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Thread: Popularity of VES

  1. #261
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    I'm going to summarize some things here, for people LESS familiar with VES.

    It can be used effectively for short-staffed fires and for way overstaffed fires where you've got a bunch of lawn shepherds and people with no assignments.

    VES is a great tactic for short staffed fires where your choices are between mounting an effective rescue or trying to put an attack line in place. When you can't do both at the same time, priority goes to rescue. In that case, entering through the front door, going down halls, and trying to complete a search and come back out the same way without any protection on your egress is not all that great an idea. VES puts you immediately in the areas where you are most likely to find victims, based upon your size-up. It gives you a way in and a way out. It makes the best use of limited staffing, as it can be done with one person, two if you've got them.

    When you've got loads of people, this tactic is still fantastic in certain situations. If the location and extent of the fire makes a search through the main entryways impractical, VES shortens the time it takes to get to likely victim locations. On apartments and large occupancies, it can be done in conjunction with a "traditional" search to save time. Particularly when there are apartments or offices to be searched on the interior and exterior of a building, crews can perform a normal search from the inside, and other crews can VES from the outside.

    One thing that has been confused here is the spread of fire. VES is NOT done to vent for fire. You can vent for fire or vent for life. VES is venting for life. If you cannot get to the door to the room you've entered, you have just vented for fire, and maybe not in a beneficial manner. The reason you close the door is so that even though you broke a window to get in, you haven't changed the overall movement of fire, but you have made the conditions in that room better for searching and victim survivability. Venting for life. You have NOT made the overall conditions better for fire spread and suppression operations.

    As to peeking in before you break the glass- when would you actually choose NOT to break the glass for VES? You've already decided that it's a likely victim location based on your size-up. This means that you don't have fire showing from that window, and the location is more likely to be occupied. If there's fire in the room that's not visible from the outside, it's either already broken the window or it will soon. You're not going to do a heck of a lot to make it worse if it's already spread to that spot. And if it's the seat of the fire, it's going to need to be vented anyways.

    Basically, I cannot envision a scenario where you would pick a spot for VES, and then get to the top of the ladder and call it off based upon what you see through the window. I CAN envision plenty of scenarios where using the ladder saves time with limited manpower. It also saves effort, especially with metal framed windows. It also GIVES you time- time to let the smoke light off if it IS going to do that. If you take it from the top of the ladder, you're less likely to give the room time to clear of heat and unburned byproducts before entering.


    Here's something to argue about- head-first or foot-first? I've taken truck ops classes where one or the other was taught. The head-first class taught that you enter and leave head-first. The reason is that you always want to stay as low as possible, planning for the worst case of heat and/or flash/rollover. If you always go headfirst, in and out, you simplify your decisionmaking. You don't have to pick whether you do it one way or another based on conditions- you always do it the same.

    The foot-first argument is that you lead with your foot when entering, so that you can quickly exit if things go wrong mid-entrance. I've done both, and you cannot stay as low going foot-first, unless the window is a large picture window that allows you to lay down on the sill while you enter. Otherwise, your head will be higher than your body going in. Headfirst exit is also a lot easier and usually quicker. It just takes a lot of practice to do smoothly. It works no matter the sill height or the firefighter height. I'm 5' 11", and with the loss of flexibility from turnout gear, I've certainly had some problems getting in and out of high sills on some buildings.
    Honestly, do you have that pesky thing called wind? Engine companies never have water problems? I've experienced both, so I can imagine a scenario that includes the two above.

    Look, no one has said it isn't easier or faster to break a window with a ladder tip. As has been pointed out, it is an alternate method. Yes taking it with the tip allows the room to cool off slightly. However, it is still venting for fire until the door to the room is shut.

    Due to the fact that it is venting for fire until the door is shut, the members inside should have the final decision on when the window is vented. Yes, you are making things easier for yourself by venting the room prior to you entering it, but at the same time you are making things worse for the engine company.

