12-30-1999, 11:52 AM #26benson911Firehouse.com Guest
When I started as a volunteer I was taught the indireect attack method and it works great in a training fire in an enclosed space. But, in real life fires with possible people trapped it's not an option.
The IFSTA definition doesn't explain well enough the difference in "attacking the fire indirectly" vs "cooling the atmosphere" so you can advance to the seat of the fire safely. I experienced a very frustrating fire where I used my straight stream to cool the atmosphere so I could advance to the seat and still, the thermal inversion pushed two guys behind me down the stairs due to the heat. I wish I knew about "pulsing the knob" then! I could have cooled the atmosphere without creating excessive steam and then advanced the next 8 FEET to reach the base of the fire behind a couch and dresser! I reached the base after the PPV fan and the venting operations worked. I may have been able to reach the base earlier had I been able to effectively cool the atmosphere WITHOUT creating all the excess steam.
I can't wait for the next really HOT, really SMOKY, looking to FLASH fire so I can try this technique and see if it can do what Paul says it will.
12-30-1999, 02:41 PM #27Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Holy cow Scott!....I only 'bellied' into a fire on a couple of occasions in 25 years (snatch rescue only)! and the thought of water turning to steam as it exits the nozzle.....! What kind of fires are you guys advancing into?! My rule of thumb is - always fight a (hot) fire with one knee down on the floor and one walking. Never get forced that low and if it's that hot....cool the room with a few brief 'pulses' of fog on the ceiling BEFORE entering. If you are forced to crawl on your belly let it be to save a life....maybe your own!
PPV - we are experimenting with it's effects in combination with water-fog 'pulsing' now but their are several different projects ongoing and information is scarce at present.
I am all for aggressive PPV in small residential properties and have been aware of its advantages for some time. However, I am very aware that your ACCESS POINT is probably the most dangerous opening you will make and any PPV airflow may serve to initiate a fire gas ignition. There is a report on the NIOSH site of a PPV fan being used despite some backdraft indicators (heavy black smoke layering at the ceiling) just prior to a backdraft killing some guys. Its down to training and effective size-up. I approve of PPV in general and consider it will complement the water 'pulsing' techniques.
Hey Smoke eater....who said it was morning!!
I'm getting ready to go to bed ;-))) LOL
12-30-1999, 02:54 PM #28Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Chief of Hythe.......
I am aware the 'cans' can be expensive! Its a shame really because the whole thing started with a derelict shipping container in a Stockholm fire station yard. The firefighters taught themselves these techniques after losing two of their colleagues in a flashover. It must have been cheap because the guys were funding it themselves. However, as things have progressed the systems have been structured to ensure safe and controlled burns. After funding a unit (we can send you the specs to build your own if you contract our instructor's to train your guys) the major costs come in the form of chipboard panels to line the container before each burn.
Please NOTE guys - these techniques are like CPR......you need to have been trained and you need to have practised under safe controlled conditions prior to trying it out for real!!
01-03-2000, 10:15 AM #29Lt.HouckFirehouse.com Guest
I have to say there are certainly a lot of good points on this forum. I think the biggest thing that we can take from these post is that every situation will dictate.
I used to be a hardcore solid bore nozzle junkie. Until november of 98 when i was involved in an extremely intense fire in a 2 story frame dwelling.
I will be the first to admit that we had no buisness making a interior attack on this house, however we had two occupants trapped the first due pd officers had found the wife inside the side door, alive, and were advized that the husband was just behind her. We arrived and immediatly led of 2 1/2 with a tft fog nozzle. entering the side of the house through the kitchen door we encounter zero visibilaty and heavey fire in the rolling the ceiling. As we advanced less than 15' into the room conditions began to turn worse, the fire that i had beat back from the ceiling was now coming back with a vengence. I swept the ceiling with a straight stream and tried in vain to hit the seat of the fire using the streams reach.
The problem was that there was to much water to fast. A lot of the water was running back at us along the floor and was now boiling. now being burnt by the water and unable to beat back the fire we made a hasty retreat. The front room had flashed, the kitchen was about to, and my straight stream was doing nothing to help. As a last ditch effort I spun the nozzle to a medium fog. The pattern bought us enough time to get the hell out.
