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  1. #21
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp
    Don't use it if you don't like it.

    If you think PPV is the only venting that can be done wrong...then you are wrong.

    I am on 2 FD's and I have seen PPV, when used properly be very successful. I have also seen times where people had no clue what they were doing screw things up with it.

    I have seen on more than one occasion guys pop windows before the line was in position and have the fire take off and take control of a structure. I have also seen roof venting done in the wrong place pull fire through a building and make the situation worse.

    Since I have seen both of those methods cause undue damage should we abandon them too?

    It's simple. Use it when appropriate, don't when it's not. TRAINING as always is the KEY.

    This has become nothing more than the stupid "always smoothbore or always fog argument" , "traditional or tupperware helmets", or the even more popular "RED is the only color for firetrucks" debate that has 2 sides proving their side and in the end solving nothing.

    I seriously doubt that either of my FD's will be abandoning PPV anytime soon. Perhaps because we don't use the "It's the only way mentality."

    FyredUp
    Well said.

    I am sure that some firefighters hated giving up the "bucket brigade" because the steam driven pumps were unreliable. Some said that SCBA's were for wimps because they have been "smoke eaters" for their entire careers.

    I have seen PPV work great on several occations. I have also other types of ventilation work almost as good. "ANYTHING" done wrong in the fire service can have dire consequences. I do agree that we should not use any equipment that we are not properly trained on. Just my humble opinion!!!

    Take care and stay safe!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **


  2. #22
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    I have stayed out of the PPV debate for as long as I could. Reading each post about how terrible of a tool it is, I would bite my tongue (or fingers, as the case may be ) and keep from entering this debate mostly for fear of having to type a whole lot.

    We have used PPV since long before I started with my dept. some 15+ years ago. We use it at virtually EVERY structure fire, and it is GREAT!

    We know how it works, why it works and what it will do. We train with it, we use it and we love it!

    I feel sorry for departments that are afraid of it either because of ignorance, or because they have seen it misused by someone else that was ignorant.

    When used properly, which by the way is easy to learn, it saves firefighters and victims from taking unnecessary beatings from heat and smoke, and it greatly improves firefighting efforts and allows for quicker extinguishment, better search conditions and a much faster return to more tenable conditions for all involved.

    Now, for all you who will never agree with its use...Flame away! (pun intended)




    Kevin
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  3. #23
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949
    I have stayed out of the PPV debate for as long as I could. Reading each post about how terrible of a tool it is, I would bite my tongue (or fingers, as the case may be ) and keep from entering this debate mostly for fear of having to type a whole lot.

    We have used PPV since long before I started with my dept. some 15+ years ago. We use it at virtually EVERY structure fire, and it is GREAT!

    We know how it works, why it works and what it will do. We train with it, we use it and we love it!

    I feel sorry for departments that are afraid of it either because of ignorance, or because they have seen it misused by someone else that was ignorant.

    When used properly, which by the way is easy to learn, it saves firefighters and victims from taking unnecessary beatings from heat and smoke, and it greatly improves firefighting efforts and allows for quicker extinguishment, better search conditions and a much faster return to more tenable conditions for all involved.

    Now, for all you who will never agree with its use...Flame away! (pun intended)




    Kevin

    Ditto, ditto, ditto!!
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  4. #24
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    This has become nothing more than the stupid "always smoothbore or always fog argument" , "traditional or tupperware helmets", or the even more popular "RED is the only color for firetrucks" debate that has 2 sides proving their side and in the end solving nothing.
    RED IS the only color for firetrucks!

  5. #25
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949

    We know how it works, why it works and what it will do. We train with it, we use it and we love it!

