Thread: VES Questions

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    Default VES Questions

    I am working on some truck operations drills with one of our Captains.

    One thing that my department has never taught before is Vent, Enter, Search. We would like this as an option when there are confirmed (or probable) victims and heavy fire slows entry to the bedrooms via the interior.

    We realize that VES can be dangerous so we want to drill on it correctly. We have found several excellent articles on this subject by Bob Pressler, etc. but have a couple questions that the articles did not address and Iím hoping those that use this method a lot can help:

    When performing VES from a ground ladder, what is the proper position for the ladder? For rescue it is supposed to be even with the windowsill but this seems to be a dangerous position to break the window from. It seems like it would use up valuable time to raise the ladder next to the window, vent it, move the ladder and then climb up to enter. Would two ladders be the best option?

    Has anyone had trouble removing the metal window frames on newer energy efficient windows? Whatís the best tool to use for clearing out these type of windows?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Thumbs up

    I participated in a truck company ops class last year and they touched on VES a little bit. They showed us to raise the ladder enough and crash it through the window, and then move it back so that the tip is at the bottom of the sill. This does make the angle of the ladder a little big, but it worked quited well. You can then climb to the top and finish clearing the window glass and sounding the floor. I never have had to do it on a scene yet.

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    Use the tip of the ladder to break the window, reposition so the tip is even with the sill, finish cleaning out the glass, remove the frame by unlocking the window and postioning it as if its slightly opened ( this makes the frame weaker ) and swing at the cross members. After entering, try to immediatly get to the door to the room. Make a quick search of the hallway, go back in the room, close the door (this buys you time to search) and search the room. You may want to re-open the door before you go out the window to help vent the rest of the building. A note: If while cleaning out the window the fire is knocked down, use your judgement, it may be easier (and safer) to get in the window and take the frame from inside, rather than doing this on a ladder.

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    MattyJ
    Do you hook to the ladder w/ a search line or anything? My instructors told us to either hook to the top rung w/ a line or a tool. From what little bit of practical we got to do w/ it, i thought the search line was more practical and versatile, instead of carrying a pike up with you. I guess i would prefer taking a halligan or axe up w/ to do the neccesary cleaning glass and sounding the floor
    Last edited by Svfman; 03-04-2004 at 11:00 AM.

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    I dont usually tie off a search rope ( were talking small rooms ) but if you feel comfortable go ahead. If conditions were that bad I might use a rope or use the hook to keep my bearrings ( hook the hook to top rung of ladder or sill) I usually bring my hook and Halligan up the ladder and bring my halligan in with me. The hook is hung outside on the top rung. If I later need the hook to pull ceilings or whatever, I know where it is. The hook is also good on the ladder to take an adjoining window to vent, prior to entering the one you've choosen to VES.
    Unless you have a specific location of a victim, the window you want to VES should be as close to the fire room (or fire room if fire is small enough) as possible. Any victims in these areas are in the most immediate danger, and the inside team may be blocked by fire and unable to reach them.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 03-04-2004 at 11:42 AM.

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    I see, Thanks mattyj for all your help, i like the idea of having that pike handy.

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    Another option when working with two members is to put the ladder alongside the window with the tip even with the top of the window. Place it up wind and climb so you're head is even with the top. The glass can now be fully cleared without dropping onto you.

    Once the glass is cleared, you can step off the ladder onto the sill and into the window. Your second member can reposition the ladder level with and on the sill and join you in the room being searched (2in2out).

    While dropping the ladder into the window also works, often a lot of glass shards needs to be removed prior to entry due to new glass being phenol sealed into the frame.

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    remove the frame by unlocking the window and postioning it as if its slightly opened ( this makes the frame weaker ) and swing at the cross members.
    First time I've heard this one, thanks for the tip.

    Another option when working with two members is to put the ladder alongside the window with the tip even with the top of the window. Place it up wind and climb so you're head is even with the top. The glass can now be fully cleared without dropping onto you.

    Once the glass is cleared, you can step off the ladder onto the sill and into the window. Your second member can reposition the ladder level with and on the sill and join you in the room being searched (2in2out).
    Makes perfect sense, thanks Lt.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Something that works for me in taking out windows; We crash the ladder through the widow and reposition also. Sometimes I've been able to take the NY style roof hook and take it through the bottom corner of the window and use the back side of the hook and pull on the frame and yank the enire window out. Many times these are windows added from a remodel and they aren't anchored with anything too strong. The masonry in our aging rowhouses helps too.

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    When you vent that window all the heat and smoke are coming out that window. Why would you go in that way? Vent the window to remove the heat and smoke and enter a different route, you wouldn't enter through the roof after venting or self venting.

    Venting is very important for search and for fire attack, if you can have and OVM use it. Break window in a coordinated attack, when you break and then the water is applied it pushes the smoke and heat out, if you don't vent the heat comes right back on you in the door you entered. Same as entering the window you just broke.