I still believe in solid bore tip on 2 1/2" lines. However had we had one that morning I don't know that we would have made it out. As I said we should not have been inside. Had the women not made it out alive just seconds before we went in we would have never tried for the husband. We later found him just three feet from where we stopped. He had stopped to let his dog out of the dog cage in the kitchen, and was laying on the other side of it.
Good forum Paul, it has a lot of good information in it, I have to check out your web site. Halligan I still agree with you too, its water that puts out fire, get it where you need it and you will kick the fire's butt, we just couldn't get it where we needed it that morning. Keep it safe.
01-04-2000, 09:17 AM #30FallsFirefighterFirehouse.com Guest
Since the topic heading is about flashovers claiming firefighters, the discussion on streams and nozzle types is relevant, but not all encompasing.
The company officer must be taught to recognize what conditions in which to initiate an interior attack. Not all jobs will require immediate ventilation. Obviously if the fire is self venting conditions may be viewed as favorable.
The surest way to reduce flashover injuries and deaths is to reinforce the basics of fire chemistry, fire behavior, bldg. construction and the positive effects or proper ventilation as used in a co-ordinated attack.
01-05-2000, 03:58 PM #31Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks Jason for that graphic account of your structure fire. It demonstrates clearly that it's not how much water you've got that counts, but how and where you are able to apply it. The run-off is typical and supports the view that a straight stream may only be 20 percent effective (or less) at the outset. I'm glad your combination nozzle helped you out of this situation Jason!
Falls Firefighter - I totally agree with you in that fire attack methods are not 'all encompassing' in reducing LODD related to 'flashover-like' conditions. You go on to suggest that 'the surest way is to reduce flashover injuries and deaths is to reinforce the basics......'.
How can we do that? and....are the 'basics' enough? Surely that is the line we have been taking for sometime? Maybe we need to educate firefighters to the next level - beyond the basics?
01-05-2000, 04:21 PM #32Truck30Firehouse.com Guest
If a sofa is burning in a field or a lot, it is a basic rubbish run. Place the sofa in a room of a dwelling and the flashover clock starts. It seems that the basics are the bedrock upon which this training should be based.
The stages of fire taught during basic fire chemistry indicate fire behavior and ceiling temps during each stage.
Bldg. Construction indicates the effect that the structure has on fire development, and the effect the fire has on the structure.
Ventilation theory and practices demonstrate the relieving effect that ventilation has upon fire and smoke development.
Paul you are to be commended and praised for all the work you have done in educating and highlighting this topic.
It remains however that the subjects mentioned by FallsFirefighter are paramount for reducing this.
I would also add that Company Level Officers should also be trained on when NOT to commit interior crews.
01-05-2000, 04:48 PM #33Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
I AGREE with everything you say Truck....but my question is....How do we educate the 'basics'? Classroom??? - No waaaaaay! It's a start sure, but we need to move into a 'live' setting where we can -
1. Watch a fire grow and behave.
2. Witness the formation and behaviour of fire gas layers.
3. See the 'warning signs' of flashover.
4. Witness an ignition of the fire gases.
5. Witness (from the exterior) a backdraft.
6. Practise methods & techniques to avoid such ignitions of the gases and ...... a million other things!!!
In flashover 'simulators' we don't fight the fire! We control the environment....it is the initial action we should all be taking in circumstances where immediate extinction is not an option.
But you are right Truck....and Falls FFr. - you both hit the nail on the head! But it's HOW we teach the basics that counts.
01-06-2000, 09:00 AM #34Truck30Firehouse.com Guest
Paul, during recruit training, we had the benefit of a training chief who gave us the basic theory outlined in my previous post. He would then secure vacant dwellings. They would be refurnished to represent a living room, a bedroom and a kitchen.
We would observe each stage of fire from inside, without any ventilation. Then the second and third stage would be observed with ventilation.
Then the effect of the hoseline with different streams on each stage would be introduced again with and without ventilation. Finally we would have the flashover roll drill with the hoseline.
We were instructed to recognize what was
"return on the investment" in commiting members to the interior for operations.After all the interior drills were complete we were made to observe the fire and smoke development and from the exterior as the fire progressed unchecked in the dwelling.
This also helped to develop initial size up capabilities.
This training was conducted with charged supply and attack lines in place , ladders at each window and one chief committed to safety.
If this type of training were to be taught in the U.S. today, the person conducting it would be in danger of losing his job.
