Here is the scene. You are the officer in charge here and when you arrive this is what you see.

You have reports of possible victims in an early morning fire.

Now, this house is approximately 1600 square feet with a basement. Single story about 25-30 years old.

Based on your tactical priorities, start assigning these crews where it is most appropriate. Explain where and why you sent your crews there. Keep in mind you are a medium sized department that is a suburban island. Meaning that basically you have three trucks on the scene with this number of personnel.

Your next truck in is 10 minutes away. You have public water supply.

The neighbor got up to go to work and noticed smoke coming from the house next door. Exposure B and D are about 15 feet away on both sides.

What do you do?

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"take a quick peek either in the front door with a TIC, or do a quick 360 and check the windows with a TIC."

Just a quick note. As far as my knowledge goes, unless the window is open, a TIC is no good through a window. But you can still get a visual with the naked eye. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. That's why I'm here.
Keep safe and have fun.
Yes, a TIC can pick up the reflected image (heat, you) from the window and water.
yes, but not pick up the heat from the fire on the inside of the window.
That is what I understand.
Again...we have 5 (FIVE) FIREFIGHTERS!!! Unless you work with this staffing every shift, you can loose sight of how ineffective an interior fire attack can be with so few on scene. If you do not consider one of those FIVE as an incident command, you are most certainly going to hurt, or kill somebody. Let's think about this. Nobody leading the band? Nobody eye-balling the entire big picture, the conditions as they change?

Read most any NIOSH report, and you'll see that lack of command is right up there as a primary killer.

Forget a back-up line. We don't have enough people! IF you are leaving the engine/pump to it's own, which I can understand to a degree, that'll leave you with FOUR (4)available firefighters. I don't know who's gonna OPEN windows, since that would pretty much require interior access. And as for flipping the roof, again, ... we don't have the staff to get it done initially.

It's easy to run this trough in the mind...and "multi-tasking " IS a reality today for sure. But it's not as easy in reality to go from a to b to c, without wiping out your crew.

To reiterate: We have a fire that requires about a dozen of so firefighters and officers to accomplish the objectives simultaneously for a successful outcome, and that's given the best of conditions. A safe, injury-free job that is stopped at the point in which we first encounter it. With the available resources???


We have an obvious fire condition somewhere inside the dwelling, with smoke conditions indicating most likely contents involved that may or may not have spread to stuctural members, and in this one snap shot photo it appears that the smoke velocity is increasing by the appearence of it exiting the door. Where do we think this fire will be in the next couple of minutes? It's maybe a minute away from lighting off under that porch least that's my bet.

Where is it going to be once we introduce that PPV fan? I'll take a stab at that, too. Far beyond the pjt it was before we blew the fresh air into it. Do we have enough personnel to go after it, espeically if we spread it to void areas? If we can't immediately locate the fire, and we have a questionable entrappment of vctims, how can we ensure we don't spread the fire to where the victims are located?

We can't. We don't where they are, and we can't make that gamble. We don't have enough people to correct our mistakes.

It does look as if the fire is located closer to the point which they are preparring to enter. We do have presence of firewood on the porch, so we MAY have a fire related to the wood stove area, and may be in a flu...maybe.

Our priority IS to make a rapid, primary search, making our entry ahead of the fire, working quickly, and venting as we go, so as to ensure an escape route. The hose crew may be able to work as closely to the doorway as possible, potentially knock down any visible fire. After that...hold the position and wait for additional companies before you committ to the interior, offensive attack.
Where is it going to be once we introduce that PPV fan? I'll take a stab at that, too. Far beyond the pjt it was before we blew the fresh air into it. Do we have enough personnel to go after it, espeically if we spread it to void areas?

Many, myself included, had the same mindset with PPV, until I attended some training specifically on the use, tactics, right way and wrong way, etc of PPV. I see this as another tool to use and think it can be used in this situation, with this staffing. As long as you have a good exhaust, PPA works well, there are signs to watch for to ensure the effectiveness of the venting and contrary to the belief, PPA doesn't spread the fire as easily thought. It does provide cool air which helps to cool the fire, the fire will go out the exhaust, vs spreading throughout. Studies have shown the cooling effectiveness of PPV.
I'm not saying PPA should be used in every fire and there are times it should not be used, but here I would think it can be effective.