    By all means, conduct VES as you will. But if done incorrectly and members are hurt, the true safety sallies will come out in force and probably rain down more "restrictions" and NFPA "industry standards". Just keep that in mind also.
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  2. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEENGINEGOES View Post
    nyckftbl: how do you guys do it? Do you take the window from the ground with the tip of the ladder or do you throw the ladder, climb it and then take the window with your tool? Or is there no real "policy" on it so it becomes a matter of personal preference? I'm well aware of your staffing levels and that what you do is not what others may do but i would like to hear what your opinions are, what you do and why. If you're willing, be as specific as you wish. Thanks


    5.2.1 Portable Ladder may be placed at side of window.
    A. Insures that member is not hit by falling glass.
    B. Permits him to operate at different heights for complete removal of sash
    without undue reaching and stretching.
    C. Permits him to step off ladder directly on the sill for entry and search.
    D. If it is necessary to remove a victim, the ladder must be repositioned at the
    sill level by the butt man. In the case where the roof man is working alone
    he shall use his Handie Talkie to call for assistance.

    Note: An alternate method would be to vent the window as in 5.1.3 and/or 5.1.5,
    then lower ladder to sill level to facilitate entry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    I had never thought about it that way. You have a good point.

    By the way "your over staffed" lol
    I thought he was over-staph'd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    What'd you see when you looked in?
    smoke and what looked like a teenage girls bedroom with Twilight stuff on the walls.
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  5. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    Honestly, do you have that pesky thing called wind? Engine companies never have water problems? I've experienced both, so I can imagine a scenario that includes the two above.

    Look, no one has said it isn't easier or faster to break a window with a ladder tip. As has been pointed out, it is an alternate method. Yes taking it with the tip allows the room to cool off slightly. However, it is still venting for fire until the door to the room is shut.

    Due to the fact that it is venting for fire until the door is shut, the members inside should have the final decision on when the window is vented. Yes, you are making things easier for yourself by venting the room prior to you entering it, but at the same time you are making things worse for the engine company.

    By all means, conduct VES as you will. But if done incorrectly and members are hurt, the true safety sallies will come out in force and probably rain down more "restrictions" and NFPA "industry standards". Just keep that in mind also.

    But doesn't that make cOmmunication more important? *Not arguing your post, you've brought great points* If you're looking through a Window to make sure your attack company isn't in the hall way, don't you have bigger problems? What if they're 5 foot from the door and you vent because you didn't see them? I understand we're all operating differently but even as I agree 100% on giving consideration to interior crews, using line
    Of sight in a window is a poor execution of that. I try to have a very good grasp of where they
    are before I get my ladder.

    Side question:

    On multistory buildings, we throw ladders to multiple windows. Our SOPs have us throw ladders opposite side of the fire and/or rooms occupied by interior crews. We stick about a foot of the portable into the window to assist the crew in finding its egress. In your opinion, are we recklessly venting or are we providing great means of egress.


    Obviously, conditions and variables dictate our actions but in general, what do you guys think?
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  6. #266
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    5.2.1 Portable Ladder may be placed at side of window.
    A. Insures that member is not hit by falling glass.
    B. Permits him to operate at different heights for complete removal of sash
    without undue reaching and stretching.
    C. Permits him to step off ladder directly on the sill for entry and search.
    D. If it is necessary to remove a victim, the ladder must be repositioned at the
    sill level by the butt man. In the case where the roof man is working alone
    he shall use his Handie Talkie to call for assistance.

    Note: An alternate method would be to vent the window as in 5.1.3 and/or 5.1.5,
    then lower ladder to sill level to facilitate entry.
    Seriously, VES is meant to done RAPIDLY. If I find a victim and I have to wait for someone else to come move the ladder how is that RAPID? If manpower is so short you placed the ladder yourself and no one was butting it who in the hell is going to come and move the ladder? Because obviously they are busy doing other tasks. If I placed the ladder myself, with no one to butt it, I would NEVER, let me repeat that NEVER, place a ladder in such a manner that it had to be moved in order to remove a victim.
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  7. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    But doesn't that make communication more important? *Not arguing your post, you've brought great points*
    Communication is important. What many forget with VES is that the members already operating on the interior are the ones that need to be communicated with. There situation will be key in whether VES is conducted or delayed.


