Hey folks. Been a while since I've been here but visit the site quite often. Does your dept. utilize PPV? If so, how often. What conditions in your mind must be met before PPV is used? I've seen some disasters if used incorrectly. But seen some very good results. Seems some departments are still on the fence with the tactic. Your thoughts and insight are appreciated!

Views: 1239

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion



Mike Pasqualicchio said:

You mention training, which is paramount to accomplish PPA.  I have yet to see real world training that mimics a fire ground.  Having a pallet and hay near a window in a cinder block tower does not give an idealistic setting to practice PPA.  I watched and read the LV training mishap with the PPA experts and was disappointed with the arrogance that went towards it, not by the members but by the experts. When performing PPA, do we know if the door is shut, holes in walls or ceiling, are we contributing to fire spread.  Door control to the fire room would alleviate a majority of the problem.  The lag time between finding an adequate exhaust followed by clear, concise radio comms (barring no hiccups) or equipment malfunctions adds to the many variables that have to completed to the exact.  There is no room for error.  A fire ground is not designed to be clear cut like that.  What type of residence is this being performed on.. single story, 2 story, Victorian.  Is it done with fire showing from a single room, multiple rooms etc.  PPA has its place buts it involves a very small amount of fires. 
 
James Billings said:

Iv'e read most of the comments and agree with most of them, but here is one big thing that was mentioned TRAINING! 

At my department as a young lad we was tought how to use the PPV (Blow) and the smoke ejectors uses( They Suck) not in a bad way either, and proper placement of both and uses.

that being said the PPV is the second thing that is pulled off the engine and is placed 10 feet or so from the door and is running at idle till the entry team is ready and gives the command to turn it in to the door way as they go in, this gives them some visual and cooling effect, and can improve victims chances by removeing super heated gases from the area.

the opening for the exhaust side of it is sometimes the window in the fire room its self or the closest rear door of a single family dwellings.

hold on before everyone gets bent out of shape, the use of ppv's is determined on that departments SOP'S, SOG'S and TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!

________________________________________________________________

Mike, 

I just looked at the report on the North Las Vegas PPA Training in which five members bailed out of the training structure, with several receiving injuries.  I was astounded at how haphazardly the training was conducted. Especially considering that the training was done by some of the pre-eminent experts in the field of PPA. Numerous areas in which training was not in compliance with NFPA standards, not to mention common sense for fire instructors. 

We constantly hear how critical it is to be trained properly in order to use PPA. If these guys can't get it right, who can?

During this training, there were several fire loads in place in various locations within the training structure. The intent was to do a burn with each one, but they were all loaded in advance to reduce the prep time between burns. When they lit the first load it eventually extended to one of the other loads, and then extended to yet another. In other words, this training burn behaved like every real world burn in the history of firefighting. Because houses have multiple rooms and all of those rooms contain combustibles, not just one pre-selected room. If fire can spread from room to room when only pallets and straw are present, I think we can agree that the same will happen in a real world house with numerous synthetic contents.

Proponents of PPA can spin this incident any way they want. IMO, it is the proverbial smoking gun as far as PPA goes. This isn't to say that it can never work, but I have, along with others here, expressed concerns about this very type of result.

It should be noted that a fire chief lost his job over this. It was not a minor incident.

Here is the link to a report on the incident.

cftactics.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ppa_report.pdf

 

 

Stephen,

In your opinion, were they applying it wrong? How so?

I'm trying to understand if they actually applied it wrong or just got real sloppy in the execution.



Stephen Duffy said:

looking at the diagram on page 3, it shows a crib centrally within the building, in addition to the ones in rooms 2 and 3.

in addition to all the obvious problems encountered, from a safe hot fire training perspective, here is why in my opinion they didn't get it right,

to apply PPA (phase 3 attack) you need the fire room to be as close as possible to the exhaust, if the fire is central, you wouldn't apply a PPA because you would be causing uncontrolled fire spread between the fire and exhaust.

in this case, a PPA is only viable if the fire is in room 2 or 3, a clear route is established, an appropriate exhaust has been created, lines are charged (interior and exterior) and you have a BA crew ready to commit. Once these things are in place, the OIC will give the order "fans on", you will observe after a short time that the exhaust is effective, and internal conditions are improving, the BA crew is committed and proceeds straight to the fire room, to control the fire.

hope this helps?

______________________________________________________________________

At least some of the experts in the field here in the US believe fire will not extend because the introduction of cool fresh air prevents that from happening. Plus they say water application should begin immediately upon starting fan. This is a direct contradiction of the other experts who say attack crews should wait 30-60 seconds before even entering the building. 


Derek J Sinesi said:

...........I do not have a problem with anyone using this tactic at all. I don't know your area or what your training levels are.........

