Thread: VES

  1. #1
    phyrngn Guest

    Question VES

    In a previous post, I see that many Truckies place VES as their favorite task. VES is pretty foreign to the area in which I work, and the only place that I have found any info on it is in Norman's Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics...but it doesn't go that in depth. Does anyone know of a reference that I can use to train firefighters in VES? When do you use it? When don't you use it? How do you do it? Why do you do it? I'm looking for the most specific info possible...

  2. #2
    570eck Guest


    Vent Enter Search. Don't specificaly know of any book. But the only times I can think of not to do it. Heavy fire envolvement, Immenent collapse, expolsion(s) from interior, extremely short manpower (no one to help out if there is trouble) or rapidly deterorating progress. For the most part whenever it will be safe for you to get out, go in. As far as the search itself I prefer, go to the fire first and work your way back. Reason 1 persons closest to the fire are in most danger. Reason 2 you are working your way out when you are working down your bottle, as-to working your way deep when working down your bottle. Most residentals you can do a search off the wall altough this is debated. In bigger enviroments rope searchs. One persons stays at entry point with rope bag (usualy exertior door) persons enter with rope (from main bag) and get to large room/area clip a "personal rope" to main rope and look to the extents of "personal ropes" length. Hope this clears some ?s not sure exactly what you where looking for. Maybe try the IFSTA essentials or NFA material.

  3. #3
    phyrngn Guest


    Perhaps this is oversimplification, but let's say you have a two-story dwelling with fire on the first floor, occupying the stairway. You decide to do VES on the second floor. Do you raise a ladder to the room above the fire (most threatened), crawl in testing the floor first, and then proceed to the door of the room to close it, and search back to the window?

  4. #4
    Halligan84 Guest


    Thats a pretty good idea of it right there Phar... clear the window, let the room vent a bit, get down, get the door closed, search and move on. If the fire is controlled additional rooms can be made from the interior, if not keep moving the ladder or use additional crews. VES is pretty rare for most of us to be able to use, but it does put the search team directly into the area where the victim is either known or thought to be.

  5. #5
    Dalmatian90 Guest


    When to use VES?
    -- Well trained team who practice it.
    -- Conditions in the building/search area are reasonably consistent with life.
    -- You have reasonable chance of finding life.
    (The two above relate to risk/benefit -- if there isn't any living in the building, or you meet a family standing in front of a single family residence who says everyone's out, why take on the additional risk of VES?)
    -- You have the manpower to perform it. If you only have enough to staff an attack line under 2in/2out...usually confine & extinguish the fire is best way to protect life.
    -- Have adequate water supply established since you won't be able to stretch water by using indirect or direct fog tactics

    And most importantly...

    -- Everyone is on the same game plan.

    VES is from one school of aggresive interior operations...Fog & PPV from another. Use a fog attack with VES Searchers ahead of the fire you're gonna lobster em. Use PPV with crews venting and entering independently from the outside under VES, you risk having hte fire be blown into the room their operating and out the window the entered -- trapping them.

    My humble opinion...VES is probably a better "standard" of attack -- it does give any victims the best chance of being found & rescued.

    However, VES isn't the best set of tactics for all departments out there.

    I believe fog & ppv tactics are simpler to teach and especially simpler to control, especially if you have firefighter crews that vary often -- i.e. volunteer. Fog & PPV tactics, depending on construction and occupancy, may also be favored if your routinely understaffed.

    VES puts much more responsibility on individual FFs to know their job and do it safely. It takes more training, practice, and experience.

    Probably the most respect is due to departments with the discipline to be able to train and be prepared to deploy either set of tactics, and be able to use either set without mixing them up and hurting each other. That takes excellent command presence and coordination.


  6. #6
    Lt.Houck Guest


    They summed it up pretty well above. We have found some good literature on the topic out of FDNY, however they have some one man operations in their material. We use two personel to perform this tactic. The Officer and the Chauffer are the two responsible to ensure that this gets done when needed. Our policy allows for the one ff to vent the window clear it out, enter the window, close the door, search the room, reopen the door to allow for ventilation out the window, and exit the structure via the window they entered. The second person stays out at all times to monitor conditions. Most times the VES team never makes it very far, because the interior search team is already making their way to the bedrooms via the interior stairs. One of the most important things we stress is that no one performs VES alone. If I can find some of the info we use I can see about getting a copy to you. Let me know.

  7. #7
    51Truck_K Guest


    And never, never, ever, use a PPV fan while a member is V-E-S'ing!

  8. #8
    eyecue Guest


    I am not a fan of VES for second floor tactics. It takes three people to do it properly. One heels the ground ladder. One climbs the ladder and enters. The third one stays on the ladder to assist (if needed) the person searching the room. If the searcher has to bail out the window with a prone style rapid evacuation, the person on the ladder is going to be in the way and both are likely to get hurt.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Ghetto, NY


    Eyecue, I have to vehemontly disagree with you...V-E-S was developed to be done by minimal staffing, although that is not really a concern in New York. Acsess to the floor to be searched can be done with many more routes than a ground ladder, such as fire escapes (very handy), adjacent roofs, ladder trucks, and so on...But if you are intent on using a ground ladder, which is a feasable route of entry, do you really need 3 members? Do you think maybe, just maybe, the FF entering to search can place the ladder with his partner, climb it, enter, and do the search, while his partner follows and searches another part of the house? BUt what if the ladder slips? Risk a little, save a little, Risk a lot, save a lot, Right?

    Ever given thought to doing VES on a ground floor of a private dwelling? Would it work? You betcha it would!

    By nature, VES is a dangerous tactic, that in some systems, allows the member to operate alone. Yes alone. BUt in the situations where it can be applied it is highly sucsessful....and better than my spelling!
    FTM - PTB

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000


    I was brought up on VES. For the most part the Outside Vent Man (OVM) was our safety valve. If the inside team was unable to make access to a fire room due to conditions, this was relayed to the OVM and he would make the push in.

    In most cases, in my area, the OVM works off a fire escape. The normal course of action would be to take out a pane of glass in a window not serving the fire escape and get a feel of conditions by the smoke's color movement and pressure. If the inside team reported they were cut off or delayed for any reason the OVM would clear the window, noted above, then a window serving the fire escape. If conditions permitted he would enter and search the area...we are talking a QUICK, I mean QUICK sweep of the room.

    On the other hand. Assume the inside team makes the fireroom. The OVM hangs tight and awaits the line being charged. At the moment he hears the water flowing, all glass goes. This gives the engine (THE FIREFIGHTERS) someplace to push the fire, smoke and heat.

    Vent, Enter and Search is probably falling prey to OSHA and other restrictions, but in it's day, it accounted for many an otherwise lost survivor.

    [ 07-01-2001: Message edited by: E229lt ]

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2001


    E229lt, I like the way you work . I see you have some very good pointers here.

    To support 51Truck_K, VES is very tricky. It was developed to use with minimum manpower. It is nice to have 2 guys but most of the time it is a one-man job. Using a 2 section 14' or 16' ladder (my preference) one-man can set it and reach a second story window. If you are lucky enough to not be on concrete, you can climb it without much of a worry of it slipping, just sink the butt into the ground a bit. Then you vent, enter, search and get out...

    I see it all coming down to what you practice and the situation at hand. Remember situations dictate actions.

    Keep this kind of discussion up, I like to see topics like this discussed in a sensible fashion .
    Keep Safe!

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