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  1. #21
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    Since it is not mentioned I am going to have to assume we have trapped victims. So based on the info presented I'm going to go with 2 to the roof to vent while the chauffer gets a line in place and charged at the front door for entry. (But as with any incident conditions such as building construction, exposures ect. may dictate different tactics). Once the roof is vented and the heat starts to escape vertically, the 2 FFs then take over the line and attempt entry to find the seat of the fire and any victims along the route to it. (Put the fire out and all the other problems go away)

    As I see it, heat rises and if the stucture is pressurised to the extent that we have the tell tale puffing of smoke throughout I want to vent at the highest point and allow alot of those heat and gases to escape thru their natural upward path. This movement of heat upward will only increase once we open up for entry via the inrushing air from the front door and this will act to confine the fire to that upward path. We will in effect know where it's going. Not to mention if the house is fully charged with smoke how do we know where exactly to ventilate horizontally to achieve the objective of containing the fire to it's area of origin? Better to pull it up and out using the fire's natural tendencies, than spead it horizontally throughout by venting opposite the area of origin. Also, operating a line in a vent hole be it a window or a roof cut may cool the immediate area but it will also push the majority of any heat or fire deeper into the structure, thereby making the job harder and in fact LESS safe for both us and any viable victims.
    Last edited by FFPCogs08; 01-06-2010 at 02:28 PM.


  2. #22
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Victims are probably not viable in a backdraft conditions.

    I am a HUGE supporter of VES, but with a three man engine on scene and next do a half hour away... I suppose that you probably don't have hydrants either.

    People get what they pay for for fire protection. Pay nothing, get a single engine with three guys that can't do anything for a half hour until more help arrives.

    If it were me; Driver stretches a line to the entrance, Firefighter goes to the roof and cracks it, Officer does a 360, kills utilities. Once the firefighter is on the ground, charge the line and go at it. Twenty minutes later, when the next in engine arrives, they can help save the foundation.

  3. #23
    Forum Member bum291's Avatar
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    We need at least 4 guys. With only 3 guys we can't go inside unless the it's a very small building, or a big building where the fire is confirmed very small as in the early stage. Seconds from backdraft isn't "very small".

    Do what we can, establish water supply for sure is an early priority. Then it's about securing the area and slowing down the progress of the fire such as splashing water on the outside, use penetrating nozzles and consider ventilation.

  4. #24
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    So hereís another twist. Do you vent a Morton building with a backdraft imminent?

    Scenario we recently had. Morton building with an office meeting room area in the front, middle is a 5 bay shop and the end is cold storage. Sometime in the night a pickup truck catches on fire in the shed, gets extremely hot and sooty. The heat melts the door seals and the fire gets no air and burns out. Since there were no fire alarms in the building we don't get called and the guy shows up to plow snow that morning he canít open the door and goes through cold storage to find the mess, heat but the fire had smothered itself. Had we been called when there was fire would you guys go the roof and vent the metal building or would you vent a window in the shop area with a pike and cool the ceiling with a hose line? No victim is in the building.

  5. #25
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Well first of all are you working from a aerial ladder? or a ground ladder? If working off an aerial I would attempt to vent the roof. The insulation has probably caught, or the steel has trapped enough heat to weaken the rafters enough to not support weight.Has water supply been established? If not then I would not try and cool the ceiling in case things go to hell in a hand basket and the whole thing goes and you are sitting there with 500 gallons of water and a whole building going up in flames. There just seems to be too many variables to really decide what I would do without actually being on scene and see how the situation developed.

  6. #26
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    No aerial only ground ladders. A water supply would be established from a hydrant and porta tank. First in units would be an engine with 2000 gallons and a tanker with 3000 gallons 8 man crew.

  7. #27
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    So then you can afford to use that water to cool the atmoshpere enough to be able to make entry if needed. 5000 gallons of water is a lot of water to use in that tactic. The situation needs extreme caution since signs of backdraft aren't as prevalent with a metal building. I'll even admit other than feeling the building for heat, I don't know what to look for in a middle building.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    interesting idea for venting with a sawzall, although I don't buy that it's quicker. I'm not even sure if it would work on the older houses with planks for the roof deck and sometimes several layers of shingles. Even the chainsaw and cut off saw can have some issues on the real think ones.
    I do wish I had video of it to share. We had a "training house" graciously donated by the new property owners that wanted to tear it down and build a commercial structure. The house was built back in the early 1900's, no later than 40's I would guess, so pretty sturdy. Infact, it sucked cutting it up, I would have lived in it, haha. Anyway, we had several timed competitions between the old guys and the new guys, the new guys using the recip. axe and a pickhead axe, the old guys using a pickhead and a chainsaw or cutoff, whichever they wanted. The new guys won everytime, and by a decent margin. The time started when the saw was taken off of the truck. You have to remember, with a gas powered saw, you have to sart it before you even go on the roof, or should any way, to make double sure it starts, even though you may have checked it that morning. Then you have to turn it of, and start it again on the roof. On the recip, all you have to do is put the blade in and pull the trigger and zip through the roofing. Dem blades will cut quickly through just about anything. Try it some time, you might just like it, . I had my reservations about it at first, until I found the recip. saw a lot easier to drag up a ladder than a chainsaw, it freed up my hands for climbing. I could attach the saw to my bunkers. Seriously guys, try it sometime, if you don't like it, no harm done. If you do, I take payment by cash, check, or credit card, haha.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 03-12-2010 at 06:01 PM.

  9. #29
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    Default ground ladder

    Officer brings forcible entry tools to the front door. Lineman pulls line to the front door. Driver charges the line, then takes a grond ladder and uses it to take out an upper window. Adavance line to seat of fire and extinguish. This has workwed for me for twenty(20) years without fail and 95% of the time on tank water (500gal.)
    PGFD

  10. #30
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    Backdraft question: Who played Steven McCafery in Backdraft??

  11. #31
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Yoda................

  12. #32

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    Default steam soak

    John Norman's book "officers handbook to tactics and strategies" gives an example of cutting a small vent hole in the side of the building (just enough to get the nozzle in). use a combination nozzle and set it on a power cone. basically pressurize the room with steam and cool the atmosphere.

    a backdraft atmosphere is super charged with heat and fuel(smoke). cool the atmosphere enough to take down the heat where the smoke will be less likely to light off.

    this is the tactic he suggests for buildings where verticle ventilation will not help such as large apartment buildings where the fire is in the middle floor.

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