It is my belief that every department knows or should know their limitations. It is not for me to tell anyone how to or what to perform in their own department or districts. I know what works for my department my not work for the department 20 miles down the road. So if you are trained and confident in the use of PPA then by all means use it.

I agree with Derek here and he essentially says what I said in my first post here. This is what it really does boil down to; it is about that individual department and their choice. If you have trained on this tactic and are comfortable using it, then go ahead. If you have not trained on it, then don't use it. If you do not like it, then don't use it. There is no harm in asking questions, raising concerns and so forth, but shouldn't those issues be posed at the individual dept level that one may be affiliated with as opposed to chastising a tactic because one speaks pro or con on an internet forum?

I do find it disingenuous for one to make a statement they are concerned about safety in other depts. because of lack of call volume or experience. When it comes to concerns for other depts., unless you are a member or explicitly aware of that particular dept, then why concerned of what they may decide to train on? Essentially you are saying those members can't be smart enough or diligent enough to understand a tactic because of limited call volume. Shouldn't such decisions be the concern of said dept and membership, who knows their service area and limitations, as opposed to chastising the tactic because of personal disagreement?

I also find it disingenuous for asking for exacts when it comes to the fireground. There are no exacts and because of that, such questions become hypothetical. Any tactical decision stems from the size up, from dispatch, updates, to arrival on scene and actual size up to determine a tactic. Asking for exacts without knowing circumstances is disingenuous and cannot be answered.

I cannot speak for other depts., I can't even speak on behalf of all the members of my own dept, and I can only speak for myself. I can say we have trained on the tactic; we have done our own live burns, in accordance with NFPA 1403 standards and practiced several scenarios. We have tested multiple floors, fires behind closed doors, fires at varying burn times, etc. Many questions were asked and concerns rose that were answered. In the end there is nothing stipulating that the tactic needs to, or even should be utilized, it was left as an option and it has been successfully applied when used. There are many times the tactic could be used and not. There are times that we won't even consider it, such as a basement fire. We also train members to be vocal and speak up about concerns that they may see and to relay that, so if there are concerns about using this tactic, or any other, people do speak up. That is how we operate, we train in a multitude of options and tactics and it isn't uncommon for someone to only have a couple fires a year, yet they still are trained and able to perform as needed. This tactic is still an option, but we have trained on and incorporated training that reflects the current NIST/Gov Island study and so forth. It comes down to having options.

A little more food for thought and a chance to get some questions answered:
http://ulfirefightersafety.com/projects_blog/attend-ul-fsri-ppappv-...

 

I don't believe I told anyone not to do PPV/PPA if local protocols call for it.  What I said was through training and experience I would NOT use PPA as I see far more negatives than positives coming from it.  My departments continue to use PPV for smoke and heat removal after the fire is extinguished.

 

 



John Crabbe said:


Derek J Sinesi said:

...........I do not have a problem with anyone using this tactic at all. I don't know your area or what your training levels are.........

It is my belief that every department knows or should know their limitations. It is not for me to tell anyone how to or what to perform in their own department or districts. I know what works for my department my not work for the department 20 miles down the road. So if you are trained and confident in the use of PPA then by all means use it.

I agree with Derek here and he essentially says what I said in my first post here. This is what it really does boil down to; it is about that individual department and their choice. If you have trained on this tactic and are comfortable using it, then go ahead. If you have not trained on it, then don't use it. If you do not like it, then don't use it. There is no harm in asking questions, raising concerns and so forth, but shouldn't those issues be posed at the individual dept level that one may be affiliated with as opposed to chastising a tactic because one speaks pro or con on an internet forum?

I do find it disingenuous for one to make a statement they are concerned about safety in other depts. because of lack of call volume or experience. When it comes to concerns for other depts., unless you are a member or explicitly aware of that particular dept, then why concerned of what they may decide to train on? Essentially you are saying those members can't be smart enough or diligent enough to understand a tactic because of limited call volume. Shouldn't such decisions be the concern of said dept and membership, who knows their service area and limitations, as opposed to chastising the tactic because of personal disagreement?

I also find it disingenuous for asking for exacts when it comes to the fireground. There are no exacts and because of that, such questions become hypothetical. Any tactical decision stems from the size up, from dispatch, updates, to arrival on scene and actual size up to determine a tactic. Asking for exacts without knowing circumstances is disingenuous and cannot be answered.

I cannot speak for other depts., I can't even speak on behalf of all the members of my own dept, and I can only speak for myself. I can say we have trained on the tactic; we have done our own live burns, in accordance with NFPA 1403 standards and practiced several scenarios. We have tested multiple floors, fires behind closed doors, fires at varying burn times, etc. Many questions were asked and concerns rose that were answered. In the end there is nothing stipulating that the tactic needs to, or even should be utilized, it was left as an option and it has been successfully applied when used. There are many times the tactic could be used and not. There are times that we won't even consider it, such as a basement fire. We also train members to be vocal and speak up about concerns that they may see and to relay that, so if there are concerns about using this tactic, or any other, people do speak up. That is how we operate, we train in a multitude of options and tactics and it isn't uncommon for someone to only have a couple fires a year, yet they still are trained and able to perform as needed. This tactic is still an option, but we have trained on and incorporated training that reflects the current NIST/Gov Island study and so forth. It comes down to having options.

