02-07-2001, 06:01 AM #1SubukFirehouse.com Guest
My department has successfully used PPV, for overhaul purposes only, over the last six years. Our senior officers refuse to let us use it aggressively, stating that major fires elsewhere have developed due to this tactic.
I would be interested to hear of experiences and opinions of other firefighters on this matter.
02-07-2001, 07:45 PM #2First-DueFirehouse.com Guest
In my Dept. we have used PPV now for approx. 10 yrs. We use it after the main body of fire has been knocked down. Some Depts. are using it in conjunction with intial fire attack. That is were some debate about PPV comes in. I am sure others will follow up. There has been past postings on this. Good Luck !!!! Robb
02-10-2001, 07:18 AM #3SubukFirehouse.com Guest
Thank you for your reply. Like you we only use the fan when the fire is extinguished. The frustrating part is that we were given all the factors re. reduced chance of backdraft, increased casualty survival rate, reduced heat stress to firefighters etc. when using PPV during firefighting and searching/rescuing victims.
We appreciate the need for caution but the management attitude is that only negative consequences will result from using PPV aggressively. We have trained extensively with the fan in our smokehouse (two storeys plus tunnel complex) using heat and real smoke (not cosmetic/training smoke) and have taken every opportunity to use it at incidents.
I must have missed the previous entries regarding this topic, was it recent?
We would appreciate postings of personal experiences, where PPV was used prior to extinguishment, good or bad! Opinions are invited, for and against.
Once again, thanks for your reply.
02-10-2001, 01:51 PM #4amfmFirehouse.com Guest
While I do not have any sites nor e-mail addresses right now, I will get you some later. Charlotte North Carolina and certian organizations in North Carolina, as well as Florida have done a lot of research on the use of PPV in the fire attack mode. I will try and get you some e-mail addresses on Monday when I get back to the office.
As a precaution, PPV works well in newer structures where there are fewer hidden voids. PPV in the attack mode in older structures of wooden frame construction with many voids, can have disasterous results. Make sure you know where the fire is, and remember that you always need two vent openings. One for the good air and one for the bad. That goes for traditional as well as PPV ventilation.
02-15-2001, 05:43 PM #5LT.MikeAFDFirehouse.com Guest
I work for a small dept. that has only just recently gone to the ppv. For years we only had the small fan that you hung in the doorway after the fire was out. Lately we have used the ppv and there are some mixed emotions about it,my advice is,Make sure you have the adequate manpower and water to extinguish the fire once you set the fan up. The resulting influx of fresh air will most certainly intensify the fire.I remember the first fire we tried it on, my partner and I made entry while the vent crew were setting up the fan and taking out windows in the back of the residence. Visibility upon entry was zero, within a matter of seconds after the fan was set up in the front door you could see almost everything, the seat of the main fire in front of us, the small fires to the sides of us, the fire over us, the fire behind us, and it was all growing larger and larger, oh and did I mention our shift captain that was standing right behind my shoulder saying "This thing really works". I dont condone his actions, but the truth is the fire was extinguished more quickly, with less water,because we could actually see the fire, and no steam burns. If it had been a rescue situation it would have been much easier to find a victim with the majority of the smoke and heat being blown out the back window.
02-16-2001, 06:14 PM #6SubukFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for your replies and advice. I'll look forward to receiving the email addresses. Any other FF's with similar experiences?
02-16-2001, 10:19 PM #7woody1973Firehouse.com Guest
I have only been on this dept for about a year and our chief refuses to even buy a ppv. For the reasons stated earlier. However my previous dept used positive pressure in conjuncion(sp.) with the first attack and it worked great. You will never realize the differance until you use it in that capacity. It will not produce any more problems that continued training and on the job experience wont fix.
just my opinion, please take it as that
[This message has been edited by woody1973 (edited 02-16-2001).]
02-17-2001, 09:49 AM #84ironFirehouse.com Guest
I've used/taught PPV for 15 years.I've found PPV with fire attack very useful.The important issues to remember in its use are many:
1) Resources-How many companys are/will be on scene after the first due?It takes a well coordinated attack to safely implement PPV with fire attack.
2)Building construction-Like any ventilation technique,different types of buildings should be vented in different ways.We don't use PPV,for example,in balloon frame construction,spreading the fire is too likely.
3)Fire extent/location-PPV/attack it is critical to know/anticipate the fires travel.PPV/attack works best(safest)on fires where the seat is near to an 'exhaust opening'.And always open that 'exhaust opening'first,with water soon to follow.
4)Timing-With any fire,ventilation will/may intensify a fire.(remember the definitions of ventilation-out with the bad air,in with the good air-and fire always likes good air)PPV/attack must have rapid sequence,open it,blow it,fight it.It doesn't take long to partially clear the path to the seat of the fire.After all,that's a main reason to use it,get to the seat fast,and protect occupants that are trapped.
5)Training-without it it's a very dangerous tool.It is after all just another tool in the fire service,different fires require different tools.
Good luck/stay safe
02-20-2001, 10:04 AM #9ThickSmoke3Firehouse.com Guest
As long as I have been on the dept. I don't remember ever using PPV on the fires that I've been on. If you have the manpower and water it would make good sense to use it, if the situation called for it.
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