1. #76
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    Damn, I tried.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  2. #77
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    Here is a good read from Fire Chief magazine:

    http://firechief.com/mag/firefightin...reinforcement/

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    Two fires I was at that had fan use:

    Most recent:
    Front side of two story house, facing road, A side, with front door enter of wall.
    Wind coming from backside/C side. Not a strong wind, but noticeable judging from smoke column direction.
    Rear 1 story room addition roof burnt out.
    Most, if not all upper windows busted or burnt out.
    Hose going through front door.
    Fan in front door pushing in.
    Wasn't inside initially, and don't know if the fan helped or not. Might have to ask.
    Seemed like fan was in the way during overhaul and salvage.

    Earlier:
    Cellar/short small basement fire.
    Fan placed in front of cellar window, glass broken out, smoke sucked out, outside entry door opened.
    Seemed like the size of fan, with the cellar size, one air entry and exit was effective in clearing the nasties out.

    Other times:
    Fan pushing in with only a window or two open. Seemed effective.

    Time and place for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain5505
    Well I see we come from opposite sides of the country. We run a 6 man engine first out. Operator, hydrant man, leaves me 4 more, 2 streaching a line for attack, one with the fan, one to take out the window. .

    Hey hey hey don't make this an east/west thing! Jay Olson, a captain with Portland Fire teaches a great class on contraindications of PPV. He subscribes in large part to the same feelign that often, you are wasting time with the fan when you can have the fire out. Additionally, it's not a great idea if you don't know where you're pushing the fire (particularly when you have possible victims who are also in unkown locations).
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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    Why is it that the same statements keep getting made about "not knowing where you are pushing the fire to" or "what about vic's trapped between the fire and the exhaust"?

    I am not going to say that PPV/PPA is the answer for every department. But the arguements against it seem to be (not by all but by the majority that I have read) partly founded on these points.
    If you are going to utilize the PPV/PPA "tool" then you MUST know where you are pushing the fire. This is ensured by making an "adequate" exhaust opening for smoke, heat, etc. to exit the fire building. You then KNOW where the fire is going.....OUT THE EXHAUST OPENING. With the exhaust opening made at the fire room, as high as possible, then the heat/fire gases/smoke are released to the outside making the REMAINDER of the building more tenable for firefighters and possible trapped occupants.
    If you have someone standing in the window then it is obvious (even to us dumb ***** southern boys) that you must remove them before using that opening as an exhaust. If you aren't planning on using that window/opening as an exhaust then when the rescue is effected then you must compensate for this opening by either shutting the window or closing an interior door to take this lower pressure opening out of the high pressure/low pressure equation.
    The proper application of PPV/PPA will keep the fire "pinned" back at the exhaust opening or at least slow the spread as compared to neutral pressure throughout the structure. This is not a cure-all or a universal tool but it is a tactic that has been utilized with great benifit in many departments (mine included).

    The tools that we as firefighters have developed over time have been learned for the most part by use in the real world struggle against "the beast" and by training. Don't knock it just because you don't or haven't used it. We are all trying to do the same job. You may do something on your department that I don't and I may do something on my department that you don't but we are fighting the same enemy. If your method works for you, then USE IT. My method works for me and I will continue to USE IT. Don't knock it because it is done differently. Encourage each other to keep fighting the good fight and try to keep yourself and your brothers/sisters safe.


    *would someone call the tower to help me down off of my soap box*

  6. #81
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    Cityfire.
    While your idea seems simple enough, in a balloon frame it does not work.
    For the most part balloon frames are old, dry, just ready to burn. If you have a fire that has escaped the room of origin (which you will not always know especialy with this type of non-weather sealed building) it is more than likely in the walls. Once a fire gets in the walls of this type of building you are going to need extensive overhaul and recon to find out where the fire is. If you are to charge the atmosphere with a PPV the positive air charge will follow where the fire has spread to (the walls) and continue to push it. Meaning you have just pushed a fire into the attic and possibly down the other side of the building, don't tell me fire does not travel downward. What you esentialy have is superheated gas under pressure looking for a place to go and if down the wall is the path of least resistance than that is where it is going to go. If the fire has traveled into the cieling in between floors same deal, lets not forget some of these old buildings used old papers sewn toghether as insulation, can you say fireload. The only way PPV can safely be used on a balloon frame is with many experienced firefighters on scene. Guys that know fire travel placed on each floor with a charged line on at least the fire floor, one above, the attic and one below which means for the most part all floors because most balloon frames are limited to 4 floors due to construction limitations. I am not saying it can't be done or hasn't, but you sure as hell better have persons with a good deal of knowledge of fire behavior in place and ready to go into action fast. In my opinion with this type of structure the safest attack plan is to get a minimum of 3 lines into the building asap and a truck co. in place to vent verticaly (if needed or not get them in place) right away. The first line to the fire the second to the attic and the third immediatly above the fire floor.

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    I just don't understand why people can't see this is a tool like any other tool. When used appropriately it is a beautiful thing, when used inappropriately it can be a real bad day.

