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Thread: Popularity of VES

  1. #41
    MembersZone Subscriber CKirk922's Avatar
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    Tajm611, love that condensed version...

    Gv, I think you accurately summed up the ALL Volunteer response in my area.

    The key to VES is to recognize it as another tool in the tactical toolbox.

    Another way to get Sh** Done.

    A thorough set of SOPs will have keys that lead directly to VES. It HAS to be understood by all what is occurring, why, and where. Everybody on the fireground has to do their part and be on the same page.

    Practice, practice, practice.... The time to learn is not when that window has to be forced. Get in, isolate, search, get out. God willing, you'll make a good grab and make a save...

    Ok, I'm stepping down from the soapbox
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  2. #42
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Too much emphasis on the braggadocio portion of VES is what many focus on. Our department looks at how well you understand fire behavior to determine if you are capable of the responsibility of VES. Understanding building construction (in relation to fire spread) and basic home layouts in your district are extremely important but ignoring what the smoke and conditions in that room are what can bite you on the ***.

    About a year ago we had a fire where a senior firefighter from the first arriving truck and I were assigned VES in route. Knowing the district and the potential house we would face, I mapped it out in my head. Getting out the truck, I made my way to the rear D side window (other firefighter had made entry into B side). After gaining entry, I got on the floor and used my light to gain a fairly decent idea of the layout of the room. As I guessed, the door was directly across from the window. After I closed it I noticed the room start to brighten. Looking up I saw flames rolling over from my right (A side). I made my way back to the window and exited.

    In the 10 seconds I was in there, I failed to see an open passageway (there was no door as I found out later) to a common bathroom shared by my room and another bedroom. The fire was making it's way into my room through that route. Though I was ready to do my work in my room, attention to my box's conditions indicated it was a good time to leave. The conditions I felt indicated that there was no way a non-ppe occupant would have survived up to that point. First arriving truck firefighter pulled the only victim from the bedroom and she ended up surviving. Engine company made their attack on the third bedroom in time to prevent flashover of the room. All in all, good operation by all involved due to a calm head and continuous size of the room's conditions.

    While we're discussing this.....

    Me and a good friend of mine were discussing what happens if the door won't stay closed. We both coincidently used chocks jammed in between the door and the jamb so a secondary search or attack team has the least amount of trouble getting the door open. Any thoughts?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  3. #43
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Tajm,

    Thanks for the good info.

    The fact of the matter remains however that VES is a highly regional tactic used in the NE that has spread to SOME progressive fire departments outside of that area.

    I doubt that anyone on our command staff could even tell you what it stands for let alone how to do it and a very, very small percentage of our firefighters. Mostly those that have come from other departments. It is also not something that really needs to spread unless it is going to be a department wide tactic that everyone is familiar with and will use appropriately.

    As I understand it, VES was a tactic that was implemented in the FDNY due to the vast of amount of vertical territory that they cover and it gave them a way to get to floors above the fire rapidly and then get back to an area of refuge. There are so many young guys that are seeing or hearing this and using it completely wrong. VES in single story houses equates to days of old where firefighters would arrive and break all the windows out.

    Closing interior doors on floors above to control smoke is a viable tactic. Using interior doors on the fire floor to control fire.......not so much. Hollow core interior doors seem to burn the top off pretty readily.
    RK
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    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.

  4. #44
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say you're controlling fire in the same way a commercial fire door controls fire, but you're buying a great deal of time to get in, do a search, and get out. Controlling? Yeah, to a certain extent. Expecting it to give you a safe haven? Not for long, if at all.

    It's fairly regional here also. It seems to be taken on by more progressive departments. Many still subscribe to the window demolition business. I'm not sure if they have window businesses or what but they take out some pent up aggression on them.

    Knowledge is our best weapon. When departments decide to expand their horizons and learn more about their craft, they grow. Either they utilize innovative techniques and skills or they come to terms with the fact that older techniques are more effective than the lazy ones they're using now.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  5. #45
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Tajm,

    Thanks for the good info.

    The fact of the matter remains however that VES is a highly regional tactic used in the NE that has spread to SOME progressive fire departments outside of that area.

    I doubt that anyone on our command staff could even tell you what it stands for let alone how to do it and a very, very small percentage of our firefighters. Mostly those that have come from other departments. It is also not something that really needs to spread unless it is going to be a department wide tactic that everyone is familiar with and will use appropriately.