A little more food for thought and a chance to get some questions answered:
http://ulfirefightersafety.com/projects_blog/attend-ul-fsri-ppappv-...

 

__________________________________________________________________________

This is the second time you have called me a liar for saying that firefighter safety matters to me. Why is that so hard to believe? Do you NOT care about firefighter safety? What do you think my motivation is on this topic? I've already made it clear that it is not an issue in my department. You are engaging in a baseless personal attack.

You also accuse me of calling departments with low call volume "not smart enough or diligent enough to understand a tactic". I did not say that; you have twisted my words. Furthermore, for the most part, I don't believe that. However, it is definitely true that real world fire ground experience is the best training anyone can ever receive. Many departments just don't get much of that. 

This is pertinent because successful PPA is heavily reliant on the size-up performed from the exterior. That's not my opinion; it comes from those, like yourself, who endorse and practice PPA. Exterior size-up has some fairly serious limitations as far as getting a fully reliable picture of interior conditions. Again, this is not fully appreciated without having a measure of real world experience. If that sounds arrogant, so be it.

You posted earlier in this thread that those of us (remember I'm not alone here) who had reservations were being too general.  Now you say our questions are too exact and can't be answered from a firematics viewpoint. Please make up your mind. Which is it? Too general or too specific? Or is it neither, because you just can't answer them. 

You have a habit of writing much but saying little. I went back through the thread and noticed you never really addressed the reservations some of us have expressed. We get the generic PPA responses: 

"It all depends on size-up." I addressed this above.

"You have to train on it." If I were to train on it, which set of rules should I follow? There are more than one. I've pointed out how unsettling this is to me. Others have agreed.

Modern synthetics burn differently from controlled wood and straw fires. How does training address this? It doesn't. 

The PPA training incident in North Las Vegas (which I linked earlier) should be of concern to anyone involved in PPA. The instructors involved are ostensibly some of the best in the field. How could things go so wrong?

"It only works if the exhaust opening is the right size." But the only way to tell is to try it. Trial and error tactics waste time. Fire conditions worsen. The likelihood of occupant survival lessens. And this from a tactic designed to SAVE time.

I am glad to see UL has scheduled research in this area. I look forward to the results. If those results support PPA as viable tactic I will no longer have these serious reservations. I will gladly eat crow here and elsewhere. I suspect that the results will be inconclusive at best. Either that or those results will even further limit the already limited circumstances under which PPA is considered appropriate. In this case, individual departments will decide for themselves whether or not to keep it in their arsenal. 



captnjak said:



John Crabbe said:


Derek J Sinesi said:

...........I do not have a problem with anyone using this tactic at all. I don't know your area or what your training levels are.........

It is my belief that every department knows or should know their limitations. It is not for me to tell anyone how to or what to perform in their own department or districts. I know what works for my department my not work for the department 20 miles down the road. So if you are trained and confident in the use of PPA then by all means use it.

I agree with Derek here and he essentially says what I said in my first post here. This is what it really does boil down to; it is about that individual department and their choice. If you have trained on this tactic and are comfortable using it, then go ahead. If you have not trained on it, then don't use it. If you do not like it, then don't use it. There is no harm in asking questions, raising concerns and so forth, but shouldn't those issues be posed at the individual dept level that one may be affiliated with as opposed to chastising a tactic because one speaks pro or con on an internet forum?

I do find it disingenuous for one to make a statement they are concerned about safety in other depts. because of lack of call volume or experience. When it comes to concerns for other depts., unless you are a member or explicitly aware of that particular dept, then why concerned of what they may decide to train on? Essentially you are saying those members can't be smart enough or diligent enough to understand a tactic because of limited call volume. Shouldn't such decisions be the concern of said dept and membership, who knows their service area and limitations, as opposed to chastising the tactic because of personal disagreement?

I also find it disingenuous for asking for exacts when it comes to the fireground. There are no exacts and because of that, such questions become hypothetical. Any tactical decision stems from the size up, from dispatch, updates, to arrival on scene and actual size up to determine a tactic. Asking for exacts without knowing circumstances is disingenuous and cannot be answered.