    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    If you're looking through a Window to make sure your attack company isn't in the hall way, don't you have bigger problems? What if they're 5 foot from the door and you vent because you didn't see them? I understand we're all operating differently but even as I agree 100% on giving consideration to interior crews, using line
    Of sight in a window is a poor execution of that. I try to have a very good grasp of where they
    are before I get my ladder.
    You are looking inside for more than the crews. You are attempting to see conditions on the inside. Can you see across the room under the smoke layer? Can you see if there is a room door? Maybe see where the bed/furniture is at. Stuff like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Side question:

    On multistory buildings, we throw ladders to multiple windows. Our SOPs have us throw ladders opposite side of the fire and/or rooms occupied by interior crews. We stick about a foot of the portable into the window to assist the crew in finding its egress. In your opinion, are we recklessly venting or are we providing great means of egress.

    Obviously, conditions and variables dictate our actions but in general, what do you guys think?
    In my opinion, if you are randomly breaking windows and putting the ladder tips in, that would be reckless. You would be venting for fire and introducing air into the structure without coordination.

    We place the ladders to the sill and announce on the radio where they are at, but leave the windows intact.
    Last edited by JohnVBFD; 12-27-2011 at 11:19 PM.
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    In my opinion, if you are randomly breaking windows and putting the ladder tips in, that would be reckless. You would be venting for fire and introducing air into the structure without coordination.

    Who said anything about RANDOMLY doing anything? Geez Dude, it sounds like you just want to thow out irrelevant nonsense to stir the pot.

    VES is anything but random. You go to the window, or windows, that have the highest probability of victims being in that room. You don't break any windows that you don't intend on entering. The sad truth that you and another poster here can't seem to get through your heads is it makes absolutely not one bit of difference whether you break the window with the axe or the tip of the ladder. Either way you are changing the air currents in the room.


    We place the ladders to the sill and announce on the radio where they are at, but leave the windows intact.

    The you AREN'T VESing are you? Geezus please tell me you aren't really this dense.
    So answer this question for me...If you place the ladder, climb up, take a look, you see fire at the ceiling in the hallway, and a victim on the floor, do you VES and go after the victim or do you let them die because you might pull the fire into the room? This is a straight forward direct question so answer it that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Who said anything about RANDOMLY doing anything? Geez Dude, it sounds like you just want to thow out irrelevant nonsense to stir the pot.

    VES is anything but random. You go to the window, or windows, that have the highest probability of victims being in that room. You don't break any windows that you don't intend on entering. The sad truth that you and another poster here can't seem to get through your heads is it makes absolutely not one bit of difference whether you break the window with the axe or the tip of the ladder. Either way you are changing the air currents in the room.
    Since you are one to harp on reading comprehension, maybe you should work on your own and re-read the message I answered. As when he asked what my opinion was on something totally unrelated to VES was asked and answered, you felt the need to tie it into the VES discussion. You are being that obtuse old guy arguing that the sun rises in the west just to be right.



    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    So answer this question for me...If you place the ladder, climb up, take a look, you see fire at the ceiling in the hallway, and a victim on the floor, do you VES and go after the victim or do you let them die because you might pull the fire into the room? This is a straight forward direct question so answer it that way.
    I would notify the engine company that I have a victim in the room and am ready to take the window. If the officer on the line feels he has the situation under control and radios he's good, take it, clear it, shut the door, get the victim out, open the door exit.