    As I understand it, VES was a tactic that was implemented in the FDNY due to the vast of amount of vertical territory that they cover and it gave them a way to get to floors above the fire rapidly and then get back to an area of refuge. There are so many young guys that are seeing or hearing this and using it completely wrong. VES in single story houses equates to days of old where firefighters would arrive and break all the windows out.

    Closing interior doors on floors above to control smoke is a viable tactic. Using interior doors on the fire floor to control fire.......not so much. Hollow core interior doors seem to burn the top off pretty readily.
    I have to disagree here. I am not sure how VES is taught in other areas, but here it is used when there is a reason to believe someone is inside a specific area (i.e. a bedroom). In this case the bedroom's window would be broken and used as the means of ingress and egress once the search was completed. There is no reason for windows that don't lead to the area that you wish to search to be broken.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  6. #46
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    VES is considered different by some because it's given a name.

    If you're first due, woman comes outside screaming that her child is still in the second story, and your size up tells you that he may still be alive and you're capable of getting in and him out, you grab a ladder, make entry, find the kid, exit with him and hand him over to EMS. Right?

    You've just done VES. The reason we're so adamant about teaching it is that some departments will have to do that. Some don't pull up with big city manpower and the first engine might be the only engine for some time. If you're going to commit, at least do it safely. Learn the correct way of making entry, learn what signs and signals the smoke is sending to you, learn the quickest most efficient way to find what you're looking for so you can get the hell out.

    Many of you do it already, now it's just given a name.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  7. #47
    Forum Member footrat's Avatar
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    VES is a great tactic no matter your staffing. Because you don't have a hoseline committed, it can be done by any unit showing up.

    And it works on nearly any occupancy, provided that you are able to discern the most likely locations of any victims. If you look back at the Sofa Super Store fire that killed 9 Charleston firemen, they ended up using VES to make a rescue. They had to breach a wall where they knew someone was trapped, but they vented, entered, and searched that space.

  8. #48
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    In many single family dwellings VES is very useful. The engine will most likely be going partly through the main egress route of the house while making its way to the fire. The truck can then hit the bedrooms quickly and the hall immediately adjacent to the bedrooms. With 2 companies you can cover the areas where you are most likely to find occupants.

  9. #49
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    My department has recently began to embrace VES partly due to guys taking classes all over where they are taught about it and the benefits of it.
    I don't think anyone has used it yet, but we have been training on it. We usually assign the first due truck as search and they typically follow the engine through the door.

    One thing we do have a lot of is hoarders. I can see VES being very useful in this situation, for obvious reasons. We have been noticing some illegal modifications too, where a back room is walled off and turned into a separate apartment. A traditional primary would not allow us to search that room.

    As stated earlier, it is a tool in our arsenal. Does it need to be done on every job? No. Does it need to be taught? I think so.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    There are so many young guys that are seeing or hearing this and using it completely wrong. VES in single story houses equates to days of old where firefighters would arrive and break all the windows out.
    I disagree with your position there. If a faster option is to get in the window, make a grab, and get out, why not? If you have to go past the fire to get to the vic, how are you gonna get them back out?

    Saying that a certain tool can only be used in a specific circumstance is very limiting, and decreases its usefulness.

    Does my dept do VES? Yep. Do we on every fire? Nope.

    Right tool, right project, right time.
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  11. #51
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    I'm fairly sure that's not what he's saying.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    I'm fairly sure that's not what he's saying.
    It may have been the way I percieved it. If I am wrong, I apologize.

    To continue this discussion, what does everyone do when they need to VES while the ladder is set on concrete or asphalt, and you have limited manpower?
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by The5thBattalion View Post
    One thing we do have a lot of is hoarders. I can see VES being very useful in this situation, for obvious reasons. We have been noticing some illegal modifications too, where a back room is walled off and turned into a separate apartment. A traditional primary would not allow us to search that room.
    One caution on hoarders or illegal modifications is that both make it more difficult to predict the fire/smoke/heat travel in the given "box" you're entering. If you have an illegal mod you may find doors in very non-typical locations, doors that open/close in the "wrong direction" or no door at all.

    As for hoarders? Many years ago as I started into a bedroom looking straight across at the door and fire conditions just past it I noticed that the amount of crap in the room was almost up to the sill and said crap was blocking the door to the room against the wall. No way to cut the room off from the fire and a much slower search. Lucking visibility was decent halfway down and I could see there was little chance any occupants could have even crawled into to room. So hoarding can really cause issues, given the amount of stuff you have to search around or over and the chances the doors won't be budged.