I cannot speak for other depts., I can't even speak on behalf of all the members of my own dept, and I can only speak for myself. I can say we have trained on the tactic; we have done our own live burns, in accordance with NFPA 1403 standards and practiced several scenarios. We have tested multiple floors, fires behind closed doors, fires at varying burn times, etc. Many questions were asked and concerns rose that were answered. In the end there is nothing stipulating that the tactic needs to, or even should be utilized, it was left as an option and it has been successfully applied when used. There are many times the tactic could be used and not. There are times that we won't even consider it, such as a basement fire. We also train members to be vocal and speak up about concerns that they may see and to relay that, so if there are concerns about using this tactic, or any other, people do speak up. That is how we operate, we train in a multitude of options and tactics and it isn't uncommon for someone to only have a couple fires a year, yet they still are trained and able to perform as needed. This tactic is still an option, but we have trained on and incorporated training that reflects the current NIST/Gov Island study and so forth. It comes down to having options.

A little more food for thought and a chance to get some questions answered:
http://ulfirefightersafety.com/projects_blog/attend-ul-fsri-ppappv-...

 

__________________________________________________________________________

This is the second time you have called me a liar for saying that firefighter safety matters to me. Why is that so hard to believe? Do you NOT care about firefighter safety? What do you think my motivation is on this topic? I've already made it clear that it is not an issue in my department. You are engaging in a baseless personal attack.

You also accuse me of calling departments with low call volume "not smart enough or diligent enough to understand a tactic". I did not say that; you have twisted my words. Furthermore, for the most part, I don't believe that. However, it is definitely true that real world fire ground experience is the best training anyone can ever receive. Many departments just don't get much of that. 

This is pertinent because successful PPA is heavily reliant on the size-up performed from the exterior. That's not my opinion; it comes from those, like yourself, who endorse and practice PPA. Exterior size-up has some fairly serious limitations as far as getting a fully reliable picture of interior conditions. Again, this is not fully appreciated without having a measure of real world experience. If that sounds arrogant, so be it.

You posted earlier in this thread that those of us (remember I'm not alone here) who had reservations were being too general.  Now you say our questions are too exact and can't be answered from a firematics viewpoint. Please make up your mind. Which is it? Too general or too specific? Or is it neither, because you just can't answer them. 

You have a habit of writing much but saying little. I went back through the thread and noticed you never really addressed the reservations some of us have expressed. We get the generic PPA responses: 

"It all depends on size-up." I addressed this above.

"You have to train on it." If I were to train on it, which set of rules should I follow? There are more than one. I've pointed out how unsettling this is to me. Others have agreed.

Modern synthetics burn differently from controlled wood and straw fires. How does training address this? It doesn't. 

The PPA training incident in North Las Vegas (which I linked earlier) should be of concern to anyone involved in PPA. The instructors involved are ostensibly some of the best in the field. How could things go so wrong?

"It only works if the exhaust opening is the right size." But the only way to tell is to try it. Trial and error tactics waste time. Fire conditions worsen. The likelihood of occupant survival lessens. And this from a tactic designed to SAVE time.

I am glad to see UL has scheduled research in this area. I look forward to the results. If those results support PPA as viable tactic I will no longer have these serious reservations. I will gladly eat crow here and elsewhere. I suspect that the results will be inconclusive at best. Either that or those results will even further limit the already limited circumstances under which PPA is considered appropriate. In this case, individual departments will decide for themselves whether or not to keep it in their arsenal. 

Excellent post captnjak! 

I couldn't possibly agree more with what you have said.

Captjak,

These are your words that I find disingenuous:

The real truth is that some of the departments using this tactic do not have a lot of firefighting experience. Again, not arrogance. It is what it is. I don't see how a firefighter or fire officer can judge from a 360 whether or not the exhaust opening chosen will be sufficient for the job, regardless of experience level.

I don't mean to twist your words around, but how else do you not look at these words as condescending? How else can you not say that those depts and those members do not have the where-with-all to make tactical determinations because they don't see x number of fires? Sure fireground experience only makes one better, but we also know fires are down and many fires can be easily second guessed, so why should experience be the determining factor? How does one practice roof vent if they haven't done it on a scene? How does one learn RIT operations if they never performed as RIT?

 

Yes, experience does matter, but so does taking the effort to understand your limitations and your resources, and your service area to make the decisions. Is this a question for you to answer or for an individual dept to answer? Should it not be up to those depts and members to assess their risks and make their own determinations? Being concerned about firefighter safety is great, but there should also be benefit of doubt too.

 

This is pertinent because successful PPA is heavily reliant on the size-up performed from the exterior. That's not my opinion; it comes from those, like yourself, who endorse and practice PPA. Exterior size-up has some fairly serious limitations as far as getting a fully reliable picture of interior conditions

 

First of all, please show me one place where I said I endorse the tactic? I stated expressively, that this is a tactic we have trained on and have as an option to use. I stated if one chooses not to utilize then don't. If I were endorsing the tactic then I would be sitting here preaching that this should be the next best damn tactic that all depts should learn and utilize.....quite the contrary, there is no endorsement at all, this is you twisting words here. Yet, you're right that exterior size up has serious limitations, so it all again falls back on what is being dispatched for and what you see on arrival.

