1. #1
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    Default "Truckies" and Officers..... I gotta question

    I have been in a discussion with another firefighter in regards to venting a roof. He says NFPA no longer allows firefighters on the roof. Everyone MUST open vent holes from an aerial or platform. Is this a recommendation, a rule, or pure BS.

    Thanks to all in advance!!

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    ummm, sounds like pure BS. Ask him to quote the actual standard that saysa firefighter can't be on the roof. I doubt he will be able to find it.

    the only time you should not be going on a roof would be if it's showing signs of instability and unable to support your weight. otherwise, test it with a tool, and if you need to, operate off a roof ladder.
    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!

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    NFPA codes, unless specifically adopted by your local, state, or other regional entity in control of the fire service are only a set of "GUIDELINES".

    Now, their legal standing in a court case, I'm not going to touch. Don't have any experience with that, and don't want to.
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    So if your response area has a lot of trees your not going to get the roof?
    I know their is a trend among the safety sallys to not go to the roof but their isn't anything as much as a standard to my knowledge.
    Some buildings you have to open up because if top floor fires etc.
    I know some years back the FDNY stopped cutting metal pan deck roofs, and just open what they can and get off.
    As for a standard restricting walking on a roof, I'd have to see it and even then I don't think we would follow it anyway.

    Now, you should use a roof ladder and be on air, but that is a topic for another day.

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    BS!!! NFPA doesn't address tactics. I have read somewhere that it is recommended to vent pitched roofs from an aerial ladder or platform.

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    Smile Thaks

    Doc, I called him on it already and he said is he read it somewhere. When I asked him where of course he couldn't tell me.

    Res343cue I second both of your paragraphs!!!!

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    My Fire Science instructor was talking about Codes vs. Standards in class on last night as the topic for class was building/construction codes.

    Codes are "laws."
    Standards are strong suggestions, or guidelines.


    Here's the online catalog... Find it.
    http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/li..._standards.asp

    Oh, that's right... NFPA doesn't cover on-scene operations.
    Firefighter/EMT
    My words stated here do not necessarily point towards organizations which I am affiliated with.

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    Default how wrong we are

    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    ummm, sounds like pure BS. Ask him to quote the actual standard that saysa firefighter can't be on the roof. I doubt he will be able to find it.

    the only time you should not be going on a roof would be if it's showing signs of instability and unable to support your weight. otherwise, test it with a tool, and if you need to, operate off a roof ladder.

    A lightweight truss roof may not display any kind of structural weakness. As we have been taught over and over again, firefighters are not to operate on lightweight truss roofs. A roof ladder provides no protection, due to the fact that there is NO ridge pole or beam supporting the ladder at the peak. Characteristics have shown that a truss roof will fail in sections. 2008 and we still discuus this...unreal!
    Last edited by Fireground1; 11-22-2007 at 02:15 PM.

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    If the roof is visibly unstable or the structure well involved then vent from an aerial. Otherwise, double up on roof ladders to spread out the weight even more. Or pick another vent method (PPV and horizontal). Venting needs to get done, period. Pick the safest manner available that gets the job done so you don't toast the interior crews.

    As far as NFPA, they are recommendations until someone gets hurt or killed and the dept was found to be ignoring or negligent in comparison to the NFPA recommendation. Then they are recognized as laws, courts have ruled that way consistently. OSHA is law, so no issue there.

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    There was an article in the NFPA Journal for November/December on "Roof Operations".

    http://www.nfpa.org/publicColumn.asp...rc=NFPAJournal

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    Default realities of roof ventilation

    Long-time listener, first-time poster . . .

    Thinking broadly as an officer, I must make risk-benefit decisions relative to every fire and every task my company is assigned. Risk-benefit takes into account the broader issue of FD and personal liability regarding "safe" and "understood" practices on the fireground. This is where the NFPA comes in. If you grossly violate a known standard and something catastrophic happens, you better be able to justify your actions in court. I will reiterate, however, that the NFPA is an agency that addresses standards of practice and guidelines, not law or a national "SOP."

    Specifically, not venting a roof because of the possibility of its collapse is not what the NFPA suggests. The linked article addresses the need for us (the US fire service) to rethink our tactics when it comes to venting roofs. The considerations are almost endless: New construction/older construction; dimensional lumber and nails/trusses and gussets; composites/metal; built-up; peaked/flat; length of time burning; location of seat of fire. These factors and dozens more are what the NFPA article addresses and suggests we review.

