUT

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  • #31
    I can't remember the last time that a fan has been used on a fire that I've been on until AFTER the fire is knocked down. It just seems that the only ventilation that is done is to create a vent path that's either above the attack crew, or opposite their entryway so that the flow path is going away from the attack crew. I'm rarely involved with using fans, other than to clear smoke from small fires, food on the stove, my wife's cooking, etc....

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Leath3rhead View Post
      They both work if used properly.

      The downfall is ppa can work Exactly like a back burn by burning all the fuel before the fire gets there! Seriously though, With all the discussion about the possibilities as far as controlling flow paths (seems easier for some than others) nobody mentioned about when ppa was supposed to be a viable option.

      A fire in the incipient stage! I've never once been taught to use ppv strictly to lift visibility, maybe I was taught different but the concept was to remove the gas build up prior to it potentially reaching ignition temps. Not to use ppv in dense turbulant smoke thats looking for air.Another crippling blow to how often ppa can be used.. We seldom get to a fire in the incipient stage anymore.
      If we're attempting to separate the heat from the fire gases I'd rather eliminate the heat with water than move the fire gases out of the building with a fan. So much more reliable a tactic IMO.

      I don't claim that people will ADMIT they like PPA mostly for the visibility. I'm sure they'll say it's to remove the fire gases. But I still suspect they really like the visibility.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
        If we're attempting to separate the heat from the fire gases I'd rather eliminate the heat with water than move the fire gases out of the building with a fan. So much more reliable a tactic IMO.

        I don't claim that people will ADMIT they like PPA mostly for the visibility. I'm sure they'll say it's to remove the fire gases. But I still suspect they really like the visibility.
        When it first hit the training circuit here PPA was pushed as a dual benefit, better visibility and cooling the atmosphere by pushing heat and gasses out the vent hole. It can work doing that, IF and it is a big IF, all conditions are right. My concern is the lack of control over conditions, like interior doors being open or closed, makes it a luck of the draw tactic more times than not.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • #34
          I'm sure your right on that note captn, the byproduct of any ventilation is increased visibility. However ppv seems to be utilized more often than other forms (around here anyway). The pucker factor is when the smoke is actually in a dangerous state, and ppv is utilized with less thought of proper flow and more focused on increasing visibility. IMO its still a training issue! The incorrect usage of ppv are my only issues with it. I'm by no means the biggest fan of ppa, but when all factors are in favor it works with similar results to conventional ventilation.

          I remember when they taught us to break all the windows out, to remove the gases and increase visibility. This is a way of the past now. We've seen the damage caused by the influx of air, and the ability to pull fire to where it wasn't before. Improper vent techniques are bad no matter the form! Why are folks improperly venting with ppv? I suppose cause it only takes one man to fire a fan up

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          • #35
            It's important to understand the origins of PPV, which was Europe. PPV was designed in an environment where the buildings were very compartmented and typically made of masonry, not wood. Because of that (as well as other features) the behavior of the fire, the movement of the fire and smoke and the performance of the structure were all quite different from America.

            Throw in the changes that have occurred, especially in this country - open floor plans, new building materials and most importantly, the nature of fuels (transition to hydrocarbon based fuels) - and it's not hard to see why PPV is simply not the tool that it once was. The problem is that there are many, many departments out there that have not recognized this fact and are still operating with it as their primary tool and the majority of their fires, and that is not a good thing as it can create some very explosive fire conditions, especially if it is a void space or the fire has gotten out of the original compartment.

            Again, the recent research has highlighted that it's still a valid tool when the fire is still contained to the compartment of origin, the location of the fire is known, and an exhaust point that is at least twice the size of the inlet point can be established. Problem is that rarely do we arrive when the fire is still in the original room and that needs to be immediately recognized by the IC, which should rule out PPV as a tactic at that fire.

            The new research will be a challenge by some to absorb as they have become very comfortable operating with PPV. Likely, it hasn't worked for them recently, but just as likely, they haven't recognized that for a variety of reasons (training, experience, lack of willingness to change ... But we could start a whole new post on that!). Hopefully this will open some eyes that it still is a tool, but instead of a fairly broad tool, it's now become a fairly limited tool.
            Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-23-2016, 12:21 PM.
            Train to fight the fires you fight.

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            • #36
              Too many unknowns in too many situations to make PPA a viable option in too many cases. PPV when you are fairly certain the fire is out, sure I can go along with that. But even then you better have hoselines still in place and crews masked and ready to go to work in case the fire surprises you and jumps out of a void space and takes off again.
              Crazy, but that's how it goes
              Millions of people living as foes
              Maybe it's not too late
              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                It's important to understand the origins of PPV, which was Europe. PPV was designed in an environment where the buildings were very compartmented and typically made of masonry, not wood. Because of that (as well as other features) the behavior of the fire, the movement of the fire and smoke and the performance of the structure were all quite different from America.