    I feel sorry for departments that are afraid of it either because of ignorance, or because they have seen it misused by someone else that was ignorant.
    Kevin...I am glad it work for you guys, but for other it doesn't. And not because they are afraid or ignorant.....they are the ones who know thier area and buildings. Like my brothers from FDNY said....for us....no matter how great they are for you, here they would kill us and burn buildings down. For instance......in Brooklyn, they have entire city blocks of what are called Rowframe houses....that average 2-4 stories of wood frames that are connected....it is common for them to have 20 units on one street on both sides.....the biggest common feature is the open common cockloft that runs the entire span of the street. If you were to introduce 10000 sq feet per minute of fresh air.....you would level the block in minutes....no matter how you use it. Example #2.....were I am in the Bronx...we have many high rise gov't subsidied fireproof residential buildings (Projects)....that avg 14 stories. These are extreamly scarry buildings to fight fires in...basically they are like fighting fire in an brick pizza oven....and Ventilation is done extreamly carefully.....1 open window...and open fire apt door can incinerate a hallway in seconds...you will get a 100 foot wall of fire that two 2.5" lines would have trouble holding. Again....introduction of fresh air is bad. Just ask my brothers in Rockaway, Queens. Also in my area, and many throughout the city...we have Non Fire proof 5,7,and 7 story "H" types....that are LOADED with voids.....introduction of fresh air is bad here to. Here is an idea....one of my first fires in NYC was in one of these types of buildings.....fire was in 1 apt on the third floor, a gas line was broken in wall as well (we didn't know this at the time)....it filled every void all the way to the roof, through something called a channel box and the old dumbwaiter shaft.....we put the fire out w/ no problem....a truck company was opening the ceilings in the fire apt....embers got into the space....ignigted the gas and blew the ceiling down on the top floor, and lifter the roofmen atleast a foot into the air knocking them down. The point here is....voids....Another example would be the 6th Alarm the other day in the Bronx.....fire got into the old dumbwaiter....and before they knew it....fire was blowing out of 4 floors.

    People should have tools that serve them the best and that fit there style of Firefighting. PPV work for you, great.....it will kill us, not so great.

    Stay Safe...

  6. #26
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949
    When used properly, which by the way is easy to learn, it saves firefighters and victims from taking unnecessary beatings from heat and smoke, and it greatly improves firefighting efforts and allows for quicker extinguishment, better search conditions and a much faster return to more tenable conditions for all involved.

    Kevin
    Amen, Brother! Couldn't agree more..... But I also agree with VinnieB....PPV is not suited for all situations. City department with 3-4-5 story walkups, multiple occupancy dwellings, different construction styles, etc. will use very different ventilation tactics than their suburban or rural counterparts.

    Balloon construction? Don't have it around here....I can probably count on two hands the number of two story houses we have in our area, and very few of them are old homes. Our common structure fire is the single family dwelling, one story, 1,000 to 2,000 sq. foot living area. For us, PPV works very well.

    It's a manageable sized building...set the PPV in the door and as the smoke clears out, it will take the hose team only seconds to locate the seat of the fire and make a knockdown. That's the key...Yes, PPV will cause the fire to flare up a bit, but you're on it in seconds and it doesn't have a chance to take off. I can imagine, though, that if you pressurize a building and you have to walk up 4 floors, force entry into and search several apartments, then yeah, the fire would have a chance to take off on you.

    We have used it with great success for about 15 years now, and are comfortable with how and when to use it. I have seen other departments attempt to use it improperly and either have ineffective or negative results, because they don't understand its use.

    I recall going to a fire with a neighboring department years ago, when everyone was just getting into PPV. They bought a fan but didn't bother to find out how to use it properly. They put it backwards in the doorway to draw the smoke out of the building, like they were used to doing with their old electric ventilation fans

    Obviously this is a rather extreme example of using a PPV fan wrong, but improper placement, starting ventilation before the hose team is ready to enter, or trying to pressurize a building that already has multiple or large vents open (making it impossible to create pressure), are all examples of improper tactics in using PPV.

    When used correctly, in the appropriate situations, PPV is indeed an excellent tool and makes conditions much more tenable for your interior crews.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  7. #27
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    I've noticed that it seems the departments that are really big into PPV and say it works greata are all "new" cities where the construction is much less problematic than the northeast.

    Many places in FL, CA, NM where the house is always tight due to the air conditioning. Fewer balloon framed construction houses. Less plaster on lathe walls and rough sawn strucural members.

    In the Northeast we have tons of 100-200 year old houses with dry decaying wood frames, tons of combustible voids, and poor compartment containment (palster vs. sheetrock). I just flat out do not believe the research shows that PPV can keep fire out of the voids when you cannot tell where the entrances to them are. Maybe teen age Johnny punched a hole in his bedroom wall and it's covered with Britney Spears poster? Obviously most new construction is better compartmentized and may benefit from a proper PPV/PPA tactic but even with PPV it will take another 100 years to burn down the existing old houses.

    In 20 years I've seen many places take a stab at PPV/PPA. We have and relagated it to an after knockdown ventilation tool, which rarely works as intended because of the traditional truck work we've done before knockdown. Other places I've watched burn down a house for a standard room and contents fire. I agree with whoever stated before that PPV is not as fast. Unless you have extra personnel assigned to this task on arrival (new staffing tool?) a standard company working to get the first line in cannot lose two ffers to retrieve a fan and still get in as quick.