    We all know that that while we can often get away with horizontal ventilation, used in conjunction with mechanical or hydraulic means, there are times the roof has to be opened. I think that is the key factor here for me. What needs to happen to get the fire out? Or, what has to happen to allow hose teams to reach the fire? If opening the roof is the answer, I'll make just about any roof, get it open and return to the ground.

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    I remember something about working from a platform on bowstring trussed roofs because of their unpredictability... But i am pretty sure it was the Essentials IV book.

    -Damien

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    Maybe we build stuff better around here,but our crews routinely work both pitched and lightweight truss roofs.I've yet to see a roof that an experienced fire officer couldn't determine whether to work or not based on fire conditions on arrival/prior knowledge of the fire building.When in doubt work off the aerial.I have never seen a roof in our area collapse sectionally,perhaps because of the construction used locally.I've seen many lightweights burn thru,seen total collapses,but all were predictable based on the fire conditions on arrival. You have to open up somewhere,some days it will be the roof,others will be the horizontals. Base your decisions on sound firematic practices. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Maybe we build stuff better around here,but our crews routinely work both pitched and lightweight truss roofs.I've yet to see a roof that an experienced fire officer couldn't determine whether to work or not based on fire conditions on arrival/prior knowledge of the fire building.When in doubt work off the aerial.I have never seen a roof in our area collapse sectionally,perhaps because of the construction used locally.I've seen many lightweights burn thru,seen total collapses,but all were predictable based on the fire conditions on arrival. You have to open up somewhere,some days it will be the roof,others will be the horizontals. Base your decisions on sound firematic practices. T.C.
    I agree, we / I have cut a lot of light-weight truss roofing. While recognizing that this can be a hazardous duty, it is not impossible, nor should it be ruled out as a tactic all togehter. I'd have no problems cutting one tonight, tomorow, or next week if the conditions necessitated the cut and the roof "sounds" good to strikes and is not soft.

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    We cut holes on a regular basis. It helps to know your running territory. I know that in my first in territory, trusses weren't even thought of when these buildings were built.
    Bill Geyer
    Engine 27
    Memphis F.D.

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    Cool Venting.....

    When I worked on Trucks for 2 seperate Departments, our thoughts were: Flashover, Backdraft or Attic Fire evident =s Vertical Vent. Of course, it was always up to the Company Officer's discression too.

    Room/contents fires =s Horizontal Vent or the Interior Crews would punch a window and Hydraulically Vent. We don't have Balloon Construction at either Department, so that's not a huge factor.

    Horizontal Vent takes less time to set up, equipment/tools, material to secure the structure, and on and on. But just like Horizontal Vent is also needed at times.

    Whichever you decide to do, please be able to justify your actions with Common Sense and strong Tactical reasoning. The last 2 times I've seen Truckies work, #1 they brutalized the rafters (which as a former Truckie is the sign of a good or bad Truck Company) and #2 the Company Officer made the decision based on "we don't get to cut much, so I wanted my guys to get the training." I was embarrassed for this Captain.

    Also, train on all the different ways to vent. Don't get into the mind frame of "well we always do it this way." Think and be able to truly justify your actions. Train your Crews how and when to Vent each way and get everybody on the same page. That way, when the Truck is assigned the "Roof Division" they know it's time to work.....
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch13 View Post
    in my first in territory, trusses weren't even thought of when these buildings were built.
    Your buildings are older than ancient Greece?

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    Your buildings are older than ancient Greece?

    thank god I didnt have anything in my mouth when I read that or i would be having to clean my labtop off.

    Gotta give u props for that one

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    Cool Sorry Bout My A.D.D.

    Originally posted by MnRFD09:
    I have been in a discussion with another firefighter in regards to venting a roof. He says NFPA no longer allows firefighters on the roof. Everyone MUST open vent holes from an aerial or platform. Is this a recommendation, a rule, or pure BS.

    Thanks to all in advance!!
    Sorry about my bout of A.D.D. I went back to work, checked online, researched your question..... I couldn't find anything that could even be interpreted as FFs not being able to go to the roof to Vertically Vent. If this was true I don't think it would be covered in Essentials (every edition) or in IFSTA Advanced Ventilation.

    Just my two cents though.....
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    and why would anyone give 2 cents what the NFPA thinks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    Your buildings are older than ancient Greece?
    Sorry, I didn't realize there was such a history buff among us.
    Let me rephrase, the buildings are old enough that trusses weren't used in residential construction like they are now.
    Bill Geyer
    Engine 27
    Memphis F.D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stretch13 View Post
    Sorry, I didn't realize there was such a history buff among us.
    Let me rephrase, the buildings are old enough that trusses weren't used in residential construction like they are now.
    How were they used? As decoration?

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