Thread: One in One out

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default One in One out

    Question:

    You are part of a portable ladder team of two at a first floor, private dwelling fire. You are assigned to ladder and VES the second floor. You and your partner ladder a second story window, due to the absence of a porch roof.

    The window is intactand closed.

    1. Where do you place the tip of the ladder?

    2. Once the window is cleared, can one member enter and await the second members arrival?

    3. Should the second member reposition the ladder before entering?

    4. Would this violate OSHA policy?

  2. #2
    Member
    Plug-Ugly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    northeast USA
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Using both members, I would drop the tip into the top of the window to break it out, then reposition the butt until the tip is just below the sill. Now both can climb up one after another. The first one up can clean out any glass shards and enter. Because VES involves searching only one room and then exiting, and most second floor rooms are relatively small, such as average bedrooms, I would like to leave one FF on the ladder while the other conducts the search, staying in voice communication or using a personal search rope. The reason I like leaving one on the ladder is for orientation purposes as well as for easier victim removal should one be found. It is also easier for only one FF having to bail out should things go bad. The FF on the ladder can assist his escaping partner.

    If the area to be searched is known to be large, then both should enter.

    I don't think that this violates 2 in, 2 out unless these are the only two members on scene.

    [ 06-28-2001: Message edited by: Plug-Ugly ]

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    Good question. I have often wondered that myself. The way I was taught was ladder the window on the upwind side. Take the glass and then reposition the ladder before entering. This gives me some quick egress if things get bad. I also was taught that the partner can stay at the ladder if the room is small enough to remain in voice contact.
    I know it doesnt make sence to get down when you were already right next to the window but, when the stuff hits the fan while my partner is moving the ladder I wouldnt have very many options.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  4. #4
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Boston fire department
    Posts
    59

    Default

    IFSTA teachs you to place the ladder opposite wind direction...We just raise the tip a few rungs and place it into the window. This will take out the window, then we have a guy climb the ladder and take out the rest of the window. When the window is taken out a few rungs should be left in the window for those to see.
    ** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    brooklyn new york
    Posts
    79

    Default

    well lou since i'm from rescue i don't put up that many ladders anymore(LOL), but i like them placed just at the sill so that i could get out fast if its needed. i don't understand any of this up wind down wind stuff ,it just wastes time get in get out.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Westchester Co., NY USA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    I'm with Plug. I would put the tip through the window to take it out. Reposition the tip right under the window. Then climb up and clear the window and sill. The next step, falls under the "it all depends" catch-all. If conditions were unfavorable, or deteriorating rapidly, I'd go in, shut the door, do my primary and get out. Leaving my partner at the top of the ladder. If conditions on the second floor were okay, I'd have my partner come in with the Water Can, and we would begin to search the rest of the second floor. This would occur as soon as we were beginning in the room above the fire, in order to get additional ladders to all sides in the event that conditions then deteriorate, or the attack team loses control of the stairwell. One of us would then search, while the other would stay at the door to observe conditions in the hallway.

    The only thing I disagree with is leaving the ladder a few rungs into the window. It has been my experience that it prohibits getting back on the ladder, even more so if rapid egress is needed. Whenever ladders are thrown to the upper floors, their positions should be communicated to the interior crews.
    ==========================================
    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    1. Where do you place the tip of the ladder?

    At or just under the sill.

    2. Once the window is cleared, can one member enter and await the second members arrival?

    If there is a reasonable chance of rescue, why not?

    3. Should the second member reposition the ladder before entering?

    Not if it was placed properly initially. If not then yes he should repostion it.

    4. Would this violate OSHA policy?

    No, 2/2 does not apply when there is a reasonable chance of a rescue.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    R2Bob,

    You know Jack Huttle?

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    1. Just below the sill
    2. I've always practiced going to the door and closing it. Then search the room and get out. At the next window my partner can search while I heel the ladder.
    3. Only if necessary, but if positioned at the sill to begin with it is usually OK.
    4. No OSHA violation because you are attempting a rescue.

    Just as a reminder, when venting for life as done in VES the fire will be drawn towards you so it's important to get in quick and close the door to that room. VES in general should only be preformed by experienced firefighters, this is no place for a probie because you are operating opposite the advancing hoselines and unprotected. (no hoseline)

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    I am seeing what, I think, is a misinterpretation of the OSHA standard here.

    Mongo, "No, 2/2 does not apply when there is a reasonable chance of a rescue."


    ADSN, "No OSHA violation because you are attempting a rescue."

    Is there a KNOWN life hazard here or are we doing VES of the second floor? If it is the latter, we must abide by the 2/2. If we are entering a room with a reported person inside we can use a single person entry.

    All of our searches are rescue attempts, most of them are negative. I don't believe these searches can justify entry into an IDLH outside of OSHA standards.

    As for the teams laddering and entering, as long as they remain in visual and/or voice contact I believe they are in compliance.

    Ladder position: I find laddering alongside the window, with the tip at, or just below the top of the window level is best for vent and entry. With the ladder placed up-wind, the member can climb to window level, clear the window and step off onto the sill. Once he is inside, member two can lower the ladder to sill level and ROLL the ladder to the sill.