We now train with simulators, SIMULATORS for God's sake. If you want to have a live fire typically you must use hay. Fine if people lived in barns.
Some of the training reforms have been needed. It still seems that we now train recruits to fear fire, not respect it.
[This message has been edited by Truck30 (edited January 06, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by Truck30 (edited January 06, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by Truck30 (edited January 06, 2000).]
01-07-2000, 04:41 AM #35Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
TRUCK 30 -
I too have had the benefit of training in such a way with live burns in real structures
and learning fire behavioural patterns as such. In Spain (Valencia) the fire department was given an entire village (flood damaged) of 2000 house to burn to the ground! However, with large numbers of firefighters to train and few properties to burn (not to mention the safety aspects) this approach is not practical.
SIMULATORS are a truly new innovation and present a realistic and safe option in which to learn the same lessons! These are NOT HAY burns! Look at the heading on my website.....As close to a flashover as you'll ever want to get!!! We have taken these things to the limits and in the early days our helmets would melt on our heads during the training evolutions. However, it became obvious that we didn't need to go this far to demonstrate and learn in the 'simulators'. Believe me - the simulators I am talking of produce REAL 'rollovers'; REAL 'backdrafts' and simulated (nearly real) 'flashovers'!!! (You don't want to train in REAL flashovers right??!!).
These simulators EFFECTIVELY teach firefighters to observe fire behavioural patterns and their effects; to recognise dangerous conditions; to counter these hazards with specific nozzle techniques; and to instill a greater awareness of fire gas layering and airflows.
I hope you get the opportunity to enter one of our simulators....and we'll take you as close as you'll EVER want to get!
01-07-2000, 11:47 AM #36KEAFirehouse.com Guest
Paul I agree that hands on training in the real thing is the best even thought probably the toughest to do.
For those interested, the Indiana State Fire Instuctors have an annual live fire training called "Dance with the Devil". It is tought by Jim Kron, DC of New Albany, Indiana. He has been teaching and showing first hand how to recognize and control flashover. He's been teaching this class for about 20+ years. I believe the class is around $35-$40.
Another good source for hands on training if you in the Texas area is Gulf Coast Fire Training. They have a mobile flashover trainer that not only lets you feel the heat, you can truly see the total progress of the fire right to the point of FLASH.
Captain Reed (inventor of the Cliff Read Hood)out of Houston is one of the Instructors for Gulf Coast Fire Training.
I've been through both schools and can say it definatly teaches the importance of the basics!
First Strike Technlologies, Inc.
01-07-2000, 12:41 PM #37Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Sounds interesting Kirk....How about some details? What kind of structures/units are these companies using for the training? Are they demonstrating water-fog techniques? What are the principles and concepts of the training programs based on? If this has been happening for 20 years I would presume that the approaches used are far removed from the Swedish concepts? Is there a website to visit concerning their programs?
Thanks in advance!
01-11-2000, 11:13 AM #38STATIONTWOFirehouse.com Guest
We have one of those sweedish flashover trainers.Great tool for learning.it even came with a nozzle from sweeden.Funny looking thing!There was also another technique taught called penciling.it broke up the thermal layer nicely.I think the biggest plus i got out of it was being able to recognise the signs of pre flashover.Then decide to stay and fight or get the out.
We broke the chain you pull to vent the simulator.So we used a fiberglass pike pole.
well anyway it looks like a bent noddle.
For those of you that don"t have one.Its truely amazining the amount of heat that will be produced from a small barrel of wood and a few pieces of partical board.
STAY SAFE,TRAIN HARD AND OFTEN
[This message has been edited by STATIONTWO (edited January 11, 2000).]
01-12-2000, 06:47 PM #39Truck401Firehouse.com Guest
FLASHOVER occures when a room or other area becomes HEATED to the point where flames flash over the entire surface or area.
The cause of flashover is attributed to the excessive buildup of HEAT from the fire
ALL THE CONTENTS of the fire area are gradually heated to their ignition
temperature.When they reach this point, simultaneous ignition occures and the area becomes fully involved in fire. By Smokeater
I agree with smokeeaters comments, but I think we have beat around about smooth bore verse fog .. My question is when we have a build up of heat in a building whether its one story or five. What do we normally do to get rid of the heat. Not only for visiblity but also, to release the smoke and heat. VENTILATE either horizontal or verticle, has always been talked about in every class that I have taken or have taught. By Ventilating a structure in the right place you release all the heat and smoke from building up
( Its supposed to )and causing this flashover. I have tried this in conjunction with a fog nozzle and it seemed to push the heat and smoke right out the hole that I made for it to go. This is just my theory.