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    We presently teach a course called FIRE ATTACK by Emergency Resource of Colorado. It teaches the basic but through logistics of VES and also gets into ICS, why we do what we do from the first due engine and everything that follows to mitigate a fire scene. It is one of the finest courses that I have taken and taught. You can Email me if you have trouble finding them as right now I don't have the address at my res.

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    Originally posted by Fire40man
    Venting is very important for search and for fire attack, if you can have and OVM use it. Break window in a coordinated attack, when you break and then the water is applied it pushes the smoke and heat out, if you don't vent the heat comes right back on you in the door you entered. Same as entering the window you just broke.

    I think you are missing the concept behind VES, its primary fucntion is to locate a victim, its second function is ventilation, someone correct me if I"M wrong. Besides as I think MattyJ stated that closing the door to the room you entered will protect you from fire entering. As for releasing the heat and gases out of that window you are not really blocking it by entering. If you were to just "hang out" in the window frame then you would be blocking it. Besides by venting it; you will make the search easier. Also if you are taking the proper window you should not have to worry about sucking the fire into your room. There are countless variable that we could discuss forever, each situation dictates what is the best option.

    That is my thought on the VES idea.
    Last edited by firefiftyfive; 03-04-2004 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Negative ghostrider

    You are missing the point, VES stands for vent, enter, search. The pupose is to remove all or most the heat and smoke, so yes you can search for any victims. Don't understand closing the door, then it won't vent will it.

    My understanding of VES, is to vent the smoke and heat to assist in search of victims or the fire. This allows you to see better, victims may be able to breath easier. I just don't see the use in entering your vent hole.

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    I just don't see the use in entering your vent hole.
    To remove the victim that may be cut off by fire that may be on a lower floor. A window is the most direct route to searching a bedroom, especially if it's on an upper floor. Get in, search to the door, close it, search on around, and get out. Searching the hallway could be a good idea, if conditions allow it. I'd be very careful about going too far from the bedroom, though. Seconds count when making a rescue like this; there may be no time to follow a hose line through a house, up the stairs, and down a hallway.
    Don't understand closing the door, then it won't vent will it.
    Heat and smoke in the room will push out the window, even if the door is closed. The main thing is to create a barrier between you and the fire, increasing your safety. An average bedroom should be searched in a matter of seconds.

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    Default Re: Negative ghostrider

    Originally posted by Fire40man
    You are missing the point, VES stands for vent, enter, search. The pupose is to remove all or most the heat and smoke, so yes you can search for any victims. Don't understand closing the door, then it won't vent will it.

    My understanding of VES, is to vent the smoke and heat to assist in search of victims or the fire. This allows you to see better, victims may be able to breath easier. I just don't see the use in entering your vent hole.
    You are venting the room you are about to enter. In VES, the vent is primarily for you and the room(victim) you are searching. Once you are done, if you open the door like Matty J said, then your vent will help the rest of the operation. The idea behind it is to quickly search an area not readily accessible by inside crews. This is not the same a regular old horizontal ventilation.

    Dave

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    I think Fire40man is thinking of coordinated attack with simultaneous vent/attack instead of the VES for areas that you are unable to get to due to the fire.......

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    I think there has been some confusion over normal horizontal venting and VES.

    Two concepts that one must master...vent for fire (normal horizontal vent to facilitate advancement of hoseline) venting for life (VES-to make search or grab)

    If you are performing VES...that means you will be entering after you vent. You are trying to get to victims overcome and who are trapped by the main body of fire.

    You close the door to prevent and fire from being drawn to your location while you search. This also means that the smoke is only venting from one room and will improve visibilty for you to conduct the search Once you are done if the fire conditions permit..open the door to allow the venting of the interior hallway.

    FTM-PTB

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    Photo of job where VES was made to rescue a victim. 16' roof ladder placed to sill of 2nd floor window. Window was vented fully(top and bottom sash). Entry was made and search proved positive for victim. 16' roof ladder is to the left of photo. This is just after rescue. Fire conditions forced firefighter to exit headfirst into arms of brother firefighter.
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    Last edited by FitzBFDT2; 03-04-2004 at 10:40 PM.
    Kevin M. Fitzhenry
    Captain, Rescue Company 1
    City of Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department

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    Photo of original ladder (left) and ladder placed by 2nd due ladder company. The placement of 2nd ladder was critical in assisting in removal of victim. Notice how entire window was taken out.
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    Kevin M. Fitzhenry
    Captain, Rescue Company 1
    City of Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department

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    Also, best tool for VES off a portable ladder is the halligan...by far.
    Kevin M. Fitzhenry
    Captain, Rescue Company 1
    City of Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department

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    Originally posted by FitzBFDT2
    Also, best tool for VES off a portable ladder is the halligan...by far.
    Deffinitely agree with that. Just the pure weight of the tool helps to clear the window.

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    Fitz, nice grab by your brothers! These are exactly the type of situations we had in mind for VES.

    We had the basics of clearing out the entire window to make entry easier (smoke & heat should exit high in the window frame) and also making a quick check of the hallway before closing the door. Thanks to all who confirmed we were on the right track with these.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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