    My volly FD recently had a fire in an attic. We got in quick, pulled ceiling and knocked down the fire. There was no place for the smoke to go as the attic had no end vents and a window opening had been sided over. I cut the siding out of the opening and we fired the PPV fan up at the door and pushed the smoke right up and out that attic opening. No additional smoke damage in the house. Smoke rapidly removed. Was this the classic PPV use doing fire attack? Nope. Was there another way to vent the smoke besides PPV? Sure, cut a hole in the roof. But why do unnecessary damage after the fact?

    In this case it was the RIGHT tool for the job. By the way we did have a ladder in place and a crew ready to vent the roof if we didn't get the fire right NOW when we went in.

    I have successfully used PPV for fire attack. I have also vertically vented through a roof, horizonytally vented through windows, and used negative pressure powered venting successfully when the situation called for it.

    Don't use it if you choose not to. But don't try to tell those of us that have used it successfully numerous times why we shouldn't use it either. TRAINING,TRAINING, TRAINING, is vital with this tool as with any other. I would no more ask an inexperienced, untrained crew to use a PPV fan than i would send a guy to vent the roof who doesn't know how to run the saw.

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    Yeah, what he said (again).

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    [QUOTE=MEck51]Cityfire.
    I am not saying it can't be done or hasn't, but you sure as hell better have persons with a good deal of knowledge of fire behavior in place and ready to go into action fast. QUOTE]


    It can be done with a good experienced crew, however all it takes is 1 guy that is complaicant or lazy to burn the whole house down. That is a reason I do not recomend it, besides the fact that there are more hidden voids in a balloon frame than most people could ever realize. Places that a fire will hide. Like I said and you must have missed I am not saying it can't be done. As far as I am concerned though the risk is not worth it.
    Fyredup you are right, what you did with your attic fire was not a ppv attack. From what you descibed you were simply removing smoke after the fire was done. When I talk about a PPV attack, it is while fire is still burning and you are using the fan to push products of combustion away from your attack crews. That is what I am talking about in my post, that is what I am saying is not worth the risk in this type of building. Keep in mind I am not saying don't use PPV for other types of fire as a matter of fact I am for it. Just not in balloon frames.

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    It can be done with a good experienced crew, however all it takes is 1 guy that is complaicant or lazy to burn the whole house down.
    Which begs the question - Why use it at all???

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    Exactly my point.

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    It can be done with a good experienced crew, however all it takes is 1 guy that is complaicant or lazy to burn the whole house down.
    And this can be said for many fire department operations can't it?

    For example:

    Gee Chief I saw fire coming out of the hole in the roof and thought I should put water on it?

    Yea, well, we cut a great hole in the roof for venting. Too bad it was in the wrong place and pulled the fire through the house.

    Holy ****E did we get cooked in there!! The numb nuts had the nozzle on wide fog.

    If we are going to base why we don't do something on the scenario that some untrained bufoon will do it wrong there are tons of things we should NEVER do ever at fires. Train your people to use this tool properly and when and when not to use it.

    ChicagoFF...you guys use combination nozzles don't you? On the slim chance that some one might accidently use a fog pattern by mistake shouldn't you get rid of them? I know that seems extreme doesn't it? But it is EXACTLY the same extreme that says never use PPV.


    I have used PPV successfully during fire attack. I have had it up and running to push the smoke and heat out of a horizontal vent opening (window). It worked great. I have used it to attack a basement fire. We popped a couple of windows opposite the bottom of the stairs, fired up the fan and pushed the heat and smoke out the windows and we walked down the stairs and put out the fire.

    Is PPV the right thing all the time? Of course not. Can it work in the right circumstances? Of course. Choices, experienced well trained firefighters know what is available to them and when to use them.

    FyredUp

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    Those are some valid points, however I don't think they are truely comparable to this discussion. There is a big difference between fire running the walls and a moron who uses a fog because he doesn't check the pattern. I see what your point is but the bottom line is in a balloon frame ppv will never be my choice, if you use hope it works out well for ya.

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    PPV is great for clearing smoke and other products of combustion such as CO out of a building*. My FD used it last night afyter a fire in an office buidling. A copier onthe 1st floor of the structure caught fire, the sprinkler system held the fire in check but it charged the entire building with smoke. They popped a few windows, set up the PPV fans and other smoke ejectors and cleared the building.

    I am a big proponent of "vent early and often", but not for using PPV in fire attack.

    When PPV first came out, I sparked a fire in a neighboring community who just had to try out their new fan.

    Fire in a balloon frame Victorian + PPV = cellar hole.

    *I have also heard the argument of a PPV fan putting CO into the building from the exhaust, therefore we can't use it.

    40 to 50 PPM of CO from the gasoline engine of a PPV fan vs. hundreds or thousands PPM of CO already in the building from the fire....

    Waiting for an electric smoke ejector to clear an area vs. turning on the PPV and clearing it within minutes...

    Hmmmmm
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-28-2006 at 10:44 AM.
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  15. #90
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    Default Never not used PPV.

    Ive never been to a fire were ppv is not used. Are state fire school teachs us to use the fan as soon as we can. So we do. Ive never not used it. So i really dont know what fighting a fire with out one is like..

