I did an internet class yesterday at the fire station on PPA (positve pressure attac). I have been around the fire service for many years and alot of this class goes agianst everything I have learned over the years. I would love to implement what I learned but I would like to know if anybody is activly using PPA and how is it working for you.
This is something new, and i would love to get the classes on this to see how well it works. It sounds like a very good concept, but as always i would like to do the practical training to see how well id dose work. all in all its good to see that people are always looking for better and safer ways to do the job.
Sorry, but I am one of those "old dogs" that will not allow a PPV fan on the department until an authority on its use can guarantee that it will be used correctly each and every time.
It would literally suck-or is it blow-to burn down a structure, because PPV was introduced at the WRONG time.
I have heard way too many firefighters say "when you fire up the fan, you will FIND the fire". What's wrong with that picture?
I know that PPV, if used properly, can be another tool and does have its "positive" qualities.
But with plenty of inexperience in the service to go around, I am afraid that it will be used at a time that could:
1) Light up a structure that might otherwise had been held to minimum damage
2) Started at the front door as your crew is entering the back door
3) See #2; you just fried your interior crew
4) Do more harm than good; period
I had a very well respected instructor here in Illinois tell me at a tactics class that it takes TWO firefighters to do PPV; one on each side of it to throw it out the window!
And until I see better science on it, I couldn't agree more.
My crew and I watched the same class. I have never done it myself, but I did mutual aid on a fire with another department that was utilizing this technique. I thought they had lost their minds. But it works! We were assigned to the second floor to pull ceiling and check for extension and were not in smoke or heat until we breeched the ceiling to get into the attic. Now I'm from the old school and usually set in my ways, but I have to admit, I am going to learn more about the proper way to use this technique, and when I have the right conditions, I will use it.
I have used PPA since 1989. We have never had a bad experience with it. My department for some reason seemed to always catch basement fires and PPA made entry down the interior stairs much easier and safer. The key to using it properly though is as you might guess, Training, Training and more Training. You cannot read an article or view a video and then go out an use PPA, you need in-depth training by instructors who know what they are doing. I have shared my experiences with PPA by writing articles for various fire service publications including one in the United Kingdom and teaching the subject for many years now. My prime focus when I was an active Fire Chief was the safety of my Firefighters and I assure you I would have never allowed them to use this tactic if I was uncomfortable with it or they did not know what they were doing. Again this takes training. My suggestion is to take Kriss Garcia up on his offer to check out his web-site, there is a lot of information there that may be useful.
You shouldn't do any tactic or use any equipment without education and training. To simply say we aren't going to do it because we aren't trained on it without looking into training is selling those you work for and with short. You would not let someone drive an apparatus without training, but you don't shut and lock the door to the station because you don't have time to train.,,,you train and educate. PPA is a very safe and tremendously beneficial tool that saves firefighters and civilians. Maybe you should at least take a class by a competent instructor in PPA before you believe to many other firefighters who have also not taken the time to become educated. I would suggest that you look at our web site positivepressureattack.com and see if there is anything there you can use to help those you work with and for.
It does work great, but like everything you need education and training before launching into something that is so dynamic. Take a look at positivepressureattack.com. and stay in touch. Remember the exhaust has to be large and PPA has to be working before you send anyone in,,
Thanks for making a difference.
Don't sell me too short. We were doing venting with fans back in the early 80s using SuperVac when everyone around us were still opening windows and doors. I have always stayed ahead of the curve by reading, going to training seminars, talking with others who use the tactic and then doing more research.
We have been to numerous acquired structure burns where area departments get out their PPV fans. As I state, I have not seen anything that would compel us to jump out and purchase it. You talk as if I won't LET the department get the fan and use the tactic. THEY made the decision. I think at this juncture, it is a very good decision. If we ever get into that situation where someone comes back and says, "you know; PPV would have been of great benefit today"; then, we will have to re-visit.
I appreciate your passion for your PPV/PPA training, but please don't assume that we haven't been to training led by a competent instructor and have made our decisions on sound logic.
You make a valid point that it can save firefighters and civilians. However; if used incorrectly, it can also KILL them. Anytime you introduce a mechanical process into what otherwise would be natural fire progression, fire behavior will change. Good or bad, depending.
Again; until I see better science on the use of PPV/PPA, then consider it a personal choice.
I am not a good ole boy who refuses to change because it's been that way for 30 years. But, where something NEW has come along, like anyone else, you will have to CONVINCE me.
And, with regards to fire, you want to know THREE things; Where's it at, where's it going and where's it been?
Forced ventilation can really screw up the first two if not introduced at the proper time and done BY THE BOOK.
Sorry; I haven't seen anything that would change my opinion.