    ADSN's point of closing the hallway door is right on the money. I would add, after searching the room, clear all the windows and, if possible within safe limits, reopen the door prior to exiting via the ladder. This will provide a vent for the hallway and the members operating below.

    JMHO

  11. #11
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Boston fire department
    Posts
    59

    Default

    ***The only thing I disagree with is leaving the ladder a few rungs into the window. It has been my experience that it prohibits getting back on the ladder, even more so if rapid egress is needed. Whenever ladders are thrown to the upper floors, their positions should be communicated to the interior crews. **

    You make a valid point ALS, but to tell the truth how many messages do you really hear? With a rung or 2 in the window a firefighter can see which window is laddered. For me, I have used ladders to get out in a hurry, found that it did not hinder my escape. Infact was glad to see it....
    ** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Westchester Co., NY USA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    BFD,

    It is normally routine practice for us to get ladders to the upper floors on all 4 sides, and the Truck officers send a message to the interior advising that such has been done. Normally we attempt to put it at a window that's closest to the center of that side, that way you have half the distance either way to get it to another window if need be.

    I understand what your saying also about the rungs, but I and many other guys have found it very easy to get pockets, straps and anything else caught on the beams when they protrude through the window like that. So that's why we don't. Even if the ladder wasn't there, it still would get there fast enough for me to get out, with the door shut and when all else fails, the old fashioned window sill balance act with one leg out, and your head out against the wall for a little more heat protection. Now when the roof is laddered, the more the merrier!! (We just love our overhead power lines here)

    ============================================
    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    brooklyn new york
    Posts
    79

    Default

    YES LOU I KNOW JACK, HE BROKE ME IN (GENTLY I MIGHT ADD), I DON'T KNOW HOW I WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT WITHOUT HIM AND SOME OTHER GREAT FIREMEN WHO TOOK THE TIME TO SHOW A SNOT NOSED KID ABOUT WHAT WE DO.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    New Smyrna Beach Fl, U.S. IAFF 2271
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I agree with pretty much what everybody has said, except for one item. It is very important to stay disciplined when performing VES. The object is to stay in that one bedroom that is being searched and get right out, don't get caught up trying to search the whole upper floor, thats not the objective of VES.
    Just a quick note: If your Department uses positive pressure ventilation with fire attack, Please do not use it with VES, this will put the outside team in extreme danger. PPV is a major contraindication of VES.

  15. #15
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    I am seeing what, I think, is a misinterpretation of the OSHA standard here.

    Mongo, "No, 2/2 does not apply when there is a reasonable chance of a rescue."

    ADSN, "No OSHA violation because you are attempting a rescue."

    Is there a KNOWN life hazard here or are we doing VES of the second floor? If it is the latter, we must abide by the 2/2. If we are entering a room with a reported person inside we can use a single person entry.

    All of our searches are rescue attempts, most of them are negative. I don't believe these searches can justify entry into an IDLH outside of OSHA standards.


    No misinterpretation. Both ADSN/WFLD and I clearly pointed out that there has to be a reasonable chance for a rescue.

    29CFR 1910.134 (g)(4)(i) states that "At least two employees enter the IDLH atmosphere and remain in visual or voice contact with one another at all times;

    And

    "(g)(4)(ii) At least two employees are located outside the IDLH atmosphere;"

    Then:

    "Note 2 to paragraph (g): Nothing in this section is meant to preclude firefighters from performing emergency rescue activities before an entire team has assembled."

    In the preamble OSHA states:

    Finally, the notes to paragraph (g)(4) clarify that these requirements are not intended to interfere with necessary rescue operations, and the extent to which the standby personnel can perform other functions.

    (And as a side note for this discussion, that it only applies in the following states:

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, and Wyoming.)

    Agreed you could split hairs on the VES, but I think the arguement could be made as it is a 'best judgement' call based on the situation observed on arrival. In my most humble opinion, the note stating that nothing is meant to preclude a rescue would apply.

    Is it the smart thing to do in terms of firefighter safety is another issue...
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  16. #16
    Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Sticking to the questions asked:
    I prefer the ladder below the sill if I am entering for VES, I know it is there because I placed it.

    For VES, like e53NSB stated, you have to be disciplined. Get in, search, and get out. In this instance of searching one room at a time, I say it is only a one-person job. It is not freelancing as long as someone knows you are doing the job. If you are lucky to have a second person I would like him at the window as a beacon, or to help with a victim if found.

    I see this as a useful but tricky tactic. It is a quick way to search and vent using the least amount of manpower. However, if a company want VES to be in their bag-o-tricks, it needs to be practiced. I would not assign this job to an inexperienced fire fighter.
    Keep Safe!

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    284

    Default

    I also agree with almost all of the things and feel strongly about the tip being below or at the sill. In the early 80's I got assigned to a triple house: Engine,Truck, and Rescue Squad. I was assigned to the engine and on my first detail across the floor to the Squad the driver with about 25 years on gave me some great advice. "When your searching a room wether the visibility is good or not, look or take your hand sweep at the sill or below for a ladder so you'll know if you have one. The guys in this Truck Company won't be leaving any rungs in the window to hamper your way out." This may not be good for all outfits but it has worked for us and I continue to stress this point as a member of that same Truck now years later.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register