 

You posted earlier in this thread that those of us (remember I'm not alone here) who had reservations were being too general.  Now you say our questions are too exact and can't be answered from a firematics viewpoint

 

Care to point out where I mentioned to anyone with reservations were being too general? I recall addressing Don who was asking for exacts. I stated then and I'll state again, there are no exacts. Anyone doing a simple search on PPA will see that the recommendation on exhaust is 2 to 3 times the inlet. However, when asking for exacts, that can not be answered until one is on scene and can do a size up, because structures vary. If you don't like that answer, then so damn what. Don is a fire instructor and he should know that, in fact I know he knows that. It becomes a situational scenario that could be what if'd all day.

 

That is why I said it is up to the individual depts to look their areas, their limitations and so forth and have members ask the questions and so on. Can they be answered here? No, because you are asking situational specifics in a world that can vary. I see no issue in members asking questions to their own depts and so forth, that is how people learn, but let those individual depts and members decide what is right etc for them.

 

"You have to train on it." If I were to train on it, which set of rules should I follow? There are more than one. I've pointed out how unsettling this is to me. Others have agreed.

 

Why should I answer that for you? It is something that an individual dept controls, not you, not me, not the FFN. You find it unsettling, why? Your dept isn't utilizing the tactic, you already stated as so. I will say (again) our initial training came from the SLC guys and despite what they taught we did our own training and our own parameters. Such as basement fires, the SLC guys say this can be used in basements, but we will not use it for such. That is why it is imperative to train on things before implementing, to help address questions and also develops dept protocol and SOGs. Why should anyone follow a certain set of "rules" without evaluating for yourself what you like and don't like?

 

Modern synthetics burn differently from controlled wood and straw fires. How does training address this? It doesn't.

 

Yep, you're right, yet depts also have to conform to NFPA 1403 for live burns.

 

The PPA training incident in North Las Vegas (which I linked earlier) should be of concern to anyone involved in PPA. The instructors involved are ostensibly some of the best in the field. How could things go so wrong?

 

Yeah, familiar with it and it is concerning. Mr. Duffy gives a good explaination on this, but regardless, it shows why depts need to assay this themselves. It is out there, it is not on me to explain, I understand the fireground is dangerous and it is also why we have options to use. I don't use a wrench to pound a nail just because it is closer than a hammer, I don't choose PPA, nor advocate for it if there are reservations.

 

"It only works if the exhaust opening is the right size." But the only way to tell is to try it. Trial and error tactics waste time. Fire conditions worsen. The likelihood of occupant survival lessens. And this from a tactic designed to SAVE time.

 

Not sure who you are quoting here, but it is most definately not me.

 

I am glad to see UL has scheduled research in this area. I look forward to the results. If those results support PPA as viable tactic I will no longer have these serious reservations. I will gladly eat crow here and elsewhere. I suspect that the results will be inconclusive at best. Either that or those results will even further limit the already limited circumstances under which PPA is considered appropriate. In this case, individual departments will decide for themselves whether or not to keep it in their arsenal.

 

I definately agree. If this research shows that PPA is a poor decision, then I will advocate the discontinued use of it. I could really care less one way or the other.

 

And that really is the cusp of the issue here. I mentioned from my first post (on page 3) that there are some depts that utilize this tactic, not necessarily as an everyday tactic, but another option. Yeah, I get the issues involved and understand it is a controversial issue, if I was afraid of confrontation or opposing views, I never would have replied. Yet the reality is that this tactic is used, or at least considered, and despite the reservations by others, doesn't negate that depts can have trained members to make the determination to utilize the tactic or not.

"What we get are general questions, EXACTLY, as we see in this post..."

This quote is lifted directly from your post on page 3 of this thread. So yes, I do care to point out where you said it.

You accused me earlier of being disingenuous in stating that I care about firefighter safety. Now you say I'm being disingenuous in stating that firefighters in some departments don't have much experience in fire ground size-up. Make up your mind. If you're going to call me a liar you should at least decide what it is that you think I'm lying about. You then say I am being condescending in stating this point. Condescension is not the same as disingenuousness. Again, make up your mind. I don't intend to condescend, but I do understand how it could be interpreted that way.

Are you now saying you do not endorse this tactic (PPA)? Forgive me for thinking you do. You stated that you use it. Is this a departmental decision that you disagree with? You've argued that the tactic is valid under certain circumstances. Why did you do that if you don't endorse it?

You stated the following concerning my concerns over the limitations of exterior size-up:

"Yet, you're right that exterior size up has serious limitations, so it all again falls back on what is being dispatched for and what you see on arrival."

