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VES and PPV dont MIX!

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  • VES and PPV dont MIX!

    VES and PPV dont MIX!

    Hey I am taking a statement made by a brother (Mr Freeze) on the Fireground Tactics forum and turning it into a new thread over here because I think they may be some debate in this statement. For what its worth I agree with that's an important point that I haven't seen documented in any training manuals - perhaps it is?? What's your view?
    Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

  • #2
    Thanks for all your help Paul! Heroes' Cross still going strong after 6 months.

    Totally off topic, but I need to thank you and for posting info on the Heroes' Cross. I'm far from reaching all the family members of the 343 fallen FDNY heroes, but every week I seem to hear from another firefighter who saw it on
    The Heroes' Cross, helping to keep the promise .......... to 'never forget'. Dedicated to the 343 FDNY heroes, donated to their families. God Bless.


    • #3
      Hmm, ok lets disrupt the compartmentization by breaking windows and entering. Fire goes in the path of least resistance and towards the o2
      source. Let's fire up the big cellar saving fan and make a fireball!
      Good way to kill and be killed, as well as extend the fire. I personnally hate the PPV concept and have no use for it so I might not
      be the person to ask. However if one would think that you can do both should go back to probie school.
      "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

      Edward F. Croker
      Chief 1899-1911
      Fire Dept. City of New York

      HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.


      • #4
        Got your email Paul...

        Thank you, but let me also say that what I know about VES is largely due to Tom Brennan. Yeah, so I'm a NAME-DROPPER, big deal! Seriously, I had VES questions a few years ago in my fledgling fire service career, and he helped immensely. One of the things that I learned was that, like the thread says, they DON'T MIX! Cranking up the fan GUARANTEES NO ONE will be found ALIVE by the Truck! If the idea of VES in the first place is to look where the fire WILL BE, why push it there with PPV?
        BE SAFE!
        ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
        -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01


        • #5
          "Cranking up the fan GUARANTEES NO ONE will be found ALIVE by the Truck! If the idea of VES in the first place is to look where the fire WILL BE, why push it there with PPV?"

          "Fire goes in the path of least resistance and towards the o2"

          I agree. That's no doubt why departments who use VES in their tactics typically don't use PPV.

          I too, hate the concept of PPV use during during fire attack. It is an overly simplistic approach that shows a lack of understanding of the tactical priorities in fighting occupied structural fires. I've heard the entire debate for PPV use during initial fire attack and IMHO found it to be sales hype and full of holes.

          There is a place for PPV however, it does a good job of smoke removal post-extinguishment and pressurizing high rise stairwells as a couple of examples.
          Last edited by SquadHog; 04-09-2002, 11:20 PM.
          "Go ugly early."


          • #6
            We use PPV for post extinguishment ventilation. We just dont have the type of building construction, manpower etc. to even think about using PPV in an intial fire attack. There are plenty of folks that do and love it. It hasnt been our experience.
            IAFF-IACOJ PROUD


            • #7
              VES is a great concept for a department that has staffing to utilize it.
              PPV is a great concept for a department like mine that can expect only 6 to 7 guys to be operating a fire scene. (2 engine companies with 3 or 4 on them)

              We don't have the staffing to perform vertical ventilation. We barely have enough to hit our 2 in 2 out so our tactics have evolved around the limited staffing.

              PPV is set at the entry point (not turned into it). A ventilation opening is created from the outside nearest the room of fire origin. The attac crew turns in the fan and lets the building charge up then makes entry behind it. This forces much of the smoke and heat out the vent opening and allows the crews to advance quicker to the seat of the fire and also helps to clear the environment for any potential victims.

              I know there are a lot better things out there, but when you are limited by the number of firefighters you have to make do with what you have.

              Scott Reasor
              Be safe brothers


              • #8
                Good points made by all so far I believe....

                1. VES is more suited to well-staffed departments? (I would add in particular to certain types of structure as well - eg easily accessed levels ideally with fire escapes etc).

                2. PPV is more suited to under-staffed departments? (Not according to MIKEY) (I would add that some 'well-staffed' departments also prefer this tactical approach to fire attack - and also again, suited to certain types of structure).
                Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds


                • #9
                  VES works well in departments with adequate staffing and it has saved many lives as well. I guess I am just stubborn but I have seen PPV twice and both times the structure became more involved afterwords. Of course they were probably doing it wrong but...

                  Actually make that three times. My buddy Tom and I were in Atlanta and they used it post fire knockdown.


                  • #10
                    PPV works the best after knockdown. Never combine PPV and VES together.


                    • #11
                      VES is more suited to well-staffed departments

                      My caveat on that is more important that "well-staffed" is consitency in staffing & response times.

                      The most consistent staffing & response times come from densely populated urban areas, especially in the northeastern U.S.

                      Aggressively searching ahead of the hose crew isn't an option if you're arriving 5 minutes after they do. It isn't a safe option either if you're arriving 5 minutes before them either.

