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VES in 2019

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  • VES in 2019

    For years when performing VES we used the ladder to break the window when initially setting it. This allowed the room to equalize while the firefighter masked up, ascended and cleared the window before entry and resulted in a little less exertion while fully taking the window on air.

    Now we are teaching about flow path management and this practice would seem to have potential negative consequences, especially if the VES maneuver is abandoned or delayed after the window is taken. Another consideration is that most newer windows will resist a ladder drop far better than 15-20 years ago. Any FD's out there specifically changing their SOG's or training to reflect flowpath?

  • #2
    The ladder tip is placed at the lower window sill the VES firefighter climbs up and looks into the room to check conditions. If the room is heavily involved in fire then the window is not broken as VES would not occur. If the room is tenable then the window is broken and VES occurs. Immediately upon entry the VES firefighter goes to the door makes a quick check of the hallway right outside the door for victims and then shuts the door. The VES firefighter then searches the room.
    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


    • #3
      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
      The ladder tip is placed at the lower window sill the VES firefighter climbs up and looks into the room to check conditions. If the room is heavily involved in fire then the window is not broken as VES would not occur. If the room is tenable then the window is broken and VES occurs. Immediately upon entry the VES firefighter goes to the door makes a quick check of the hallway right outside the door for victims and then shuts the door. The VES firefighter then searches the room.
      Pretty much sums it up, was hoping maybe a few others might drift in and start more tactical discussions again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post

        Pretty much sums it up, was hoping maybe a few others might drift in and start more tactical discussions again.
        Would be nice wouldn't it. Since I have mellowed I look forward more to the discussion and less the battle. I miss the good old days here.
        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


        • #5
          I will try to give this a bump, and maybe get a discussion going. In what they train around here, is as you mentioned above. However, they are teaching to have a TIC operator go up and monitor the VES ff searching, from the ladder. I was never sold on people searching blindly while someone watches them search with a TIC. Thoughts....?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dude In The Car View Post
            I will try to give this a bump, and maybe get a discussion going. In what they train around here, is as you mentioned above. However, they are teaching to have a TIC operator go up and monitor the VES ff searching, from the ladder. I was never sold on people searching blindly while someone watches them search with a TIC. Thoughts....?
            I think with adequate staffing a camera-directed search can make a lot of sense. We use a three person interior team. The officer is assigned the camera. He/She for the most part physically leads the search. But a strong argument could be made for overall supervision of the team by "refereeing" from a central point within the apartment or area.
            If VES is done off the ladder and confined to one room, it may not make for the best use of the camera IMO. I guess it depends on how many cameras, and firefighters, there are available.
            Not sure you can call it a "blind" search if a member with a camera is directing it. He/She is not simply "watching". At least I hope not.

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            • #7
              I like two things about this approach. First, if you have a 3-person team using the camera themselves, the user is in a totally different search mode. It's like aviation with visual vs. instruments. The camera-less members are sticking to traditional hold-the-wall type stuff, but the camera user is raring to go.

              The other thing I like is that it keeps the camera from writing checks you can't cash. The camera can take you somewhere that you can't get out of on your own if it fails.

              “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
              ― Hunter S. Thompson

              Comment


              • #8
                I think I get what your saying capn, about "refereeing" a > 2 man team. I will say it gives me an uneasy feeling to direct team-members in different directions and maintain accountability of them, but certainly, there would be situations where this would be safe and effective. I used the term blindly simply to refer that the firefighter is searching with hands/tools and is without the TIC ("blind"). Yes, there is a TIC operator directing them to the blind spots of his/her view. Those blind spots in a VES scenario could reasonably include the hallway prior to isolating the room, behind and under the bed, closet, and bathroom. The TIC in the hands of the search firefighter should be able to do that faster and more effectively. I think we discussed this prior...but I don't think there has been standardized training on searching with a TIC, but I haven't looked since then.

                Comment


                • #9
                  With regard to taking the TIC or having it as "overwatch" I prefer the TIC go with the entering firefighter a the VES move.
                  1. if you're going in the room on a direct path to the door, the TIC will dramatically speed that and speeding the control of the interior door if it isn't already closed is likely the greatest "force multiplier" to VES.
                  2. While you could take a look from the ladder tip top orient yourself and then pass the camera back to the second up FF, how much better is that FF's big picture than the FF who's in the room (with regard to using the camera)? The TIC on a lanyard of some type seems to be required in most cases anyway.
                  3. The TIC in the hands of the person actually in the space offers additional info on the conditions outside the interior doorway and adds a clearer view into the hall.

