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Thread: Popularity of VES

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    I'm fairly sure that's not what he's saying.
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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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    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.

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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
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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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    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.
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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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    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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    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
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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    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.
    One would hope that if VES is NOT a skill taught to your firefighters it would NOT be a tactic used on the fireground.

    My career FD teaches VES, and it is an allowable tactic decided upon by the company officer. The one thing that I think makes this a more viable option for us is that we have extensive training on "save your own/save yourself" bailout techniques. This makes it a rapid option for getting the heck out of the VES entered room.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    One would hope that if VES is NOT a skill taught to your firefighters it would NOT be a tactic used on the fireground.

    My career FD teaches VES, and it is an allowable tactic decided upon by the company officer. The one thing that I think makes this a more viable option for us is that we have extensive training on "save your own/save yourself" bailout techniques. This makes it a rapid option for getting the heck out of the VES entered room.
    It should also be noted that without a doubt this technique has been used by firefighters all over for years before it had a fancy name. Just because someone hasn't heard of or been trained to VES doesn't mean they haven't performed it before.
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    I think its important to note that VES is not a tactic that stands alone. It is merely just one part of a larger operation.

    Simply knowing when or how to VES does not necessarily mean you should be doing it if its not an operation your department supports.

    By support, I mean understand and expect that this is a tactic that will be used. This requires officers who anticipate that firefighters will be often times operating ABOVE the handline and those members need to be protected. This also requires training on situations where it is appropriate and, more importantly, where it is NOT.

    If the person entering the structure after venting a window is the only one who knows he is doing it, they are potentially putting themselves in great danger.

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    in my opinion (from a rookie's standpoint), having a one man VES or even a two man VES puts us at even more risk than having victims inside the house because the VES team will be on air and only have a limited amount of time to be extracted. Victims are victims, firefighters are brothers/sisters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    in my opinion (from a rookie's standpoint), having a one man VES or even a two man VES puts us at even more risk than having victims inside the house because the VES team will be on air and only have a limited amount of time to be extracted. Victims are victims, firefighters are brothers/sisters.
    Huh? Doesnt this logic apply to anytime we are in a smoke filled, burning structure? Its because there are victims in the house (or the probability that there are) that we take those risks.

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    I'll clarify.
    usually VES is conducted on a second floor. If debris (like the roof) falls on a firefighter and a mayday is called, we have at most twenty minutes before their air runs out or they burn to death. By the time our VES team is downed, and they were responsible for finding any vics in that room, the VES team would be more viable than the victims. So the point is, with a FAST team established this type of situation forces the IC to choose between focusing on the initial victims or the VES team. Obstructions from the debris in the room would most likely cause the FAST team to be delayed in rescue efforts. But hey, I'm a rookie so what do I know?

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    VES is conducted on the second floor of 2 story private dwellings because that's where bedrooms usually are. You search where you have the best chance of finding victims. If it was a 1 story ranch, VES would be done in the part of the house most likely to have bedrooms.

    The FAST/RIC/RIT/RAT etc team is only going to go after distressed firefighters. That's what there function is. They are there for our benefit.

    When you think about it, your concerns would apply to anytime that we have firefighters operating in a structure with civilian victims. But the answer will be the same, if one or more firefighter gets in a jam, the RIT team and probably additional manpower will be used to get them out.
    Last edited by nameless; 12-17-2011 at 11:16 AM.

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    but wouldn't the focus of our FAST be the downed firefighters and not the victims or do we forget about the firefighters since they are viable and go after the vics?

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    like I said above:

    "The FAST/RIC/RIT/RAT etc team is only going to go after distressed firefighters. That's what there function is. They are there for our benefit"

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    ok thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    in my opinion (from a rookie's standpoint), having a one man VES or even a two man VES puts us at even more risk than having victims inside the house because the VES team will be on air and only have a limited amount of time to be extracted. Victims are victims, firefighters are brothers/sisters.
    I believe you have some misconceptions about VES. It is a quick in and out. Pop the window if necessary, make entry, control the door to the hallway, take a quick peek into the hallway to check on fire extension, and to see if there are any victims, shut the door, then a quick search of the room, remove any victims found, and then out yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    I'll clarify.
    usually VES is conducted on a second floor. If debris (like the roof) falls on a firefighter and a mayday is called, we have at most twenty minutes before their air runs out or they burn to death. By the time our VES team is downed, and they were responsible for finding any vics in that room, the VES team would be more viable than the victims. So the point is, with a FAST team established this type of situation forces the IC to choose between focusing on the initial victims or the VES team. Obstructions from the debris in the room would most likely cause the FAST team to be delayed in rescue efforts. But hey, I'm a rookie so what do I know?
    Good question.

    RIT teams are there for us. To think that the possibility of leaving trapped firefighters trapped just because "they have 20 minutes of air" (which is an extremely broad and often off base assumption) and going to look for victims we don't even know are there or not even crossed your mind is a little disturbing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Good question.

    RIT teams are there for us. To think that the possibility of leaving trapped firefighters trapped just because "they have 20 minutes of air" (which is an extremely broad and often off base assumption) and going to look for victims we don't even know are there or not even crossed your mind is a little disturbing.
    thanks, but Fyredup cleared it up for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I believe you have some misconceptions about VES. It is a quick in and out. Pop the window if necessary, make entry, control the door to the hallway, take a quick peek into the hallway to check on fire extension, and to see if there are any victims, shut the door, then a quick search of the room, remove any victims found, and then out yourself.
    appreciate it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I believe you have some misconceptions about VES. It is a quick in and out. Pop the window if necessary, make entry, control the door to the hallway, take a quick peek into the hallway to check on fire extension, and to see if there are any victims, shut the door, then a quick search of the room, remove any victims found, and then out yourself.
    In the same vein, when it comes to RIT/FAST the VES team may be easier to find in the case of a mayday then crews performing other tasks. VES typically is going to enter a room from the exterior and limit themselves to that room. This could make it easier for RIT to find them should something happen. Find their means of entry and they'll probably still be in that room (or very nearby). Compare that with a typical Primary Search team who could be quite removed from their entry point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I believe you have some misconceptions about VES. It is a quick in and out. Pop the window if necessary, make entry, control the door to the hallway, take a quick peek into the hallway to check on fire extension, and to see if there are any victims, shut the door, then a quick search of the room, remove any victims found, and then out yourself.

    I would say that taking the window in its ENTIRETY is the rule when performing VES.

    You want that opening as big as possible because your way out of it may be under far less forgiving conditions than they were on the way in.

    Turn the window into a door as best you can. On most windows, this can be accomplished with nothing more than a halligan.

    Leaving too much of the window intact will make your quick egress very difficult should interior conditions change and you must leave in haste.

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