  14. #54
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    First of all, I apologize for the late response.

    When I said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    VES in single story houses equates to days of old where firefighters would arrive and break all the windows out.
    I meant this:

    VES in single story houses, when used inappropriately, equates to days of old where firefighters would arrive and break all the windows out.

    Watch the following video. Who knows what the guy was thinking. It was more than likely only ventilation. Regardless, when this guy was outside doing his operation, their was an engine crew inside looking for the fire. They were on the main floor above a walk out basement. The fire is in the basement section of the house and below grade of the main floor. Watch how quickly conditions change. This could have very easily been a scenario where VES would appear appropriate. Fire on the floor below and possible people trapped on the floor above.

    As stated, this is not an example of incorrect VES, but an example of what someone who reads about on the internet and trys to implement its use in a department that has no idea what it even is.

    For those of you that are impatient, you can start at about 3:20 in the video.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZzQibzeWtY
    RK
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Watch the following video. Who knows what the guy was thinking. It was more than likely only ventilation. Regardless, when this guy was outside doing his operation, their was an engine crew inside looking for the fire. They were on the main floor above a walk out basement. The fire is in the basement section of the house and below grade of the main floor. Watch how quickly conditions change. This could have very easily been a scenario where VES would appear appropriate. Fire on the floor below and possible people trapped on the floor above.

    As stated, this is not an example of incorrect VES, but an example of what someone who reads about on the internet and trys to implement its use in a department that has no idea what it even is.

    For those of you that are impatient, you can start at about 3:20 in the video.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZzQibzeWtY
    This video is an example of freelancing and lack of command and control. Anyone that believes ventilating like that while crews are inside and before hoselines are in place has no business operating on the fireground without being on a leash.

    VES is a method for rapid searching and one of the primary elements of proper VES is gaining control of the hallway door. Taking a quick peak into the hallway for victims and then closing the door to slow or stop the fire spread.

    VES is a viable tactic, but like every other tactic the circumstances have to be right for its use.
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    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Man that thing took off, I'm not saying right or wrong here but do you think that by knocking the windows it slowed the spread through the rest of the house.

    I am in no way saying its ok to freelance. Also a proper 360 would have more than likely located the seat and it could have been contained.
    Bring enough hose.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    Man that thing took off, I'm not saying right or wrong here but do you think that by knocking the windows it slowed the spread through the rest of the house.

    I am in no way saying its ok to freelance. Also a proper 360 would have more than likely located the seat and it could have been contained.
    I don't believe that popping those windows did anything in this case except oxygenate a superheated, combustible smoke filled area, causing it to flash over and spread the fire rapidly through the building. Further with no, or completely inadequate, hoselines in place that firefighter doomed that home to far greater fire loss than was necessary.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 12-04-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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  18. #58
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Honestly, if you vent a compartment, be it vertically or horizontally, and it flashes within 15 seconds, you have to ask yourself if you should have been there in the first place. That isn't exactly a survivable situation for a victim.

    There are times when venting will cause flashover, and there is nothing wrong with that. I would rather vent before entry and have it flash than enter without adequate ventilation and get someone hurt. If it is time to flash, it's time to flash.

    Either way, freelancing is not cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I don't believe that popping those windows did anything in this case except oxygenate a superheated, combustible smoke filled area, causing it to flash over and spread the fire rapidly through the building. Further with no, or completely inadequate, hoselines in place that firefighter doomed that home to far greater fire loss than was necessary.
    I think the damage to the home was a given. What he did was put the two guys who were inside w/out a line in considerable danger.

    I will say we need more video's like this. I love the"What would you do"-parts of the Tactics forum.
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  20. #60
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    This video is an example of freelancing and lack of command and control. Anyone that believes ventilating like that while crews are inside and before hoselines are in place has no business operating on the fireground without being on a leash.

    VES is a method for rapid searching and one of the primary elements of proper VES is gaining control of the hallway door. Taking a quick peak into the hallway for victims and then closing the door to slow or stop the fire spread.

    VES is a viable tactic, but like every other tactic the circumstances have to be right for its use.
    Yes, but that is exactly my point. Like I said earlier, VES is a highly regional tactic. Most likely there is a handful of guys that have even heard of it on my department of about 1500 guys. Take one or two that think they know all about it from the internet, they put in in practice when know one else knows what in the hell it is, and scenario similar to this could result.
    RK
    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.

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