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Thread: Popularity of VES

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    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.
    Exactly, entry through a window into a room. Search is USUALLY restricted to that room. So locating the VES crew if they run into trouble should be a piece of cake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    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.
    Um, I guess I could have phrased that better. I meant if no one had previously cleared the window. Of course you want to remove the entire window glass, the the sash, and any window treatments insde the room.

    I assumed people would get what I meant...silly me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Um, I guess I could have phrased that better. I meant if no one had previously cleared the window. Of course you want to remove the entire window glass, the the sash, and any window treatments insde the room.

    I assumed people would get what I meant...silly me!

    Wasn't trying to split hairs. It is just a widely misunderstood tactic that, when done incorrectly, can result in disaster. So I just wanted to clarify your point in case it was misunderstood.

    Also, if the window was ALREADY taken prior to you getting to it, then it really is no longer VES that you are performing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Wasn't trying to split hairs. It is just a widely misunderstood tactic that, when done incorrectly, can result in disaster. So I just wanted to clarify your point in case it was misunderstood.

    Also, if the window was ALREADY taken prior to you getting to it, then it really is no longer VES that you are performing.
    True. Although I would have no trouble using the ladder to initially pop the window. Then clearing it out as I climbed the ladder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    True. Although I would have no trouble using the ladder to initially pop the window. Then clearing it out as I climbed the ladder.
    Question:

    When I was taught VES on my previous department, the instructor stated that the window should not be popped out with the ladder, but instead the ladder should be positioned just below the sill as for a rescue. The reason being that the victim could be under the window, and may be injured by the broken glass.

    We were taught to position the ladder, climb it, check the floor near the window for the victim, and then if clear, take out the window.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-19-2011 at 02:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Question:

    When I was taught VES on my previous department, the instructor stated that the window should not be popped out with the ladder, but instead the ladder should be positioned just below the sill as for a rescue. The reason being that the victim could be under the window, and may be injured by the broken glass.

    We were taught to position the ladder, climb it, check the floor near the window for the victim, and then if clear, take out the window.
    Do you have a special way of clearing the window from the ladder that prevents glass from falling inside it? If not, this is a moot point.

    Taking the window with the ladder not only cuts down on work once you ascend it, but it also let's you monitor conditions from the ground. If you take the window and the room flashes, there is no need to even climb the ladder. I would much rather witness the flashover from the ground or while climbing the ladder than with my face right in front of the window.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Do you have a special way of clearing the window from the ladder that prevents glass from falling inside it? If not, this is a moot point.

    Taking the window with the ladder not only cuts down on work once you ascend it, but it also let's you monitor conditions from the ground. If you take the window and the room flashes, there is no need to even climb the ladder. I would much rather witness the flashover from the ground or while climbing the ladder than with my face right in front of the window.
    Again, it was the way I was trained.

    That being said, I, nor any member of my previous department had the opportunity to utilize VES in an actual incident.

    My current departments do not recognize VES as an approved tactic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Again, it was the way I was trained.

    That being said, I, nor any member of my previous department had the opportunity to utilize VES in an actual incident.

    My current departments do not recognize VES as an approved tactic.
    It's because of that pesky E.

    I can see in an academic sense the view that you wouldn't want glass and other debris to land on a potential victim.. At the same time the danger from falling window glass probably pales compared with the current environment.

    Similarly, even if you assume you can search below the window without breaking it, you'll still have to clear the window to have any attempt at getting them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    It's because of that pesky E.

    I can see in an academic sense the view that you wouldn't want glass and other debris to land on a potential victim.. At the same time the danger from falling window glass probably pales compared with the current environment.

    Similarly, even if you assume you can search below the window without breaking it, you'll still have to clear the window to have any attempt at getting them out.
    No. it's just that the need to use VES never came up.

    In the 15 years I was there, we had 1 fire where we had a reported victim, and in that case it was a single story home where the victim was found 5' from the door.

    It was a skill that we trained on but we never had to use.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 12-19-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Question:

    When I was taught VES on my previous department, the instructor stated that the window should not be popped out with the ladder, but instead the ladder should be positioned just below the sill as for a rescue. The reason being that the victim could be under the window, and may be injured by the broken glass.

    We were taught to position the ladder, climb it, check the floor near the window for the victim, and then if clear, take out the window.
    The ladder can be used to smash out the majority of the window before you climb. As stated by another poster this gives a quick look at what is happening in the room before climbing. If the room flashes there is no point in climbing to search because any victims will already be dead. If it doesn't flash, we place the ladder with the tip below the window sill, climb up and finish cleaning out the window opening. Sweep the floor in front of the window with the handle of the tool and then enter and do the VES operations.

    Let me ask you LA, if we have a victim on the floor, unconscious from the smoke or toxic gasses, how much more harm will some falling glass or debris from the window frame striking them cause them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Do you have a special way of clearing the window from the ladder that prevents glass from falling inside it? If not, this is a moot point.