If we can't immediately locate the fire, and we have a questionable entrappment of vctims, how can we ensure we don't spread the fire to where the victims are located?

The biggest problem with PPA is if the victim is located between the exhaust and fan, in this case we don't know the victim's location. Reality really goes to a judgement call if people should even go in at all, do we know for sure there is a victim inside? Is the report reliable? Cutting a hole in the roof will take time exposing the victim to more smoke and perhaps fire, PPA can potentially trap the victim between exhaust and fan, going in with these conditions could potentailly expose FF's to a flashover, backdraft, etc.

Chances are that the victim, if in there, is dead. The first priority should be ourselves and protect us as much as possible, which may really mean not going in until there is more staffing. However, in this case, if looking to go in, I see PPA as the best option given the conditions I see. You can monitor to ensure the effectiveness before going in, you are introducing cooler air which lowers inside temp, and you are decreasing the chance of a flashover etc if just sending personnel in.
On this one, with five firefighters, the structure is pretty much toast no matter what we do.

The decision here is if the victim might be viable or not. If the smoke is pushing out the front but nowhere else, we might be able to make an entry rescue from another side of the structure.

Jeff makes some valid points, but if you only have five personnel, your chances of making a quick, in-and-out, "grabus snatchus" rescue are going to be better with PPA than without it.

If the main heat is right at the front, put the fan in the rear and use the door shown above as the exhaust point. As for driving the fire into voids, who cares? The victim isn't going to be in the voids unless something really bizarre occurred prior to the 911 call.

The 2-in, 2-out rule and RIT are off of the table in RESCUE mode.
Any entry here is higher risk, but we are supposed to take higher risks for viable victims, remember?

Manpower distribution for five firefighters:

The officer in COMMAND.

The driver operating the pump.

Two firefighters on the interior "Search to the Fire" line.

One firefighter places and cranks the PPV fan for PPA, opens the entry point if needed, then pulls and charges a backup hoseline but keeps it on the exterior.

You don't have to open the windows from the exterior - one firefighter with a hook on the exterior is all it takes.

The other issue here is that the "five" firefighters are probably at least seven in actuality, as all five are masking up. That tends to indicate that COMMAND and a pump operator are out of the photo. There are at least six, because this is what the officer can see.

That means that the second line could be staffed either with or without the PPA.
Let me clarify, you are command and you already have someone at the pump. These five are for your tactical considerations. Sorry, I will try to be more clear in the future.
Thanks for the clarification. Thats kinda how i read it when i did my deployment .
Chief Waller Do you think my deployment would work now? I have never had to make this decision. I'm always one of the guys on the crew. thanks.

I have one BIG question about your tactic, and that's the garage.

There is a chance that the victim is in the garage, but it's not likely unless there is a big problem with both the garage door and the man door next to it. (The one with the street address next to it.)

If by "garage door" you mean the man door, it might work, but PPV works best when the air stream is channelized. If you put the fan in the exterior garage man door, a lot of the stream is going to be wasted pressurizing a relatively large, open space. If you put the fan inside the garage to pressurize the house, you're putting the fan in the hazard zone, including the fan's fuel.

If by "garage door" you mean the overhead door, then you just took PPV out as a tactic, as the opening is too big.

Regardless, I'm putting setting the PPV fan up on Side C unless my 360 shows me something that would rule it out.
yes Ben i was Speaking of the man door. Also I would use the back door instead but it (my deployment) was based on what could be seen in the picture and the assumption that there was no back door. real situation a 360 would be done and hopefully there would be a back door to use. I was just looking at the rapid deployment aspect and being able to, no matter how small the chance to get to the victims by causing,in effect a horseshoe pattern which would,(this might sound like a stretch but think about it)cause a venturi pulling the smoke from the other side out the front window and door. Yes? No?
If there is no back door (or other rear access), I wouldn't use PPA on this fire. The PPV intake and exhaust need to be physically seperated by both space and wind direction. The two doors in the photo don't give you either.

The PPV fan would likely just recirculate the smoke.

A back window might be a better choice for the PPV intake and use the front door with the heavy smoke as the exhaust.

One problem with this attack is the guys on the line seem to have Candlemoth Syndrome - they are taking the line to the heaviest smoke and the shortest stretch. All they'll do is push the fire into the house instead of outside where it belongs.

Compare these Natural and PPA ventilation tests conducted by as well. Note the photos with the side-by-side comparisons.

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