                Throw in the changes that have occurred, especially in this country - open floor plans, new building materials and most importantly, the nature of fuels (transition to hydrocarbon based fuels) - and it's not hard to see why PPV is simply not the tool that it once was. The problem is that there are many, many departments out there that have not recognized this fact and are still operating with it as their primary tool and the majority of their fires, and that is not a good thing as it can create some very explosive fire conditions, especially if it is a void space or the fire has gotten out of the original compartment.

                Again, the recent research has highlighted that it's still a valid tool when the fire is still contained to the compartment of origin, the location of the fire is known, and an exhaust point that is at least twice the size of the inlet point can be established. Problem is that rarely do we arrive when the fire is still in the original room and that needs to be immediately recognized by the IC, which should rule out PPV as a tactic at that fire.

                The new research will be a challenge by some to absorb as they have become very comfortable operating with PPV. Likely, it hasn't worked for them recently, but just as likely, they haven't recognized that for a variety of reasons (training, experience, lack of willingness to change ... But we could start a whole new post on that!). Hopefully this will open some eyes that it still is a tool, but instead of a fairly broad tool, it's now become a fairly limited tool.
                I'm pretty sure the father of ppv (as we know it) is the LAFD. Los Angeles has used forced mechanical ventilation as far back as the 50's, then another California chief started experiments with it used during attack (PPA) fast forward to that one chief being contacted by salt lake city fire and the modern era of american ppa was born.

                The funny looking helmet guys may well have been using their own form of ppv (I wouldn't know) but as far the modern curriculum, it follows hand to hand to what salt lake city fire was documenting in the 80's.

                PPA has always been a limited tactic, I really don't know how or when exactly it became so common amongst the rural guys near here. It almost seems like over night, I'd hope that any new research would make it to the ones that made sop's to use ppv on every incident . but I doubt it! Those folks didn't absorb the first methods of teaching

                Vent for fire conditions, Vent for life ! Should be the only two reasons to vent using any method..

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Leath3rhead View Post
                  I'm pretty sure the father of ppv (as we know it) is the LAFD. Los Angeles has used forced mechanical ventilation as far back as the 50's, then another California chief started experiments with it used during attack (PPA) fast forward to that one chief being contacted by salt lake city fire and the modern era of american ppa was born.

                  The funny looking helmet guys may well have been using their own form of ppv (I wouldn't know) but as far the modern curriculum, it follows hand to hand to what salt lake city fire was documenting in the 80's.

                  PPA has always been a limited tactic, I really don't know how or when exactly it became so common amongst the rural guys near here. It almost seems like over night, I'd hope that any new research would make it to the ones that made sop's to use ppv on every incident . but I doubt it! Those folks didn't absorb the first methods of teaching

                  Vent for fire conditions, Vent for life ! Should be the only two reasons to vent using any method..

                  I'm not that familiar with the development of PPA but from what you say here it reminds me a bit of how Lloyd Layman's use of fog to suppress fire was adopted and corrupted. A useful technique under specific circumstances became an almost magical method of fire attack. The John Bean high pressure pumps and rayguns were before my time, but the indirect attack was still being taught heavily when I started my career, just moving from booster reels with funky nozzles to 1 3/4" lines with TFT automatic nozzles. The in thing around me now seems to be a return to selectable gallonage nozzles and smooth bores very similar to the hand me downs I used at my first VFD.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                    Too many unknowns in too many situations to make PPA a viable option in too many cases. PPV when you are fairly certain the fire is out, sure I can go along with that. But even then you better have hoselines still in place and crews masked and ready to go to work in case the fire surprises you and jumps out of a void space and takes off again.
                    That's kind of what we are shooting for right now. We don't have the training or equipment to be an aggressive, interior attack department. Working on it, but it is a slow, up-hill climb. About the best we can do currently is if the fire is ventilation-limited, then try to apply water or foam while keeping the fire as ventilation-limited as possible. If we can get the fire out or nearly out from the window, then we can think about venting and maybe going inside to finish the job. If we start trying to vent right now without a really good handle on the fire, there's a very real possibility the fire will quickly exceed our capacity to extinguish. Usually any fire that has self-ventilated already exceeds our capacity to extinguish.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      UL has posted the PPA on-line training program for those who are interested.

                      Those who like and use the tactic, more than anyone else, need to take a look at it. Some of what you know about PPA you only THINK you know. As with other fire research, some long held beliefs were blown out of the water.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Link to training http://modernfirebehavior.com/ul-fsr...ining-program/

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