    Taking the window with the ladder not only cuts down on work once you ascend it, but it also let's you monitor conditions from the ground. If you take the window and the room flashes, there is no need to even climb the ladder. I would much rather witness the flashover from the ground or while climbing the ladder than with my face right in front of the window.
    I'm not sure who if anyone really taught LA Fire VES, I have serious doubts. How does one check the floor below the window before taking it? I'm with you, use the ladder to take the glass and finish cleaning it upon ascending, no sense being right in front of the window. His post just doesn't add up, surprised?

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    Taking the window from below with the tip of a ladder does have its drawbacks. You are creating an opening which may draw fire towards you. By making that vent before you are truly ready to enter the window, you may be shortening your timeline inside the room. It also doesn't allow you to look into that window first. Fire rolling across the ceiling or out in the hallway may change your decision, but you will never know if those conditions are present if you vent from the ground.

    By getting the ladder in the RIGHT position, getting your facepiece on and ready to go and getting yourself in the right position on the ladder THEN taking the glass...you can immediately enter the window, do your primary and get out. Taking it on the ground results in a delay and while that delay is measured in seconds, so is your time in that room.

    Either way, there are a few points that must be remembered...

    1. ALWAYS communicate to members operating on the inside that you are about to take a window. Arbitrarily venting a window in the wrong place at the wrong time places EVERYONE inside in great danger. Nobody should be surprised by en erupting fireball resulting from a window you took from the outside. Let them know your intentions and your location. And wait for an answer back. Not communicating with members on the inside can be disastrous.

    2. ALWAYS completely remove ALL of the glass and the sash. Make the opening as big as possible. Not only as big as you think you will fit through but as big as the window frame will allow. Take the time to do this EVERYTIME. Even if you know someone is for a fact inside the room you are about to enter...take the entire window.
    Last edited by jakesdad; 12-19-2011 at 07:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    Taking the window from below with the tip of a ladder does have its drawbacks. You are creating an opening which may draw fire towards you. By making that vent before you are truly ready to enter the window, you may be shortening your timeline inside the room. It also doesn't allow you to look into that window first. Fire rolling across the ceiling or out in the hallway may change your decision, but you will never know if those conditions are present if you vent from the ground.

    By getting the ladder in the RIGHT position, getting your facepiece on and ready to go and getting yourself in the right position on the ladder THEN taking the glass...you can immediately enter the window, do your primary and get out. Taking it on the ground results in a delay and while that delay is measured in seconds, so is your time in that room.

    Either way, there are a few points that must be remembered...

    1. ALWAYS communicate to members operating on the inside that you are about to take a window. Arbitrarily venting a window in the wrong place at the wrong time places EVERYONE inside in great danger. Nobody should be surprised by en erupting fireball resulting from a window you took from the outside. Let them know your intentions and your location. And wait for an answer back. Not communicating with members on the inside can be disastrous.

    2. ALWAYS completely remove ALL of the glass and the sash. Make the opening as big as possible. Not only as big as you think you will fit through but as big as the window frame will allow. Take the time to do this EVERYTIME. Even if you know someone is for a fact inside the room you are about to enter...take the entire window.
    I believe both ways of taking the window are viable and both work. Frankly, if I take the window from the ground with the ladder, and fire is blowing out the window by the time I climb the ladder, VES was not a realistic tactic in this situation anyways.

    If your mask is in place when using the ladder for taking the window, the delay is minimal for rnteing the room.

    Of course command must know VES will be used and that info must be passed on to crews working inside. Obviously any opening will create different convection currents inside the building.

    Anytime a window is used, whether for entering or venting, it must be complertly cleared. For easily ingress and egress, as well as for optimal ventilation.
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    There's virtually no damage from shards of glass falling 3 feet or less (at least no injury that is some how greater than impending death of fire). Common sense should tell you that, but then again look who we're talking to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Frankly, if I take the window from the ground with the ladder, and fire is blowing out the window by the time I climb the ladder, VES was not a realistic tactic in this situation anyways.
    The problem with that is you are taking a window without getting a realistic look at the conditions inside the window.

    And truthfully, if you take a window from the ground and fire is blowing out of it by the time you get to the top of the ladder, it is highly likely that you took a window that probably shouldn't of been taken in the first place.

    You are also not taking into account an occupant that is unconscious on the floor right below that window who could possibly be grabbed in the time it took you to climb that ladder but instead is now lying on the floor of a room engulfed in flames.

    To me, the many possible negatives to taking the window from below far outweigh the one positive of slighly reducing the work it takes by hand to remove the window

    Just food for thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    And truthfully, if you take a window from the ground and fire is blowing out of it by the time you get to the top of the ladder, it is highly likely that you took a window that probably shouldn't of been taken in the first place.
    From strictly a ventiliation standpoint, maybe. From a rescue standpoint, you have to take the window regardless of conditions inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    You are also not taking into account an occupant that is unconscious on the floor right below that window who could possibly be grabbed in the time it took you to climb that ladder but instead is now lying on the floor of a room engulfed in flames.
    How long should it really take to climb a ladder? If you think that introducing air into a room for 5 seconds before you can get to the window will cause the room to somehow change conditions and change to a non surviveable atmosphere, I have to disagree. If this is the case, that room wasn't tenable in the first place.
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    I agree. If you're not letting the room self vent and observing what the fire is telling you, you aren't doing VES correctly to begin with. There is not a single environment that is survivable where it can go from calm to fully engulfed in 5 seconds. Anyone in that room was dead before you even touched the ladder. Knowing fire behavior is THE prerequisite to VES. If you don't know what you're looking for or what the signs mean, you shouldn't even consider using it.

