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Thread: PPV close call

  1. #1
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    Default PPV close call

    PPV video. Thought this would be good for discussion.


    Few thoughts (not MMQing these guys, I don't know what these guys did or did not do)

    1) before PPV, you must vent opposite side of building, since this was a basement fire were they able to? I don't know.

    2) after initial knockdown, make some inspection holes, this is why every member need to carry a tool.

    3) know a primary and secondary means of egress... these guys did a great job of exiting quickly once they found themselves in trouble.

    Good job to this crew, they made it out of a hairy situation, and gave us some food for thought.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...


    I can't speak for basement fires, since we have no basements in our area and I have no experience fighting them. However, we do use PPV a lot and I think that having firefighters in the building while the PPV is operating is not the problem. Improper PPV placement, not knowing where the fire is before placing the PPV, and inadequate vent openings on the opposite end of the building (or simply neglecting to create vent openings) all are part of the problem.

    Also not wanting to Monday morning quarterback, but it appears the bulk of the fire was near the front. Assuming the kitchen was at the rear (which seems to be the case here), the PPV should have been at the rear and venting out the front.

    Of course, if the fire was primarily in the basement when they arrived, then where do you vent? Maybe in this case PPV is not the correct choice.

    Glad nobody got hurt on this one, looks like it turned ugly in a hurry....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream ó and I hope you don't find this too crazy ó is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    ó C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Sep 2006
    Northeast Coast


    Sorry, I guess I'll MMQB, since that's what any of these questions really are. But, MMQBing doesn't have to be about tearing he FD down, but learning from what we see as their mistakes.

    I guess I always was under the impression that you never used PPV when the fire was below the fans entry point? In the list of contraindications, basement fires are near the top in my eyes. Saw the same thing happen to a local FD when they PPVed a small house with fire in the basement. It from manageable to total loss very quickly with a close call for one crew.

    Also appears that they entered through the rear but the fan was placed in the front? This seems like another major containdication of PPV/PPA. Not allowing anyone int he building while PPV is being used would seem to serve only to burn the house down faster. Without personnel to monitor interior conditions, adding pressurized air to hidden fires will surely allow them to grow, so the crew will have to wait until it shows from the outside?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2009


    i think that to use PPV safely you have to ensure the following.

    1) know the location of the fire
    2) provide for a ventilation hole.
    3) do not work between the ventilation hole and the fire.
    4) knock down the fire and check the void spaces prior to turning the fan on.

    If you read the positive pressure attack book by the guys at salt lake city. They say to cut the fan on before entry into the fire building. Allow it to work for a 30 secs then go and get the fire. My department does not practice positive pressure attack. So i can not say that this works or does not work. We only use PPV for ventilation after the knock down of the fire adn checking the void spaces.

    As with anything ventilation must be carfully cordinated with fire attack.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber CKirk922's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Watching From The Sideline Now


    I believe the obvious discrepancy was in misplacement of the fan. The key considerations have already been addressed. One point to stress is that vent fans should follow the same general path as the attack. That is to say vent from the un-burned area to the burning area. Know where the fire is. Know where your vent opening is and use the fan to push the products of combustion out of the structure. A basement is usually a very difficult beast to vent because of the lack of a proper exit point.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber CKirk922's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Watching From The Sideline Now


    I think I agree that this was probably not a great canidate for the PeePee fan. Good ole fashioned overhaul cannot be discounted.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

  7. #7
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA

    Default Let's not forget the obvious....

    If you turn in the fan and things immediately get worse instead of better.......

    Turn it the F' off.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 06-07-2010 at 12:38 AM.
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    Jan 2010


    PPV should force heat\smoke out of the building not through it. You need an exit for heat\smoke near the seat of the fire or else you are just helping it to spread. Also you generally apply PPV at the same entry point of your attack crew to push heat\smoke away from them.

    Up until recently we've normally used PPV in the initial overhaul stage but we are changing our SOG's and tactics to coordinate it with attack. Much safer and faster than climbing on the roof with a saw.

    One additional monday mornin' critique. If that attack crew had a TIC they possibly could have seen the heat spread in the walls. Part of our TIC training includes a quick scan of the outside of the building before entry to give an idea of fire location inside.

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