    However if the Officer on the line is experiencing problems that could endanger his firefighters, I would not endanger them.
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  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    So answer this question for me...If you place the ladder, climb up, take a look, you see fire at the ceiling in the hallway, and a victim on the floor, do you VES and go after the victim or do you let them die because you might pull the fire into the room? This is a straight forward direct question so answer it that way.
    Jesus man...go read the question that his response was to. You and i are usually on the same page but youve lost it here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post



    I would notify the engine company that I have a victim in the room and am ready to take the window. If the officer on the line feels he has the situation under control and radios he's good, take it, clear it, shut the door, get the victim out, open the door exit.

    However if the Officer on the line is experiencing problems that could endanger his firefighters, I would not endanger them.
    Same scenario as Fyred posted, but this time there is no engine company working inside. How, if at all, would you change your tactics?
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  12. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Same scenario as Fyred posted, but this time there is no engine company working inside. How, if at all, would you change your tactics?
    lol .
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    Since you are one to harp on reading comprehension, maybe you should work on your own and re-read the message I answered. As when he asked what my opinion was on something totally unrelated to VES was asked and answered, you felt the need to tie it into the VES discussion. You are being that obtuse old guy arguing that the sun rises in the west just to be right.

    I went back and reread it. You are right, I misread your post. I apologize for improperly answering your post.





    I would notify the engine company that I have a victim in the room and am ready to take the window. If the officer on the line feels he has the situation under control and radios he's good, take it, clear it, shut the door, get the victim out, open the door exit.

    However if the Officer on the line is experiencing problems that could endanger his firefighters, I would not endanger them.


    Interesting answer...Mine would have been to tell the company having difficulties to back out so I could attempt to rescue the victim.
    I'm not sure I agree with opening the door. If the hall was heating up, or pushing heavy smoke, I just might leave it closed to ensure my safe exit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    Jesus man...go read the question that his response was to. You and i are usually on the same page but youve lost it here.

    You are right I went back and reread it. OOOOPS!
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  15. #275
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I love this thread...

    I've never actually performed a VES from a ladder. Would I do it, in a heartbeat. It is another tool in the toolbox. It is not routinely done, however.

    I've done a ESV many times.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Same scenario as Fyred posted, but this time there is no engine company working inside. How, if at all, would you change your tactics?
    If no one is operating interior, then by all means yes I would attempt the rescue. Depending on distance from the window, an effort should still be made to cut off the fire by shutting the room door. If the victim is right there by the window, screw it get them out. However if you have to move the victim around and over ****, get that door shut and give yourself time.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with opening the door. If the hall was heating up, or pushing heavy smoke, I just might leave it closed to ensure my safe exit.
    That is an option, but the counter option is to reopen the door, because now if the engine is advancing you are venting for fire and making their attack easier by giving the heat and smoke a way out. Room size and layout would be a huge factor here in this decision also. Is there quite a bit of crap on the floor? Is there a King size bed in a 2x2 room (yes I am being sarcastic with that dimension but people do stupid stuff like that we all know it)? By this point "you" should know the room fairly well and can make the decision. I personally would reopen the door and vent for fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    You are right I went back and reread it. OOOOPS!
    It's all good. It happens.

    No one is saying there is a 100% THIS is the way it MUST be done. But "we've" already seen at least one person thinking of starting this with a department memo. This is a proven tactic that requires constant training and multi-unit drills to accomplish with little to no effort. Everyone has to be on the same page and know what to expect.