How is "what you see on arrival" any different than exterior size-up? What you see on arrival is part of your size-up. I have no clue what you are saying here.

Information received from dispatch cannot, IMO, be relied upon when making tactical firefighting decisions. It's just not reliable enough. Are we letting the occupant or the guy who lives next door do our size-up for us? Not to mention conditions will change from the time the call is made to the time of our arrival.

As far as the North Las Vegas incident goes, I don't know who "Mr. Duffy" is. I'd love to know his explanation of events.

Do you contend that the size of the exhaust opening does not matter? Or does it matter? Regardless of who I quoted, it seems to be a big point in all this. Instead of addressing the issue, you deny saying it. How about responding to my point? My point was that if PPA turns out to be ineffective time has been wasted, fire conditions have worsened and occupant survival has been further endangered.

Furthermore, would you personally enlarge an opening to get 2-3 times the size of the entry opening or would you just not use PPA under those circumstances? 

Training does not equal experience. Period. I'm all for training as much as possible, but if you think it is a substitute for experience you are dead wrong. Especially when considering the limitations imposed by NFPA, as you pointed out.

I asked which set of rules I should follow if I were to train on PPA. You refuse to answer. (You don't owe me answers, but why participate in the discussion then?) You say it's up to the individual department. Shouldn't it be dictated by what works? 

Fan on for 30-60 seconds before attack?

Fan on for 1-2 minutes before attack?

Fan on and attack simultaneously?

Exhaust opening 1/2 to 2 times the entry?

Exhaust opening 1-2 times the entry?

Exhaust opening 2-3 times the entry?

Seal off entire entry with cone of air?

Leave room at top for evaluation of fan effectiveness?

If smoke/heat vent at entry, discontinue PPA?

If smoke/heat vent at entry, stop PPA until opening is enlarged or additional openings in other rooms are made?

Fire in center part of house negates PPA?

Fire in center part of house will not spread when PPA used?

I've seen all of these published. Which is right? How do we get around the contradictions? Don't tell me it's up to the individual departments to figure out. Fire behavior doesn't change based on geography. There are right answers and wrong answers. At least I hope there are. Otherwise it's a total crapshoot.

It is a crapshoot.  The truth is that some FDs use PPA/PPV with little or no real world training or experience.  I liken it to the world of automatic nozzles when they came out.  FDs were told put this on your 1 3/4 inch hose and magically flow 300 gallons per minute.  So they thought they were when in many instances they were flowing less than 100 gpm.  PPA/PPV is much the same in many places, a salesman convinced the FD they needed this fan, or someone on the FD said they needed it, so it was purchased.  The missing element was the proper training and experience to determine when and more importantly HOW to use it.  Heck when they first appeared in this area almost 40 years ago and we were using them at practice house burns FFs would bust out all the windows and then bitch about what a piece of shit the fan was.  Lack of training made the tool ineffective and dangerous. 

Now with many years of experience, and training, with PPV I have reached the conclusion that PPA has too many uncertainties and contraindications to make it a viable tactic in most circumstances.  PPV is an awesome tool for venting heat and smoke after knockdown or extinguishment and we still use it for that.  Heck we even have an electric PPV fan that we can use for venting buildings for burnt food and CO calls without further contaminating the building with exhaust from the fans gasoline motor.

Use it if you department calls or it, but don't tell me it is safe or won't push fire when even the simplest questions about tactics of using the fan can't be answered here.

I guess I do have one question though...a 36 x 78 inch door has 19.5 square feet of open area. How do we match that or double or triple it in a room with only one window?  Or windows with less than 19.5 square feet of opening?  It would  seem that alone may negate using PPA/PPV in many circumstances.



Don Catenacci said:

It is a crapshoot.  The truth is that some FDs use PPA/PPV with little or no real world training or experience.  I liken it to the world of automatic nozzles when they came out.  FDs were told put this on your 1 3/4 inch hose and magically flow 300 gallons per minute.  So they thought they were when in many instances they were flowing less than 100 gpm.  PPA/PPV is much the same in many places, a salesman convinced the FD they needed this fan, or someone on the FD said they needed it, so it was purchased.  The missing element was the proper training and experience to determine when and more importantly HOW to use it.  Heck when they first appeared in this area almost 40 years ago and we were using them at practice house burns FFs would bust out all the windows and then bitch about what a piece of shit the fan was.  Lack of training made the tool ineffective and dangerous. 

Now with many years of experience, and training, with PPV I have reached the conclusion that PPA has too many uncertainties and contraindications to make it a viable tactic in most circumstances.  PPV is an awesome tool for venting heat and smoke after knockdown or extinguishment and we still use it for that.  Heck we even have an electric PPV fan that we can use for venting buildings for burnt food and CO calls without further contaminating the building with exhaust from the fans gasoline motor.

