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Thread: Just some interesting thoughts on Fire Attack

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Default Just some interesting thoughts on Fire Attack

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    See below.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-09-2013 at 02:42 PM. Reason: copy an paste feature not working right

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    “Some advocate it should be "Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search" - maybe, but when I first learned VES, and every time I've taught it, closing the door has ALWAYS been the first action after you enter. Maybe some people were just teaching it wrong...”

    I love this part. I'm of the opinion that if we need to add the "I" so a firefighter doesn't forget to close the door, maybe aid firefighter should never be in the position where any fellow humans rely on him/her? Or maybe we should teach MVECISR? Come on you don't remember the acronym? Mask up, Vent, Enter, Crawl to door, Isolate using door, Search, Remove victim or Return to ladder if no victim is found.
    Our reliance on acronyms to remember basic duties has become pathetic.

    As noted in the comments below the story, the all important first line needs to be stretched rapidly. Confining the fire very often is the best way to protect people when resources are scarce. A recent video on Youtube shows a rapid fire growth event that sent firefighters bailing out onto an aerial after reportedly both the first and second due engines went into the rescue mode. Of course as always we know very little of the overall circumstances, but I always like to go back to Norman's 5 Concepts in Chapter 1 of the Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-09-2013 at 02:43 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words
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    Locate, confine and extinguish. Put water onto the fire and 80% of your problems go away.
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    The article is well written and spot on. The only thing I would add is that it doesn't deal with some of the other findings from the UL study. Specifically, the idea that you can't push fire and flowing a handline in a window may not be a bad thing.

    I'd be interested in what Nick has to say about that. I know what Chief Salka had to say, and I'm sure Nick would be in the same camp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    “Some advocate it should be "Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search" - maybe, but when I first learned VES, and every time I've taught it, closing the door has ALWAYS been the first action after you enter. Maybe some people were just teaching it wrong...”

    I love this part. I'm of the opinion that if we need to add the "I" so a firefighter doesn't forget to close the door, maybe aid firefighter should never be in the position where any fellow humans rely on him/her? Or maybe we should teach MVECISR? Come on you don't remember the acronym? Mask up, Vent, Enter, Crawl to door, Isolate using door, Search, Remove victim or Return to ladder if no victim is found.
    Our reliance on acronyms to remember basic duties has become pathetic.

    As noted in the comments below the story, the all important first line needs to be stretched rapidly. Confining the fire very often is the best way to protect people when resources are scarce. A recent video on Youtube shows a rapid fire growth event that sent firefighters bailing out onto an aerial after reportedly both the first and second due engines went into the rescue mode. Of course as always we know very little of the overall circumstances, but I always like to go back to Norman's 5 Concepts in Chapter 1 of the Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics.
    The very problem with VES may be that people that have no idea what they are talking about are attempting t teach it. I have talked to several firefighters that think they know what VES is but then talk about hoselines and other thing that show they haven't got a single damn clue.
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Locate, confine and extinguish. Put water onto the fire and 80% of your problems go away.
    But it is FAR more complicated than that today really. If the fire has not escaped the compartment in "Modern" construction then yes indeed that holds 100% true. If the fire has escaped the compartment and is burning in the voids or the attic, especially if the fire is blowing out of the roof, roof vents, gable ends vents, or the soffit. Then we need to consider collapse potential. Glued trusses have little or no heat resistance and gusset plate nailed ones don't have a whole lot more.

    I am as aggressive a firefighter as you will find and when at all possible I believe we should go inside and fight the fire where it lives. For sure we need to go in and attempt to save viable victims ( I now some of us have differing opinions on what is a viable victim but I won't start that debate here again.). But I believe that to die for a building that will most likely get torn down is just plain stupid.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-10-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBarnes View Post
    The article is well written and spot on. The only thing I would add is that it doesn't deal with some of the other findings from the UL study. Specifically, the idea that you can't push fire and flowing a handline in a window may not be a bad thing.

    I'd be interested in what Nick has to say about that. I know what Chief Salka had to say, and I'm sure Nick would be in the same camp.
    I still diagree that you can't push fire with hose streams. I guess the times I have seen it happen were my imagination...or some illusion. But then again, who am I but some dumb hose jockey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBarnes View Post
    The article is well written and spot on. The only thing I would add is that it doesn't deal with some of the other findings from the UL study. Specifically, the idea that you can't push fire and flowing a handline in a window may not be a bad thing.

    I'd be interested in what Nick has to say about that. I know what Chief Salka had to say, and I'm sure Nick would be in the same camp.
    I'd say another thing that wasn't really addressed was ventilation when you only have a 3 man engine company on the scene, and the ladder is still 3-4 minutes out. That really makes it tough to get everything done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I still diagree that you can't push fire with hose streams. I guess the times I have seen it happen were my imagination...or some illusion. But then again, who am I but some dumb hose jockey.
    I agree with you. Regardless of what the study says, I have no interest in ever again being in hallway when a crew opens up from the outside into the building. While flame may not have been transferred to the hallway, conditions certainly got crappy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I'd say another thing that wasn't really addressed was ventilation when you only have a 3 man engine company on the scene, and the ladder is still 3-4 minutes out. That really makes it tough to get everything done.
    It probably wasn't addressed in the article because company staffing wasn't the focus of the UL study listed. The study was scientific research pretty much limited to the impact that various types/locations of ventilation have on fire growth and spread. If you haven't seen the study (or anybody else for that matter), I highly recommend checking it out.