There has been entirely to many deaths and burned fire fighters from this deadly flash over. It would be nice if Fire Departments would train more on these type of topics instead of Terroist activities. Sure terroist activity is the hot topic, But fire fighters are being killed every day, because of flashovers. We should be concentrating on this and Not with, what we anticapate is going to happen with terroist.
Another topic is finding your way out when you go into a warehouse or highrise building that is on fire. The lack of training is this topic is killing our brothers and sisters every day as well. But you never see a class or seminar on this topic either. Hopefully your Department is training on these two topics, they are greatly needed. We all are guilty of not refreshing our skills in these fields. Guess what this is where everybody is dying.... Believe it or not....
Sorry about the band wagon on these topics, but its sick to see all these fire fighters dying..
[This message has been edited by Truck401 (edited January 12, 2000).]
01-13-2000, 04:31 AM #40Paul GrimwoodFirehouse.com Guest
Are there more firefighters dying now in flashover related incidents than 10 years ago? I noted some US stat's from 1980-1989 where 44 firefighters were killed under such circumstances (Gene Carlson - Oaklahoma State University). The current stat's have reached 50% of that estimate in only 20% of the time!
StationTwo - I am glad you had the chance to work in a Swedish style simulator and recognised the obvious advantages associated with fire behaviour training....I agree...the Swedish nozzle (The 'Fogfighter')is a funny looking thing! I find it difficult to work with that nozzle but those that have used it for a long time seem to like it. BTW - 'pencilling' with a 30 degree fog cone will cool the linings of the compartment - this technique, if applied correctly (you have to practise it) will NOT upset the thermal layers.
Truck 401 - welcome!
I agree wholeheartedly with your opinions on training....we need to recognise and not take for granted that firefighters possess knowledge and an awareness of the way a fire grows and behaves - and this goes way beyond classroom sessions and 'hay' burns!
The term 'flashover' means different things to different people! You are correct in your scientific definition. However, how often do you see reports of firefighters killed or injured in BACKDRAFTS? Not very often in comparison right....and yet, what event is most common? Or, perhaps it is difficult to diffrentiate between flashover/backdraft at an incident? For example....a room (25% involvement) is vented by popping a window out and almost simultaneously....whoooooosh!(yes - venting may sometimes CAUSE the problem) Was that a flashover or a backdraft? Or how about this....a build up of combustion products (fire gases) forms under a high ceiling and suddenly ignites....what event was that....flashover? Backdraft?
01-15-2000, 11:05 PM #41Truck401Firehouse.com Guest
Paul you are right and you know as well as I do that the difference between the two are very similar. When we vent a building either horizontal or vertical to release the heat and smoke, the handline crews should not just rush right in and start hosing down everything. Hoseline crews should make a visual from the exterior on how the ventilation is working. If a larger column or thicker smoke is coming out or even flames then you know that the fire has reacted with the air that has been introduced from the vent and now its time to do your best work. ( extinguishment & rescue) This does not take that long 15 to 30 seconds.
I tried this on a Training fire where I volunteer. I filled a bedroom and living room with old ragged furniture that I found on street curbs during spring clean-up. I set the bed on fire and let it heat up to the point that 75 percent of the room was rolling with fire. I had my vent crew vent horizontal while the hoseline crew stood by. Nobody was in the building at this time. When my vent crew vented it only took about 10 seconds by stop watch until the fire had reacted with the air from the vent. The fire and smoke changed unbelievable. My hoseline crew went in and stop the fire to that room. Since most of the fire and smoke was pouring out the window, the hoseline crew just kept blowing it out in that direction. We did that type of evolution four times that day and every time the procedure work like you read it from a book.
It just seems to me that alot of company's think that venting a structure takes to long or should be done after the hoseline crew has entered the structure. If company's would train on all aspects of venting, that have been metioned through out this article and proper hoseline advancement. I could almost bet you my paycheck that the severe burns and deaths would be alot lower from Flashovers or Backdrafts. Also fire fighters should be wearing their entire proper gear.
VENT EARLY, VENT OFTEN, VENT FOR LIFE............ Thanks for the welcome
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