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  1. #1
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Default Vent or Backup Line??

    So, BLSBoy thinks:

    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post

    Vent over backup line. Any day, every day.
    On the other hand, CaptainSnowball thinks:

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSnowball View Post
    BLSboy Your vent over backup line, any day, every day explains your inexperience in the fire service. While ventilation is important, the value of a back-up team is doubly as important. This is clearly stated by numerous experienced authors.
    Now, I'm not disputing either one. I'm just asking everyone's opinion on the manner. I didnt want to reply to the "Attic Fire Attack" thread for the sake of it not being bogged down in the ruthlessness.

    Also, I'd like to ask the question:
    If your down on man power, do you establish a backup line or vent?
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!


  2. #2
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    If, when, always low on manpower.... If the fire is ripping, I want backup. If needed we should be able to create some sort of ventilation opeing from inside the structure. I do not want a fog vs smoothbore argument, but you can vent and protect yourself with a fog a lot better. If manpower permits, obviously a coordinated vent and attack are the ideal. A lot depends on the fire and size of it. If it is a small room and contents fire, by all means, vent it and then get the line going. If there are victims and a large fire, we may want to get the water coming a little quicker. I think there are no absolutes and the situation would dictate which tactic your officer chooses.
    Jason Brooks
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    Simple, 2 different tasks for 2 different assignments.

    Engine companies bring attack lines and backup lines.
    Truck companies do venting.

    What's the question?
    "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?

  4. #4
    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    Default

    All things being equal I prefer ventilation over a backup line. Proper, speedy ventilation will provide for a "safer" atmosphere for firefighter's and victims. Ventilation (properly done) will allow for the engine to move in on the fire and extinguish it thereby making the rest of our job easier. Proper ventilation is a proactive approach to firefighter safety, a backup line, no matter how soon it is in place, isn't proactive it is reactive. A backup line requires something to go wrong before it is actually placed into service. That something that goes wrong could have been alleviated by proper ventilation.


    Fire when ready.

  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default

    Vent the buildling, put the fire out with a single handline. that way you don't need to use the backup line
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  6. #6
    Forum Member LADDER2EKU's Avatar
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    Well, it is entirly possible to horizontally vent as you go. So you could have both engines just do that. Luckily for me my area doesn't really have to worry about chosing one assignment over the other like in this situation.
    Wade Munday

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  7. #7
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    You b@stard, you stole my idea!

    I was thinking of posting this, with a poll, then I saw you beat me to it.

    Well, heres my "Official" stance....

    If it is well involved, and it is clear that exposure protection is first priority, then second line first, cause there just ain't gonna be any venting, the fire done did it it self.

    If its a room and contents, or a manageable job, then vent that beeyotch. You are gonna make it easier to see, and increase the survivability of potential victims.

    Unfortunatly, not all places advocate aggressive truck Co. work, so the Truck does this, Engine does this is lost. Especially when QUINTS are brought into play, and used IMPROPERLY.
    Mind you, I have no intention to bash QUINTS, but advocate for their proper usage.
    Anyway, I am getting off topic. With reduced staffing, being on an Engine Co., or a Truck Co means nothing. You get on scene, and you go what needs to be done, not what your vehicle should be doing.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  8. #8
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    you cant make such brash statements as that in our line of work. Our favorite word for any situation in the fire service is "depends".

    It has been said numerous times however, that "A well placed hoseline has saved more lives and property than anything else on the fireground."

    im a truckie at heart and love to vent *****, but you cant argue with the above statement.

  9. #9
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeatherHed4Life View Post
    It has been said numerous times however, that "A well placed hoseline has saved more lives and property than anything else on the fireground."

    im a truckie at heart and love to vent *****, but you cant argue with the above statement.
    Oh, no denying that the hoseline does all the work, despite what the knuckle draggers thing. lol

    But, without the venting, not much else can be effectively done, such as life safety. Its really a catch 22. But circumstances should really dictate the tactics.

    BTW, I just shot off a PM your way....
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber Edward Hartin's Avatar
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    Default It Depends!

    The question of deploying a backup line or venting first is not a bad one, but there is not enough information to answer the question. What is the situation?

    Ventilation can be sequenced before commencing fire attack (after getting a charged line in place to make the attack), during fire attack, of after fire control. This depends on the circumstances.

    The backup line is important to the safety of the attack crew if there is a significant fire condition or the building configuration would allow the fire to get around behind (as in an open floor plan contemporary residential structure). This is not more or less important than ventilation, but simply another tactical action that needs to be taken in a sequence appropriate to the circumstances.

    Cheers,
    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

  11. #11
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    I preach coordinated vent and attack. But like someone said, " It depends"
    Give me FF who can do a quick size up and make sound decissions.

  12. #12
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    Talking Difficult question

    This is a difficult question to answer, and I should have probably been more descript in my statement. Ventilation is a very important piece of the puzzle.

    If you are saying that you only have one company on scene and you must chose between venting or getting the back-up line in motion you would need to consider several other variables. Is the heat preventing advancement of the initial line? Is the entire house fully charged with smoke and the initial attack crew unable to locate the seat of the fire? Is fire showing from two or more windows?