                      Departments like FDNY or Jersey City are so dense, even with multiple alarms working, they can arrive on scene of a fire as a truck and initiate VES knowing an engine will shortly be there (excepting extraordinary situations like bad snow storms, riots, etc).

                      Departments relying on widely scattered stations or on call personnel of any sort (paid recall/paid-on-call/volunteer) for operations don't have the luxury of consistently knowing how many and when they will show up.

                      From a training perspective, many volunteer departments can meet the consistent manpower & timeliness standard most of the time nights & weekends. But you're left with two condundrums -- one, for daytime with response times & staffing less predictable VES isn't the ideal tactic so you end up training on both. Then you need to decide on each fire which set of tactics to use, and have the discipline to have all the members on the same page. My opinion is if you can't VES all the time, train on Fog/PPV tactics and use them and don't go to VES -- very, very few organizations have the discipline to effectively and safely train and switch between both sets of tactics. Fog/PPV is effective with fewer people responding in a less timely manner so it's the lowest common demoniator to start from.

                      When I mention Fog/PPV, I should point out "PPV" isn't always part of the equation -- especially when dealing with the older balloon frames. In VES, emphasis is on searching the building and suppression tactics that enable the search to continue. Fog/PPV focuses on putting out or pushing out the fire first.

                      Low manpower, untimely, or inconsitent response, go conservative and use Spray then Search.
                      Good manpower arriving timely & consistently, go aggressive and Search then Spray.
                      IACOJ Canine Officer


                      • #12
                        I think PPV could be one of the most misunderstood fireground operations. Simply putting a fan in front of a door does not constitute P.PRESSURE.V. A la Fight Club, Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken! Gotta have smaller opening and all that, but I digress...

                        kfd, IF you know/think (my baby, my baby) there are people trapped, a good lawyer could get around OSHA's misguided standard. If you SEE people trapped, even a bad lawyer could! But anyway, the Vent of VES won't be vertical. It's VES, but the order is really ESV.
                        Enter. the most exposed area, the "rear of the fire" (anyone there is in imminent danger, especially when the engine comes hard-chargin' with the fog nozzle!)
                        Search. as QUALITATIVE as possible, depending on conditions. If manpower is low/fire is too hot, maybe you won't be able to actually crawl in, just reach in with a tool.
                        Vent. as you leave. You won't be worried about fire growth towards your vent point, cuz it was goin' near there anyway, but now you've seen/felt what it will burn up.

                        Depending on conditions, you might be able to do all that before the engine has a line stretched, mask on, officer 360, and is ready to enter the structure.

                        PPV, used right, can be a great tool. Improperly used, deadly...
                        ...if you put the handline in the right spot, you won't have to jump out the window...
                        -Andy "Nozzles", SQ18, 9-11-01


                        • #13
                          Just a few ideas on VES...

                          The major concept that hasn't been discussed yet is the life hazard... known, perceived or non-existent. The actions of a member performing VES are largely dictated by the severity of the life hazard.

                          If the life hazard is high, VES is performed immediately in areas in front of and above the fire. If the life hazard is low, VES may be held off until the nozzle is moving in. In this case, once the fire area is vented, the VES member will enter another window to search an area that is adjacent to the fire.

                          A common misconception is that VES is a search of an entire floor, or apartment from a window in front of the fire. More often than not, VES is done one room at a time, from the fire escape, porch roof or portable ladder. Moving in hallways between rooms can be very dangerous based on fire conditions.

                          When the member enters the window, he moves to the door to the room, closes the door for protection from the fire condition, searches the room quickly, and then either reopens the door to help ventilation, or keeps it closed to prevent extension into that room, based on the current situation. At that point, the member will return to the fire escape or portable, and pick another room to repeat the process.

                          With a high life hazard, VES takes place regardless of the arrival, placement or operation of a fire stream. Members protect themselves by a good size-up, monitoring fire conditions, and controlling interior doors for protection.

                          If a life hazard exists, VES is used to get to victims above and in front of the fire, before extinguishment operations push fire and steam towards them. Although I have never used PPV, from what I have read, I think that the combination of the two tactics can be dangerous.

                          One question for the brothers who use PPV. How does a high life hazard affect your tactics? Although I read here that the fan will improve the atmosphere for victims, I can't help thinking that the poor bastard laying between the fire and the vent opening is in trouble.


                          • #14
                            I agree that the two should never mix. Does anyone have anything handy, perhaps on the web, that might explain PPV more in depth?


                            • #15
                              It's VES, but the order is really ESV
                              While I understand what freeze is saying, very often we DO vent first. For example:

                              If you're entering from a rear fire escape into a fire area, a common practice is to vent a window to the side of the fire escape first. Doing this serves a number of purposes.

                              1. Allows the member to see the reaction of the fire to ventilation, without cutting off the fire escape, should the fire blow out the window.
                              2. Gives the heat and gases an alternate exit point prior to entering from the FE window.
                              3. Provides initial vent to the room prior to entry and search.

                              Number one is the most important reason to vent an adjoining window first, so I would leave the term as VES.



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