                  In the same vein, anyone using the in mask Scott Insight or MSA regulator TICs? We just replaced all of our SCBA this year and 1/3 have the Insight TICs. We've found that it is not easy or comfortable to use the TIC screen in the mask while crawling. You have to roll off to the side to point the TIC at the upper 2/3's of the room or space. Maybe they work paired with helmets with short or no rear brim? This is one area the MSA SCBA TIC might have an advantage. Personally, I've yet to see one that is even a marginal stand-in for our hand held TICs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dude In The Car View Post
                    I think I get what your saying capn, about "refereeing" a > 2 man team. I will say it gives me an uneasy feeling to direct team-members in different directions and maintain accountability of them, but certainly, there would be situations where this would be safe and effective. I used the term blindly simply to refer that the firefighter is searching with hands/tools and is without the TIC ("blind"). Yes, there is a TIC operator directing them to the blind spots of his/her view. Those blind spots in a VES scenario could reasonably include the hallway prior to isolating the room, behind and under the bed, closet, and bathroom. The TIC in the hands of the search firefighter should be able to do that faster and more effectively. I think we discussed this prior...but I don't think there has been standardized training on searching with a TIC, but I haven't looked since then.
                    Our Truck company officers are responsible for maintaining accountability for 5 firefighters, including those operating in exterior positions. So accountability wouldn't really be an issue. Although most carry the TIC and lead the search versus carrying the TIC and directing the search. Either way they have the responsibility for the entire company.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Members entering for VES do not have a TIC in our department. The truck officer is assigned the tool and leads the inside team through the interior.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                        Members entering for VES do not have a TIC in our department. The truck officer is assigned the tool and leads the inside team through the interior.
                        No doubt with a single TIC and proper company staffing the tool assignment can't always fit every scenario. Clearly given the inside/outside teams, the priority must be for the inside team to have the TIC. We have a single handheld TIC on each apparatus and now the Scott Insights on the SCBA that are seat assigned. We can finally put a TIC with almost every interior crew and the first due officer will have one as well (handheld, we don't count the in-mask units). Of course our staffing rarely lets us split the crew... I'd take another firefighter in place of the added TICs, but alas, that won't likely happen in my time.
                        Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-26-2019, 03:07 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with Fyredup about placing the ladder at the sill and breaking the window with a hook, rather than breaking the window with a ladder drop. As he mentioned, it gives you the option to abandon VES if needed. Also, another downside of the ladder drop is you have to either a) reposition the ladder or b) live with the tip of the ladder intruding into the window opening, which will make it harder if you do have to bring a victim out through the window (or just entering and exiting through the window yourself).

                          As for TIC-led vs. TIC-directed searching, we run a lot of fires in abandoned/derelict buildings, and encounter a lot of holes in floors, missing treads in stairs, etc. And because depth perception through a TIC is pretty bad, it's hard to see things like that through the camera. So personally, I would rather have both hands free and search using traditional methods. Also, my department staffs 4 man truck crews, and like capnjak's, gives the TIC to the inside team. So for VES, it's a moot point anyway.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I suppose I know why that gave me an uneasy feeling...I've never trained or had ever dreamed of a 5 person truck, 4 rarely, 3 most times, and during the recession....2. I still haven't found any traditional standard training, but it seems like everyone figured it out on their own. Like others have mentioned, the TIC can be a great tool, and it can get ya in a lot of trouble at the same time.

                            The flow path craze seemed to me to be newer fancy terminology for basic fire behavior training. I'm glad to see UL put out info confirming that fire can be "pushed". I'd love to know why they pushed the 'can't push fire' agenda or if it got anyone hurt in the years they were disseminating it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The "pushing" of fire that they are acknowledging is, IMO, different from the classic idea of what pushing fire meant. You pretty much have to go out of your way to push fire. Staying away from fog patterns and excessive rotational nozzle movement will help avoid it. The positives of fast water on the fire (or into fire area) far outweigh any negatives.
                              The resistance came largely from those who used pushing fire as a reason to avoid transitional attack. Transitional attack done correctly is still a very valid tactic and will not worsen conditions within the structure.

                              Comment

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