    It is my belief that a back-up line is an important safety tool to protect interior crews. It also adds a layer of protection between the attack crew and other crews searching. In the event of a flashover or rapid fire extension the back-up line can help hold the fire until a knockdown can be achieved or allows crews to withdraw to a safer position.

    This is not to say that ventilation is unimportant. Just a difficult question to answer with such little information. Besides the fact that I am being crucified in the other thread.
    I am my brothers keeper

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Simple, 2 different tasks for 2 different assignments.

    Engine companies bring attack lines and backup lines.
    Truck companies do venting.

    What's the question?
    Not quite that simple for some of us. If your department or response is configured in a fashion that allows for the Engines to squirt water and the Trucks to do the rest, then that's great. Unfortunately, there are many of us that aren't in that position.

    My department has 1 Engine and 1 Quint with a total of 5-7 firefighters to work with until our back-up arrives so this decision is something that we regularly encounter. For us, without an immediate exposure problem or life safety issue, ventilation (almost always horizontal) usually takes precedence over deploying a back-up line.

  14. #14
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    Default more of a manpower question

    no matter what you should always pull the backup line before venting, even if your short crewed theres no reason that the attack team or backup team cant vent as they go ventiliation is important but not more important than firefighter safety.

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    Just to be clear - what, exactly, do you guys mean by a "back up" line? A second line just sitting there in case? Pulled off the first engine? Or are you talking about the second engines attack line?
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

  16. #16
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Either the second engine's line or pulling a pre-connect off of the main pumper. However, in the case of department's that don't have pre-designated duties in place for each arriving unit, does the IC make the call to have the arrive FF's (or extra FF's off the first truck) vent or pull another line? Would having 2 FF's on the roof doing roof work violate 2 in/ 2 out under extreme cirumstances? As confusing as I may sound; the crux of my question is do you commit your other two guys to being ready to fight fire or to vent? I know the whole vent for entry/life/increased visibility. I'm asking what's more important...having a backup in place, or venting?
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

  17. #17
    Forum Member axemanst3's Avatar
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    Talking

    I think under extreme circumstances I could live with 2 on the roof and 2 interior.... wouldn't be ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Plus I'm one of the officers who wears my scba even when in command.... So I could count as 1 and my pump op. could count as 2.

    definately not ideal but somtimes thats how it goes
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  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtJohns355 View Post
    Plus I'm one of the officers who wears my scba even when in command.... So I could count as 1 and my pump op. could count as 2.

    definately not ideal but somtimes thats how it goes
    That's how it goes a lot in the small town volley world.

    We just don't always have the luxury of 8-10 men on scene right away. The First Engine's Officer must play IC, at least until the Chief arrives. Then they can hopefully get in the mix.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  19. #19
    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    In the case of department's that don't have pre-designated duties in place for each arriving unit, does the IC make the call to have the arrive FF's (or extra FF's off the first truck) vent or pull another line? The crux of my question is do you commit your other two guys to being ready to fight fire or to vent? I know the whole vent for entry/life/increased visibility. I'm asking what's more important...having a backup in place, or venting?
    This is a useful question and debate that will draw several answers, many of which may be correct, depending on circumstances and local SOPs. I would approach this with a tick list of points -
    • Are occupants either reported or suspected?
    • How are the smoke/heat/fire conditions presenting?
    • How much venting already exists?
    • What is your reason to vent?
    • What type of occupancy is involved?
    • What does your SOP say?
    • As Hartin suggests - what is the layout of the room/structure?
    • Are there interconnecting and open spaces?

    I believe that tactical venting (firefighters) should not be an 'automatic' in every situation. It is an operation that should only be undertaken where there is a clear purpose and sufficient flow-rate at the nozzle.

    We should also ask ourselves, who is most likely to benefit from any specific venting action and who might experience worse conditions?

    We should always be in a state of anti-ventilation (isolating and confining the fire) until a clear reason and objective is identified to create a vent outlet. We should also be considering taking control over the inlet point (controlling the 'air-track' or the amount of air feeding the fire) and this is where a back-up line and crew may come in.

    As my colleague Ed Hartin so rightly states, there is often a conflict in venting actions through clearing SMOKE or admitting AIR.

    I would conclude by saying that, in this scenario, the back-up line is the primary consideration until -

    • The crew is needed for urgent interior search operations
    • A second line is better placed elsewhere to control fire spread
    • An immediate need for venting is identified

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Either the second engine's line or pulling a pre-connect off of the main pumper. However, in the case of department's that don't have pre-designated duties in place for each arriving unit, does the IC make the call to have the arrive FF's (or extra FF's off the first truck) vent or pull another line? Would having 2 FF's on the roof doing roof work violate 2 in/ 2 out under extreme cirumstances? As confusing as I may sound; the crux of my question is do you commit your other two guys to being ready to fight fire or to vent? I know the whole vent for entry/life/increased visibility. I'm asking what's more important...having a backup in place, or venting?
    I guess what I was asking is when you say backup line - what is this line doing? Is it a charged line just waiting at the door in case it's needed? Say you pull up two a one or two room standard fire. One line goes in for the fire, and, assuming you don't need a second for the fire itself, are you talking about leading out and charging a second line to have at the door "just in case"? Not jagging, I'm just not sure what everyone means by "back up line".
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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