    Again as previously stated:
    1. How do you know that the victims are not between the point of entry and the exhaust?
    2. How does PPV pressurize the space and not push fire into voids, when you ahve no idea where the voids may be open to the fire area?
    3. What happens if its 90 degrees and the AC is out so the house has all the windows open? Assign the truck to close them?
    4. How are you sure there is no doors closed or obstructions in the exhaust path between the fire and the vent opeing? Only vent the fire room? What if its and interior space?
    5. How about an unrecognized cellar fire? Will the PPV cause a Venturi affect and suck the fire up? Saw this happen and the room and contents ended up a total loss.
    6. What if the fire is actaully in the walls and all you have is a heavy smoke condition on arrival?

    There are too many variables that cannot be known on arrival. JMHO

  8. #28
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM

    1. How do you know that the victims are not between the point of entry and the exhaust? Simple for us. If they are not ALL standing outside and clearly tell us they are all out we won't use PPV initially. This is a single family dwelling of course.
    2. How does PPV pressurize the space and not push fire into voids, when you ahve no idea where the voids may be open to the fire area? This can happen, and does at times. It is VERY important that if you use PPV in the attack mode that the line be charges, at the entry point and ready to go in before the fan is used. We have not had that problem here...yet.
    3. What happens if its 90 degrees and the AC is out so the house has all the windows open? Assign the truck to close them? Nope, anymore than if a roof job was being done you would reshingle before opening the roof. If the wndows are all open natural venting is underway so why mess with it? PPV is a tool for us, not something that gets used without thought and planning.
    4. How are you sure there is no doors closed or obstructions in the exhaust path between the fire and the vent opeing? Only vent the fire room? What if its and interior space? Again if it isn't appropriate for that fire DON'T USE IT. Even if the doors are closed the worst that happens is any smoke in the building is pushed to a remote area while you advance to the burn room. The window would get popped before you open the door so when you did the smoke and heat are forced out.
    5. How about an unrecognized cellar fire? Will the PPV cause a Venturi affect and suck the fire up? Saw this happen and the room and contents ended up a total loss. Again, tatctically like any other ventilation technique it has to be done where the fire is. If you don't know where the fire is PPV may not be the best choice. I have successfully vented basement fires with PPV.
    6. What if the fire is actaully in the walls and all you have is a heavy smoke condition on arrival? Again for us if we can't locate the spot we believe the fire is we won't start the fan. This scenario could be made worse by any type of venting done wrong.

    There are too many variables that cannot be known on arrival. JMHO
    It is a tool, among many ventilation tools, that has a place. Is it always the answer? Hell no. But at times it is the answer and at times it is adamantly the wrong answer.

    FyredUp

  9. #29
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    Fyred Up: BINGO!! All of your answers are exactly appropriate for the use of PPV, but the intent of the Fire Chief magazine article is to debunk any myths and say its ok to use anytime. From what your answers are, your experience is like ours. Not an end all, in fact more of an after initial attack tool. I would say that 90% of our strucutre fires fit one of the 6 scenario's I presented. Really if you read your answers they defend NOT USING PPV. Considering the actual indicators of when you or I might use PPV at the initial attack, I'd rather have the compartment space the stupid fan takes up.

  10. #30
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    We use PPV. It can be a great tool. But with emphasis on CAN BE. The right situation where the path to vent is unobstructed (closed doors) and the fire is near the vent hole. Also no victims trapped. The problem is to use it correctly you really need to enter/search/find the fire/open doors. By now you should have controlled the fire anyway and if you can't you sure don't want to pump in pressurized air.
    With all these variables I would prefer it stay on the truck. Or better yet, to dry the apparatus floor.

  11. #31
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    It seems to me that the posts for and against are pretty indicative of the areas represented by the different posters. Dave1983 and fireman4949 are both from Florida and seem to agree on the intelligent use of PPV/PPA. dmleblanc from LA seems to echo the ideas.

    Guys in the NE seem to be dead set against the entire thing and I can respect that.

    The types of construction found in different areas will call for differing tactics. I do not agree with the FH article's slant toward the PPV/PPA being the be-all, end-all tactic. The use will be determined by knowing the building that you are entering (Mr. Brannigan's wise words live on).

    Intelligent use of YOUR departments tactics is what is going to keep you and your brothers safe.
    Stupid People.......Providing Job Security to Public Safety Professionals for ........forever

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