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    Default Ladder Truck Ventilation Process

    For those of you running straight stick ladders, what is your procedure for cutting a ventilation hole on a residential peaked roof. Are you using a roof ladder off the stick or just working off the ladder. Tell me the most efficient way you've found to do this. Thanks

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    How steep is your roof? You need to make your vent hole at the peak. Some times we need a scaler to get there. Most often we just walk up to where we need to work.

    If the roof does not feel solid a scaler may be appropriate even thought the the pitch is not that steep. But If the roof feels unsound ask your self if you should be up there in the first place.

    Make sure you have a second ladder thrown at a different part of the roof as an escape route.

    I'm sure you have typical house in your area in mind when you pose the question. A little more info may get you a better answer.

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    We never put guys on a roof without being tied off. When using a ladder truck to ventilate a steep pitched roof do you cut and operate off the ladder or do you throw a roof ladder from the truck and operate off the roof ladder? Just wondering how people do this because some people operate off the ladder and I don't see how this is possible without extending and retracting, a big no no with people on the ladder. People that operate off the ladder tell me it's too difficult to maneuver a roof ladder from the truck but I deploy the roof ladder onto the roof after we're extended to the base of the roof. Sorry if this is confusing.

    Scenario: You have a 4 story building with a pitched roof. You are the ladder and are ordered to horizontally ventilate. What's you're plan of action.

    Obviously the cut is gonna be large enough for the application, over the seat of the fire at the peak. How do you accomplish it?

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    Scenario: You have a 4 story building with a pitched roof. You are the ladder and are ordered to horizontally ventilate. What's you're plan of action.
    If I am ordered to horizontally ventilate Im gonna take the windows

    Im assuming you meant vertically.....Like someone else said, it depends on the pitch of the roof. If it is a walkable pitch, then a roof ladder isnt necessarily needed, although no one would fault you or complain if you took the time to bring one up there. On steeper roofs, use the roof ladder and try to cut over the fire (that should go without saying).
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    No, I meant Horizontally J/K, Yes Vertically ventilate (My mind and fingers apparently aren't connected).

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    And why are we cutting these peaked roofs?

    Is this under certain conditions or as a matter of normal SOP(G)?

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    You can also set the aerial at the ridge line and go out on the ridge to cut. I have cut 12/12 pitched roofs that way before. You can sit and straddle the ridge. You cant get as far down on your cut but you can make them longer if needed. This way you don't have to mess with a roof ladder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    And why are we cutting these peaked roofs?

    Is this under certain conditions or as a matter of normal SOP(G)?
    Just under certain conditions...

    I also am trying to get away from running the ridgeline becasue of newer truss construction. With no ridgeboards anymore the ridge is just as susceptible to collapse.

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    Yes, if you are on newere construction it won't help, but then using a roof ladder won't do much good either if the roof comes in. You would be safer cutting off the aerial if you are questioning the integrity of the roof.

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    what is your procedure for cutting a ventilation hole on a residential peaked roof. Are you using a roof ladder off the stick or just working off the ladder.

    Building construction, as well as staffing on your ladder companies will dictate what you, as a department are able to do, with regard to cutting a roof.
    If the decision is made here to cut a roof, we are going to send three people up, with five total per truck company. Now, getting to the roof via the stick or ground ladders is a decision that needs to be made on the scene. This decision is dependant upon the building to be ventilated, along with the exposure buildings present. If the exposure buildings have very little space, the aerial may well be your only option to get to the roof. In either case, we tend to operate the same way on a roof. It does not matter if we get there from a ground ladder, or via the aerial; we always take two roof ladders and a saw, and operate by working off of the roof ladders. The only difference would be getting there. One way we carry our roof ladders up the aerial, the other we put the roof ladders up from the gutter line. The outcome is the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doo600
    Just under certain conditions...

    I also am trying to get away from running the ridgeline becasue of newer truss construction. With no ridgeboards anymore the ridge is just as susceptible to collapse.
    If you're concerned with the ridge collapsing, no place on the roof is safe. Trusses fail as a system. I believe the answer to the question is either 1) Don't vent the truss roof 2) vent fromt the stick which is nearly impossible if your not straight on to the objective area 3) call in a tower and vent from the bucket lip without putting wight on the roof.

    As Lt228 asked why are you venting the peaked roof? hopefully only becuase the fire is in the "A".

    BTW: A roof ladder won't help in a truss collapse or help prevent one. The trusses generally fail when the gusset plate fail not due to the weight of members operating as in standard rafter construction. The weight of the truss alone will collapse the truss as soon as the gussets fail.
    Last edited by RFDACM; 03-27-2006 at 04:53 PM.

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    Drop the stick up to the gable end ridge, and walk the ridge line. cut, walk the ridge line back to the gable end and climb down the ladder..

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM
    If you're concerned with the ridge collapsing, no place on the roof is safe. Trusses fail as a system. I believe the answer to the question is either 1) Don't vent the truss roof 2) vent fromt the stick which is nearly impossible if your not straight on to the objective area 3) call in a tower and vent from the bucket lip without putting wight on the roof.

    As Lt228 asked why are you venting the peaked roof? hopefully only becuase the fire is in the "A".

    BTW: A roof ladder won't help in a truss collapse or help prevent one. The trusses generally fail when the gusset plate fail not due to the weight of members operating as in standard rafter construction. The weight of the truss alone will collapse the truss as soon as the gussets fail.
    I'm not trying to vent a roof that is not safe, merely asking how people vent roofs from a ladder. I'm not quite sure why people keep asking me why I'm doing it, it's hypothetical. As for the ridge, I train all my guys to not have a false sense of security of the ridge.