    Sadly this is rarely the case and some people attempt this tactic with little to no knowledge or training and the results usually are lengthy NIOSH or OSHA reports and millions of keyboard safety sallies screaming about 100 LODD's a year and injuries yada yada yada. I would like much less outside "assistance" from Big Brother and I know 90% of us on here would enjoy the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Not for nothing, but going from a FD that doesn't do VES to one that may employ it based on a department-wide memo is a really bad idea. The exact issues that Jakesdad has been harping about among the host of direct dangers to the firefighters actually conducting VES should require more forethought, training and procedures before just starting to use VES. This might be one downside to larger FD"s where adding tools to the toolbox takes more logistics and time, but failure to understand what other companies are doing on the fireground is not smart in my book.
    For my FD when there is a new tactic or something that is to be implemented a Draft SOP is created, all Crews are thoroughly trained and test the SOP, changes are made, the updated SOP is then tested again and once complete a Department wide memo is sent out advising that the SOP is complete. So by the time the memo is sent out the tactic is known and all personnel know the limits and such. I don't know of any local FD, mine included that would just implement a tactic like this without thoroughly investigating all the who, what, when, where and why's. Nothing moves or changes fast in government.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 01-02-2012 at 04:13 PM.
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    If there are crews operating inside close enough to the room you want to VES that taking the window would have an effect on their ability to continue to operate inside, maybe VES is NOT the appropriate tactic. Maybe, just MAYBE a normal interior search would be more appropriate.

    Throwing a ladder to the side of a window when you KNOW you're about to VES is beyond stupid. It's wasteful, both in time and manpower. There is NO added benefit to be gained by it, but plenty to be lost. First off, you have the ordeal of having to move the ladder after you've taken the window. If you need to go up and down to get the window at different heights, that's what rungs are for. If you throw the ladder to the sill, you can use nearly any tool you've got to get even the top pane of a fairly tall window. And if you can't reach, you should've brought a hook up with you anyways. Secondly, breaking windows from a ladder is far easier when working over your head than beside and above you. You should seek to minimize the risk of shifting the ladder, so reaching out when you could be reaching up is dumb. Thirdly, you know you're going to be entering, and ultimately possibly removing a victim. Forcing yourself to come back down the ladder and go back up again after taking the window is beyond senseless.

    Every now and then, try to imagine that you're watching someone else use your skills and tactics to rescue YOUR family. Would you want them doing things that waste time, effort, and manpower when there are far simpler, safer ways to get the same goals accomplished? In what kind of Benny Hill world do you see this ladder relay race taking place while Yackety Sax plays in the background?

    This is the Fireground TACTICS forum. Tactics are what you use to accomplish the goals of the incident commander. Search is an assignment. VES is a tactic. Some of you guys have just enough understanding of tactics to get your task done, but are missing the deeper understanding of WHY certain tactics are used or not used. If VES would endanger an interior crew, either the interior crew needs to back out and yield priority to a SEARCH FOR LIFE, or you need to be searching from the interior anyways.

    We're having all this argument about why you would do VES. Do we need to have a discussion on why you would search from the interior? I thought we all had that one down pretty well. The benefits of going through a door are that you:

    1. Often follow the hoseline in. This gives you protection somewhere nearby, and protects your primary egress.
    2. It also gives you something to use to find your way out.
    3. It gives you more than one way out. You can always use windows if you get cut off. In VES, you are essentially already cut off, if you're searching the highest priority locations first.
    4. You can go faster and cover more ground in most cases, because you're not having to ladder, clear, and enter a window, then do the same all over again for the next one. A three man team can search and entire upstairs floor in very little time from the inside. VES would take much longer, unless each one threw their own ladders and searched their own rooms alone. If you can keep the crew more together, do it. You are each others' help if you have a victim to remove or if one of you has a problem. In VES, if you're alone, you're alone until someone else comes in or you get out.

  19. #279
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    Pretty sure I basically said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    If there are crews operating inside close enough to the room you want to VES that taking the window would have an effect on their ability to continue to operate inside, maybe VES is NOT the appropriate tactic. Maybe, just MAYBE a normal interior search would be more appropriate.
    With this:

    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    I highly doubt I would be operating as an interior team before handling a potential rescue. There isn't a whole lot of VES that gets done well into the incident. It is usualy a tactic used by the first or second in company, meaning there aren't any interior crews to worry about.

    If you have crews inside operating close enough to the area where the victim could be, just perform a regular search.
    Must be something in the water down here, huh?
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    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    F*ck it, not worth dealing with the whiners and the *sshats.
    Last edited by nyckftbl; 01-08-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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