VES works well, whether you have one unit with two guys on scene, or 7 units with 35 guys on scene. One person can perform a very effective VES by himself, given that he doesn't have to throw a 35 ft. extension ladder. If he needs a 24-footer or less, or can access a ground-floor room, or can use fire escapes, VES can be done singlehandedly. In fact, because rescue is a priority, if, based upon size-up, the first arriving unit determines that fire attack would be slower and less effective for protecting LIKELY victims, then VES is a great way to maximize limited resources, focusing on the most likely areas of victim entrapment, and going straight there from the outside without having to meander through the inside conducting a traditional interior search.
Originally Posted by Capt-nj
On the other subject:
I disagree with nyckftbl on the matter of opening the door to the VES area when you leave. I'm not sure if FDNY uses it conditionally or unconditionally as part of their tactics.
To me, I see it being useful ONLY if the opening through which you conducted your VES is also the best and closest opening through which to horizontally ventilate the seat of the fire. I find those conditions unlikely. If you were VES'ing close enough to the seat of the fire to make your opening a good permanent vent, it's unlikely that the conditions in that spot are conducive to life. I suppose it's possible, but definitely unlikely.
What I see as more likely in just about every single scenario is that you're creating a new ventilation point that would not have been made but for the VES. Meaning, if you hadn't VES'd that spot, you'd have picked a different spot for your horizontal ventilation. And in fact, there probably ARE other spots being picked for that better horizontal ventilation. Depending upon weather/wind, building layout, fire location, and direction of attack, that VES made into a permanent vent by reopening the door could very well be a huge detriment to attack operations.
I'm not extensively intimate with the day to day tactics employed by FDNY, but I do know that their truck companies have got a handle on proper ventilation, both in terms of placement AND timing. I can't really see this VES/ventilation tactic jiving with other coordinated ventilation efforts.
Show me what I'm missing, because I'm open to learning.
I couldn't agree with you more. What I am saying is that at times on the fireground our priority may not be VES. Based on what we see, have showing and manpower it may not be a top priority, or maybe a conventional search from the interior using the stairs is done for a great many reasons. But your point is well understood. Good post!!