I'm interested in seeing what kind of training the "truckies" out there have had. Describe you understanding of roof systems and construction features. What would you say are the most critical factors you consider when getting an assignment for ventilation on an engineered roof system, ie; truss or hybrid roof?
What are you using as a time gauge for operational safety time? Let's see if we can get some dialog going here.....

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Chris- Good question. Let's stick with residential first.

I am thinking/teaching/doing now if the fire is in a room below the ceiling (compartment), regardless of roof type it is OK to get on the roof, open it up and get off.

If it is in the attic space and it is lightweight construction (pre engineered, gusset plates et. al.) no roof work. Cut the gable ends and pull ceilings only. Work with me here. A couple puffs of light smoke from some small hidden fire isn't the same as a fire in the attic if you know what I mean. Problem is, we must always be aware of changing conditions to update our tactics as needed.

If it is a conventional roof and the fire is in the attic, it's a real crap shoot. Easy to say as long as the fire is small or is in it's early stages, but how do we really know? This situation takes a skilled observer who not only has time on the job but experience with these types of fires to make the call if they think it is safe or not.

If at anytime fire is already through the roof then WHY ventilate anyway?

By the way, how can you tell if it is lightweight or conventional from the street? You can't. You have to know what the norm is in your area. If it's new it's probably lightweight. If it's 30+ years or older it's probably not. Know your area.

What do you think?
Lou Scalfani?
You hit this right on the head. I couldn't have said it better. I am also one of the trianing officers at my department and the new cadets are always so excited about roof work. Before I even let them get close to getting on a roof, I try to train them in how to size up roof and construction types from the street. I tell them to know what they are getting up on before they get up on it, if at all possible.
I try to teach them not to attack a commercial roof like a residential roof and that not every little puff of smoke means that we are going up top to open up. The one point that I try to stress the most is always know where the edge is have 2 means of egress.
I have had some basic roof experience but nothing for real with the newer light roof construction but i have learned about it in my building construction classes but theres nothing like getting the experience cutting one.
we watch a video on light weight con. it was almost like sitting in haz mat trianing but alot of info one this we are thinking that we (as firefighters) have 5 to 7 min. to get on the roof and vent you need to factor time it takes to get there and all of the other things that play a part if i can find the web site for this video i will get it to you
i found the web site for the light weight con. roof you may need to weed out some of it but great info
www.ul.com/fire/structural.html

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