Use it if you department calls or it, but don't tell me it is safe or won't push fire when even the simplest questions about tactics of using the fan can't be answered here.

I guess I do have one question though...a 36 x 78 inch door has 19.5 square feet of open area. How do we match that or double or triple it in a room with only one window?  Or windows with less than 19.5 square feet of opening?  It would  seem that alone may negate using PPA/PPV in many circumstances.

___________________________________________________________________________

The fact that you did use PPA for such a long time and cannot endorse it's continued use speaks volumes. At least it does to me. 

To address the lack of windows meeting the size requirement, some will tell you to enlarge the opening by cutting the wall under the window away. This is being done prior to a charged line being in place. There fore it qualifies as uncontrolled ventilation and conceivably opens up a whole new set of fire behavior problems. Not to mention the time factor involved. Plus you're still only getting an opening that's roughly equal to the door if the room only has one window. With two windows you'll get the factor of two, but I remind you that many (but not all) set that as the minimum. Many homes have bedrooms with only one window, especially older homes.

Others will tell you to just open nearby windows in adjacent areas and not to worry about fire extension because the fresh cool air from the fan won't allow it.

I'll say again that I've seen these things published. I didn't make them up. The contradictions alone should make people wary.

What we get are general questions, EXACTLY, as we see in this post..."

This quote is lifted directly from your post on page 3 of this thread. So yes, I do care to point out where you said it.

Yep, you're right, I did say that, but did you just decide to pick on that part or look at the context as whole, because I also said:

"Yet at the same time we see such studies and research out there, what we don't see is similar research and scientific data from those who are against the research. What we get are general questions, EXACTLY, as we see in this post, but yet where is the time, research, and data that explicitly debunks what is being proposed? Yeah we see the questions and so forth and the search for answers, but yet, where is your research, your data, etc?"

That was also in response to talking about several different tactics and research. The paragraph before it I mentioned the Gov Island NIST study and how after that we see comments made out there of pushing fire and so forth. We see questions about the validity of that research from some, but what we don't see is the research to debunk. So when looking at the aforementioned quote, it is about throwing questions/comments out there (in general) without providing their own research etc that debunks what is out there. If you don't like the tactic, don't use it (how can I be anymore clear about that?) but, if there is an honest inquiry if the tactic could be an option, then that is up for the individual dept to decide and research and train with to make that decision.

You accused me earlier of being disingenuous in stating that I care about firefighter safety. Now you say I'm being disingenuous in stating that firefighters in some departments don't have much experience in fire ground size-up. Make up your mind. If you're going to call me a liar you should at least decide what it is that you think I'm lying about.

Huh? Where do you get I'm calling you a liar? I said I find it disingenuous to be concerned about FF safety without having an understanding about an individual dept. You said you are concerned about lower call volume and that there are depts that use this tactic. I countered that it is up to individual depts to know their limitations, resources, etc and you are essentially painting with a broad brush, there should be some benefit of doubt too. Just because a dept that chooses this tactic as an option doesn't run a lot of fires doesn't mean they are unsafe or untrained to recognize their limitations.

Is there a reason to care about FF safety? Absolutely, but one can only do so much, because the true onus of safety is upon the individual and the individual dept. We see many FFs killed in POVs or running water tenders hot when there is no need. Is there concern there? Yes. Who is really going to make a difference? You? Me? or perhaps an individual dept looking in and taking it upon themselves?

Are you now saying you do not endorse this tactic (PPA)? Forgive me for thinking you do. You stated that you use it. Is this a departmental decision that you disagree with? You've argued that the tactic is valid under certain circumstances. Why did you do that if you don't endorse it?

There is a difference between using and endorsing. I own a Chevy Silverado, but I do not go around and tell others how great I think the vehicle is and encourage them to also get one for themselves. I could care less what they drive. Just as in this case, I could care less if one uses the tactic or not. We tried it, trained on it, and left it as an option. If another dept chooses against it, then so what.

 

You stated the following concerning my concerns over the limitations of exterior size-up:

"Yet, you're right that exterior size up has serious limitations, so it all again falls back on what is being dispatched for and what you see on arrival."

How is "what you see on arrival" any different than exterior size-up? What you see on arrival is part of your size-up. I have no clue what you are saying here.

Information received from dispatch cannot, IMO, be relied upon when making tactical firefighting decisions. It's just not reliable enough. Are we letting the occupant or the guy who lives next door do our size-up for us?

 

Look at the bigger picture. Size up begins with knowing your district. When a call comes in and dispatch tells you that there are multiple calls on this, then it is a good chance you have a job. What do you see on arrival? Smoke showing? OK, where, what? One could make that report even before arriving if they have that info. One could be a half mile away and see a black smoke plume....radio that info out or wait until you get on scene? I know what I'm doing. Exterior size up can have limitations, but maybe my mindset is not on pace with yours. You may be thinking big city and I'm thinking my city. Either way, one may not be able to account for everything given the nature of the structure responding to. A typical SFD could have a 360 easily done by a company officer. A SFD set back from the road with steep terrain behind etc, can offer significant limitations.