    I dont know, but how good was this structure vented.

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    I think that you must be mistaken! PPV, although good in some situations, should definitely not be used in all situations. You have to know where the fire is and where you want the fire to go. Never at a basement fire, unless you don't intend on ever going in. Just some examples. There a more already expressed in earlier posts.

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    To me this is really a simple topic.

    1) Should you ALWAYS use PPV? NO, use it when it is appropriate and well trained, experienced firefighters will know when that is.

    2) Should you NEVER use PPV? No, see above.

    3) Is it another way to ventilate a structure? Yes, of course, opening the roof, opening or breaking windows, and negative pressure with smoke ejectors. They all have their place and they all work when used properly.

    4) Can inexperienced, untrained people make a fire worse with PPV? Yes, just like they can with pushing a fire with a fog nozzle, or venting a roof in the wrong place. Stupid or nexperienced people do things that make things worse. I sound like a broken record, but training is the key.

    5) Is a balloon frame structure a wise choice for PPV? Probably not. But this does not wholesale dismiss PPV as a sound ventilation tactic under the right situation.

    6) Can PPV be used to vent a basement fire? Yes, it can. Again, a balloon frame structure is not a good place to use this technique. The proper technique for venting a basement using PPV is to break windows opposite of the side that the fan is pushing from and let it blow for a while before you enter. This pushes the heat and smoke out the windows and makes for an easy advance down the steps. Is there a chance that the fire will grow slightly while you do this? Yes there is. But having done this it makes getting into the basement a whole lot easier when the heat is going out the window.


    And finally, if YOU or YOUR FD don't like PPV and don't want to use it, hey that's cool with me. Just like YOU and YOUR FD wearing 3/4 boots, or carrying but not actually doffing a mask, or not using a hood or any number of things that we don't allow is cool with me, if YOUR FD allows it.

    FyredUp

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    How can one be sure a house is balloon frame?
    My house from the exterior may be be judged to be 100% balloon. It never was 100% balloon and after some major work inside most of it isn't.
    Was at a live burn training where the room was hot and smoke filled. Opening the window wasn't much help. Seemed like a situation where some sort of fan ventilation would've helped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dadman
    How can one be sure a house is balloon frame?
    My house from the exterior may be be judged to be 100% balloon. It never was 100% balloon and after some major work inside most of it isn't.
    Was at a live burn training where the room was hot and smoke filled. Opening the window wasn't much help. Seemed like a situation where some sort of fan ventilation would've helped.
    It's called knowing your district.

    To quote "the Old Professor, the late Frank Brannigan.....

    The Building is your enemy. know your buildings!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    *I have also heard the argument of a PPV fan putting CO into the building from the exhaust, therefore we can't use it.
    Had enough guys in my department that would never use the gas fan for anything due to that "reasoning". Bought a 10' exhaust hose so now the exhaust is away from the fan. Now it's Ok.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    This month in Fire Chief their is a big article on PPV http://firechief.com/mag/firefightin...reinforcement/
    We don't use PPV for attack and in this area I have seen it often applied incorrectly. It is a tool, just don't let your chief see the magazine unless you want to always use it
    While the article is basically true the author makes too many generalizations and doesn't account for the unplanned drafts that are in both old and new construction.
    Please be careful out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jercvfd
    i HAVE BEEN A VOL. F.F. FOR 5 YEARS AND OUR DEPT. IS GOING TO GET SOME ONE HURT. WHEN WE GET ON A STRUCTURE THAT WE ARE GOING TO ENTER THE FIRST THING THAT THE OFFICERS DO IS THROW THAT FAN IN FRONT OF THE DOOR . MY PROBLEM IS I DONT THINK SOME OF OUR OFFICERS UNDERSTAND HOW PPV REALLY WORKS. IS IT NOT A BIG NO NO TO USE IT WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THE FIRE IS? ANYWAY IAM AM LOOKING FOR ANY INFO I CAN GET ON THIS ESP. IN BALLOON FRAME CONST.
    TRYING TO HELP BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT.
    You need to address this to your line officers. Turning a PPV fan on right away before the fire is located and knocked down is just simply bad, you'll just spread the fire if you employ PPV that quickly. PPV is a great thing, but not right off the bat, and deffnitely not always needed. If you're going to use PPV you need to locate the main body of fire first and knock it down. Then turn the fan on. Water ventilation also works well to clear a room. I would also recommend against using PPV in balloon structures. It's just going to spread the fire to areas you won't be able to find it.

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    Default Article

    Your officers may need to read this. You are right, but take a look at this article talking about PPA/(attack).
    http://firechief.com/mag/firefightin...ent/index.html

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    Default sorry

    Sorry, just realized they posted it before me.

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    This thread has certainly been around for a while. jercvfd, did you succeed in educating the red-hats at your department? I'm curious, when we first purchased our PPV, we thought it was going to be an immensely useful tool. We were right, but also quickly learned that it can be an immensely dangerous tool. Regardless of construction, if you're not educated on how and when to use these things, you'd be better off to sell it!
    Cheers,
    Gord

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