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    We dont cut roofs much anymore . We use PPV or punch out the gable ends. But, if we were going to cut a roof, we would use a roof ladder off the stick.

    Ive never seen a 4 story with an actual peaked roof. All Ive ever seen is fake, decorative roofs over the structural flat roof. Is this what you are talking about?
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    I was on a truck company for a decent portion of my career. We have different construction than a lot of places. Most of our fires are in single family dwellings or large two- or four-flat houses, some of which have pretty steep roofs. We have old housing stock ... a lot of balloon construction. It is the norm for our guys to be on the roof because it is common for the fire to have gotten to the attic.

    I've almost never seen a roof ladder used, no matter how steep the roof. The aerial is our chief transport to the roof, although ground ladders are are not uncommon, especially for the smaller dwellings near E57 (west side) or E50 (east side). Our guys get on the peak, or wherever they need to be on the roof, and chop away. We still mainly use axes, mauls and sledges, although I know a lot of departments use chain saws and circular saws. There is no better sound when you're burning up in an attic than hearing the chopping above you, knowing that heat is about to escape upward.

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    I am not sure walking the ridge is the best idea. That will put added weight and stress on an already weakened roof system. We operate with a 105 ft straight stick on our company. When venting off a stick, the process will move slower because you cant position yourself in a way to do 4 nice cuts obviously. If your stick has working plates near the top ( usually diamond plate steps that fold down after you pass that you can stand on) then you can support yourself on those and extend and retract the ladder slowly without worrying about pinch points. EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN FIREFIGHTER AND OPERATOR IS NEEDED HERE!!!!!!!!! Working off a stick has its benifits because you wont really need to worry about roof collapse. However, if the roof does go, you are now directly in the path of toxic gases and intense heat (should be wearing SCBA anyway). I dont know anyone who can unclip their harness and move down two fly's in 10 seconds or less. If you are working off a stick, make sure you are wearing proper PPE, have great communication with operator, and see if you need to be up there anyway. If the building is evacuated and the structure is already lost..... why bother.

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    I'm not quite sure why people keep asking me why I'm doing it,
    The majority of peaked roofs, in these parts at least, are over an attic space. The majority of those attics have floors of some type. Cutting the roof on these buildings provides very little relief for the inside teams or occupants and is not a good risk/reward function.

    If your area has peaked roofs which are directly above an open living space, venting them should provide good vertical ventilation. On the otherhand, if these roofs are over enclosed attics, very little vent will be achieved until the ceilings are knocked down. Tough to do if there is a floor in place and even if there isn't, poking down a ceiling from the height of the ridge will require a minimum of a 10' hook (pike pole).

    A well timed horozontal vent seems more efficient to me.

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    Hmmm...I just can't help looking at my tag. Get a line in place first and foremost......and then open up the louvers, and soffits . Getting the first line in place will SOLVE most is not all of your problems. Keep the fire from getting any bigger than it was when you got there. And if the fire does get bigger....most likely the fire itself will make a nice hole in the roof for you. Then all that smoke and steam will just lift out that hole when you open up.
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Doo600
    We never put guys on a roof without being tied off.
    QUOTE]
    Tied off to what?

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    It all depends on the building if it needs vertical ventilation. You can't wait until the fire burns it's own hole through the roof in a balloon frame. By the time fire comes out of the roof there will more than likely be fire spread throughout the whole house. Vertical vent is important for an advanced basement fire or a fire that is running the walls to minimize the horizontal spread of fire throughout the house. Cutting the roof, when needed, in a balloon frame draws it up and out of the structure.

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    1. Straddling the ridge on modern houses can be a big mistake - in houses with ridge vents, all the heat is escaping right between your legs.

    2. Everybody keeps talking about "venting from the aerial" - I hear firefighters talking about this all the time. WHO does this - bucket or stick? It seems that this is highly inefficient and in many cases, nearly impossible. In my opinion, the aerial is a tool to get to the roof, no different than a ground ladder. Once on the roof, make your cut, with or without the assistance of a roof ladder, and get down. So:

    **Who vents FROM the aerial device, and who simply uses it as a means to access the roof? IF you actually perform the cut from the aerial, please provide details on what specific situations you would use this tactic in, as well as exactly how you would perform it.**

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    Bucket. Stand on the small working deck outside the bucket, clip onto the bucket railing for safety. Lean over. Cut. Never have to put your weight on a roof. If the roof collapses, so what, you are on the bucket. Make a cut, move the bucket to the side a little, finish the cut. All this can be done from a ladder as well, although there is a little more effort and maneuvering involved. Inefficient? It may be faster and possibly easier to cut a roof while actually standing on it, but it's way safer to not be standing on it.

    Currently, in my town, we cut more roofs via roof ladders than from aerials, but both are still options.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB
    Hmmm...I just can't help looking at my tag. Get a line in place first and foremost......and then open up the louvers, and soffits . Getting the first line in place will SOLVE most is not all of your problems. Keep the fire from getting any bigger than it was when you got there. And if the fire does get bigger....most likely the fire itself will make a nice hole in the roof for you. Then all that smoke and steam will just lift out that hole when you open up.

    Um, isn't the point of vertical ventilation to KEEP the gases and smoke from extending further into the building? If you just wait until it's burned through the roof instead of venting, you're likely going to have it extended through all the walls in ADDITION to the ceiling...

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