 

As far as the North Las Vegas incident goes, I don't know who "Mr. Duffy" is. I'd love to know his explanation of events.

 

Stephen Duffy, the FF from the UK who was on this forum and already answered your questions on this a page or so ago.

 

Do you contend that the size of the exhaust opening does not matter? Or does it matter? Regardless of who I quoted, it seems to be a big point in all this. Instead of addressing the issue, you deny saying it. How about responding to my point? My point was that if PPA turns out to be ineffective time has been wasted, fire conditions have worsened and occupant survival has been further endangered

 

Yes, exhaust size matters, yet you already know, or would know that if you did the slightest research on this topic whether pro or con. Exhaust needs to be bigger than the inlet. As for your point, you are assuming that there are occupants inside. Sure I can understand that prospect given where you work. Where I work, I can have a better understanding of the word of the occupants who are out. Asking if everyone is out is the first question I will ask and can make a good assumption based on that info. As for fire conditions worsening, perhaps, but depends upon the situation. I can't speak as an expert, but only from what I know. The last couple times we used this, one was a kitchen fire where the dining room door was much bigger than the front door and the other was a back bedroom with windows on 2 sides. I even said this is a tactic we have an option to use but has not been used often. We don't use this for basement fires.

 

Furthermore, would you personally enlarge an opening to get 2-3 times the size of the entry opening or would you just not use PPA under those circumstances?

 

No, because that IMO is plain stupid. You say you have heard this mentioned, I never have. If one has the time to cut down a window to enlarge an opening, they could just very well go to the roof. No, we would not use PPA if the exhaust didn't allow.

 

Training does not equal experience. Period. I'm all for training as much as possible, but if you think it is a substitute for experience you are dead wrong. Especially when considering the limitations imposed by NFPA, as you pointed out.

 

I never said training was a substitute for experience. Yet, training does make a difference. When I was in the Navy we had a fire drill every day and every week (underway) we had a general quarters drill, typically starting off as a fire in the engineering space. Every day for the fire party and weekly for the whole crew you trained on firefighting. The number of actual incidents, and even those that were tended to be small, were limited. However, because of constant and consistent training you still had people able to operate when things did happen.

 

Same thing here. A dept can train and even companies can train and work on basics that build muscle memory. You can work size up training in at opportune times. I've worked several times where we had an officer stop the rig and have one of the FFs do a size up of a structure, then ask what they may do if smoke or fire was showing from a certain place. It took minutes to do, but makes an impact. I couldn't tell you the number of times that a radio was grabbed when there was a job and crews not on the scene had the structure up on the computer and looking and listening to the progress. Little things do make a difference. Yeah one may not be able to do live burns all the time, but they may be able to cut holes, do RIT training, etc, things that don't happen often (at least here) on the fireground, but when asked to perform for real, they can.

 

Yes, there is no substitute for experience, but if experience wanes because of better prevention efforts, call volume, etc, it also doesn't mean that FFs aren't prepared, ready, nor safe to perform efficently and safely.

 

I asked which set of rules I should follow if I were to train on PPA. You refuse to answer. (You don't owe me answers, but why participate in the discussion then?) You say it's up to the individual department. Shouldn't it be dictated by what works? ..............I've seen all of these published. Which is right? How do we get around the contradictions? Don't tell me it's up to the individual departments to figure out. Fire behavior doesn't change based on geography. There are right answers and wrong answers. At least I hope there are. Otherwise it's a total crapshoot

 

I participated in the discussion, initially, because the OP asked if there were dept's that used this tactic. I saw the gang up of those oppossed and looking to discredit anyone who does.As I stated originally, this is a controversial topic and it is up to an individual dept to evaluate, train on, and decide for themselves. You say don't tell me that, but it is the truth. How else does a dept know if this is right, or wrong, for them? I'm not answering the questions because I know you could give a crap less about this tactic. You already don't utilize it and you already are against it, which means, from my pov, is all you care for is looking at something more to rip at to show why this shouldn't be done. I also won't answer because I know what we utilize and do doesn't follow the "standards" you are looking for.


Should this be dictated by what works? Perhaps. Yet, then why is it that the FDNY doesn't vent peaked roofs as an initial tactic, yet with the Milwaukee FD, this is a routine practice? Wouldn't you say that such decisions were a result of dept research and training and evaluation? So if I can't sit here and say that it is up to an individual dept to figure out, then why do we see disparities like this?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

FireRescue Magazine

Find Members Fast


Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2019   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service