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    All I know is if it don't push the fire, the minute or so, plus that I have to wait to do a primary because of a messed up thermocline may be well more than what a victim can afford.
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    Any scientific study on fire behavior is worth reading.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Any scientific study on fire behavior is worth reading.
    While I agree that the more we understand the science the better off we'll be, one must also realize that science uses variables, and as these change the process and outcomes change. We never know all the variables until the fire is out, thus standing around awaiting an algorithmic answer is not a solution.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-12-2013 at 04:55 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    While I agree that the more we understand the science the better off we'll be, one must also realize that science uses variables, and as these change the process and outcomes change. We never know all the variables until the fire is out, thus standing around awaiting an algorithmic answer is not a solution.
    I think I understand what you are trying to say, but I don't think you said it the right way.

    Typically in a comparative scientific experiment, which is essentially what the UL study was, data is gathered in a "controlled" environment using what is referred to as "known variables" in order to achieve usable data for comparison. For example, the UL study used the same "building" and same "fire" in each test scenerio, but changed the ventilation point(s) in order to see the effect each had on that fire.

    In the real world, pretty much everything is an "unknown variable" and therefore there's no equation or calculation to plug the variables into and reach an absolute solution. As such, we can't assume the fire will behave in real situations exactly the same as it did in the study. However, we can use the knowledge learned in the study to help predict fire behavior more accurately and make better strategic and tactical decisions.

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    Science (ie, relatively controlled events in a relatively controlled environment) can serve to challenge our assumptions, which can be a good thing. We may assume that based on our knowledge and experience, a given situation will yield given results.

    However, such studies may prove that that our knowledge and experience is flawed, for any number of reasons. We're finding this with the glued together cardboard and toothpick "lightweight construction," where, f'rinstance, the glue (yep - no nails) holding the plasterboard to the ceiling joists may fail at temperatures well below anything we'd consider dangerous, bringing the ceiling down on top of us.

    I just got hold of a memo that originated with FDNY regarding bowstring trusses, which are now thought to hold only 40% of the load that everyone thought they'd hold. This results from testing that shows that the assumptions used in designing them were wrong. The FDNY memo is dated December 21, 2012. Such science may well change one's assumptions on how long one might consider operating under such a structure. The FDNY memo says not at all...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I think I understand what you are trying to say, but I don't think you said it the right way.
    I agree that you've summed up my thoughts better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    However, such studies may prove that that our knowledge and experience is flawed, for any number of reasons. We're finding this with the glued together cardboard and toothpick "lightweight construction," where, f'rinstance, the glue (yep - no nails) holding the plasterboard to the ceiling joists may fail at temperatures well below anything we'd consider dangerous, bringing the ceiling down on top of us.

    I just got hold of a memo that originated with FDNY regarding bowstring trusses, which are now thought to hold only 40% of the load that everyone thought they'd hold. This results from testing that shows that the assumptions used in designing them were wrong. The FDNY memo is dated December 21, 2012. Such science may well change one's assumptions on how long one might consider operating under such a structure. The FDNY memo says not at all...
    I think the "science" in these case prove what we've known for a long time? Or have I mis-read this? I hope we've always feared that glue was not as strong as mechanical fasteners when exposed to heat? And I thought we learned in the 70's and 80's that we should not trust bowstring trusses? Maybe we've not done well at ensuring lessons from our past are passed on? Or maybe just now the engineers are finding that even without a fire the design was flawed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MBarnes View Post
    The article is well written and spot on. The only thing I would add is that it doesn't deal with some of the other findings from the UL study. Specifically, the idea that you can't push fire and flowing a handline in a window may not be a bad thing.

    I'd be interested in what Nick has to say about that. I know what Chief Salka had to say, and I'm sure Nick would be in the same camp.
    Here is what Nick has to say about pushing fire: it's from this web site http://traditionstraining.com/new-ul...-fire-tactics/

    Nicholas Martin Said On 29/Nov/2011@18:40
    Andy,

    I went to college with the guy who wrote that study and I plan to ask him about that… I read that too, but I and many others have been on the receiving end of “opposing hose lines” and had different experiences in the real world than the study suggests.

    Even if it does not push fire, it does push steam. Several of the scenarios exhibit significant enough temperature spikes from outside application to effect a nearby unaffected civilian. I wouldn’t want to guess from the front yard which of those scenarios we’re in.

    And attacking from an outside window does nothing to protect the steps, protect occupants inside, attack fire behind compartmentalized partitions, protect FF”s operating in adjacent areas, and stop good old extending fire. Before we go ahead and re-write the basic tenets of firefighting let’s do a little more thinking and looking. Even this study admits that its results on “fire pushing” were not really studied and we’re only ancillary data.

    -Nick
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    Call me cynical, and I may very well be. It appears to me, with the fire services' huge emphases on college degrees and an the NFA EFO program, with everybody trying to come up with a new catch phrase or get published, we are turning out a whole bunch of over educated yard breathers.
    Lets get back to what has worked, putting the fire out!! I have yet to see a theory or hypothesis do just that.
    Don't get me wrong, education of the trade is essential, but lets keep it focused to the task at hand. It's awesome you can name every step and position in NIMS. Or at your incidents, you have filled every position in the command van. But lets be honest, if you can't read fire conditions as they relate to the building construction at hand and deploy your resources in the most effective manor for purposes of protecting life and safety, you are completely useless.
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