    A prime example is the video (forgot the location but I know it made its rounds on thebravest) of a firefighter making entry into a seemingly tenable environment and then scurrying out headfirst 4 seconds later when the room flashed over. Calm me crazy but I'd rather see the room do that from outside and ascending the ladder than inside the room.

    VES isn't extremely dangerous, incorrect VES is.
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    the video is of Capt Rick Van Sant of Indi Fire.
    http://www.vententersearch.com/?p=344
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    yes, that is ves done right in my opinion.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    From strictly a ventiliation standpoint, maybe. From a rescue standpoint, you have to take the window regardless of conditions inside.
    I highly doubt you would share this opinion if you were operating on the inside.

    You DO NOT have to take the window regardless of conditions inside. Disregarding interior conditions when venting windows has resulted in firefighter deaths!

    ALL ventilation has consequences. The building doesn't know you are venting for rescue or for fire. It just reacts to inflows and outflows of air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post

    A prime example is the video (forgot the location but I know it made its rounds on thebravest) of a firefighter making entry into a seemingly tenable environment and then scurrying out headfirst 4 seconds later when the room flashed over. Calm me crazy but I'd rather see the room do that from outside and ascending the ladder than inside the room.

    VES isn't extremely dangerous, incorrect VES is.
    Well call me crazy...but I would rather not see it at all!

    Why would you disregard the safety of those operating on the inside by not at least LOOKING into the room you are about to vent? Their safety isn't worth a few extra swings of a halligan?

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    @ Jakesdad: I've got to say, I think you're worse off taking a window and immediately going in as opposed to letting it blow and then entering. When you speak about any ventilation opening has an affect you are correct. But we must remember that as soon as you take the glass you change the dynamic of the environment. The immediate area will lose pressure, smoke and heat will likely come hard at first then subside unless the fire is immediate to the room and well fueled. Once the initial equalization occurs, the room starts affecting adjacent spaces, likely this is happening from second #1, but as far as being able to quantify it from our position as the firefighter entering from the window, it might be 30 seconds or more before you know what exactly will occur due to what you've just done (taking the window). Without letting it blow off, how do you know that the room won't light off when the fuel-air mixture gets lean enough?

    I cannot imagine VES being performed without the IC's knowledge either through standard practice or through verbalized orders. While every opening changes the air flow/pressure dynamic, short of backdraft conditions, high winds or PPV, I'm not sure the changes will be as extreme as is being implied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    @ Jakesdad: I've got to say, I think you're worse off taking a window and immediately going in as opposed to letting it blow and then entering. When you speak about any ventilation opening has an affect you are correct. But we must remember that as soon as you take the glass you change the dynamic of the environment. The immediate area will lose pressure, smoke and heat will likely come hard at first then subside unless the fire is immediate to the room and well fueled. Once the initial equalization occurs, the room starts affecting adjacent spaces, likely this is happening from second #1, but as far as being able to quantify it from our position as the firefighter entering from the window, it might be 30 seconds or more before you know what exactly will occur due to what you've just done (taking the window). Without letting it blow off, how do you know that the room won't light off when the fuel-air mixture gets lean enough?

    I cannot imagine VES being performed without the IC's knowledge either through standard practice or through verbalized orders. While every opening changes the air flow/pressure dynamic, short of backdraft conditions, high winds or PPV, I'm not sure the changes will be as extreme as is being implied.
    I am not talking about immediately entering the room.

    I am simply talking about the reasons why you should reconsider taking windows from the ground with the tip of a portable before you have had a chance to view conditions inside the room.

    This mistake has been made far too many time at far too high a price.

    I listed several justifications for this position, and the only counterpoint was that breaking the window with the ladder reduces the effort it takes to take the window.

    I stand by my position on this.

    Nothing in my posts said anything about not letting the room react to your ventilation prior to entering. The simple act of turning a window into a door takes some degree of time and once the window is prepared for entry, an assessment can be made of the conditions. But taking the window from the ground does not afford you the chance to visualize the conditions in the room you are about to vent, Conditions that only you can actually see. That, to me, can be a costly error to those operating on the inside.

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    I was taught in the early 80s by an old school instructor/fireman - to use the ladder to break the glass pause for a moment and then go. He said ("open her up, then give it a little time to make up its mind before you go" )
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    I was taught in the early 80s by an old school instructor/fireman - to use the ladder to break the glass pause for a moment and then go. He said ("open her up, then give it a little time to make up its mind before you go" )
    I think you are completely missing the point of what I am saying.

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