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A question for firefighters...

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by PBCounty, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    Hi there..

    Yesterday we had a structure fire at my workplace. It was not the first time. The building in question was completely closed up, and we had a hard time getting inside to put the fire out ourselves before emergency services arrived. By the time we were making progress breaking into the building, the fire had grown so large that we were afraid to breach an entry and we decided to pull back and wait for the professionals.

    Question is, where is the line drawn between when you break a window to get in and when do you leave it alone for fear that a fresh supply of air would make matters worse?

    On our arrival with fire extinguishers and a garden hose - the fire was limited to only a few square feet. By the time we were almost inside and decided to quit, the fire was maybe 400 sq feet on the floor and was climbing the walls.

    Keep in mind, I have no fire education other than what I see on T.V. and T.V. says that a large fire will rush towards the new source of oxygen.

    So where is the line?
     
  2. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Firefighter/EMT

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    Well you did good by staying out. The products of combustion(CO,CO2,phosgene,methane,etc)can kill you very quickly even if you think your fine.

    While ventilating the building will give the fire more o2 it will not neccsarily grow bigger in a instant, with todays modern FFing we use positive pressure ventilation to pressurize the building with fresh air(large fan placed at front, with door same size opened at rear)and blow the heat, smoke, gasses out the back. This not only creates more visability and less heat for us, but a somewhat safer enviroment for a victim that hasnt been located yet.

    Remember DO NOT ever go into a burning building. You dont have the gear nor training for safe entry and then our job gets even harder as now we have to search for you.

    By the way-


    :needspics:
    See if ya can get some pics of the building.
     

  3. FlaFF

    FlaFF

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    Horizontal ventilation isn't going to have any effect on whether or not a backdraft occurs. If a backdraft is going to occur, it's going to happen as soon as you pop the door or break the window. Also, if a backdraft does occur, the conditions inside are and have been untenable for a live victim for some time.

    Stay safe,

    FlaFF
     
  4. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Firefighter/EMT

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    I was explaining what they probably did in that situation. The conditions he stated(fire crawling up the walls) is not a backdraft situation. The fire hadnt flashed over and become fully developed,and decayed yet, so backdraft wouldnt have happened if he popped the door. :)

    Anyway I was basically tellin him he did good and to not consider fighting one in the future,as the odds of the unknown are against him and its better to let us handle it like he did in this case.:)
     
  5. PBCounty

    PBCounty

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    Thanks for the info guys...and will pass it to my co-workers.
     
  6. gloxter

    gloxter

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    Horizontal ventilaton prior to fire extinguishment will many times actually INCREASE a fire's rate of spread across contents within the structure. You were smart not to go around the building breaking windows, etc. Ventilation and extinguishment is a team effort between engine and truck companies. Perhaps vertical ventilation would have worked better in this instance, but it is difficult to surmise, not having been there myself.

    And yes, you were smart to stay out!:supergrin: :supergrin:
     
  7. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Firefighter/EMT

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    +1 on the fire spread through a room with horizontal ventilation. Which is why we open the "air exit" right behind the fire, so as to not pull the fire through undamaged portions of the house.

    We do things alot differently than up north. While vert venting is fun to us, some times its not needed and very dangerous. 90% of the time we use horizontal ventilation and it works just fine and we can have it set up within seconds of being on scene.

    Our driver sets the pump/wheel chocks, etc then grabs the fan and sets it up by the doorway. The OIC does his 360 walkaround while the FF grabs the line and stages by the doorway. OIC opens the best choice for a rear exit, FF starts the fan. Charge and go play.(note-typical house fire)

    Anyway, check your local area bud and see if there are any vol. FD around. Its the best job around.
     
  8. gloxter

    gloxter

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    :)

    Interesting tactic. Got a call.....
     
  9. FlaFF

    FlaFF

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    +1



    FlaFF
     
  10. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Firefighter/EMT

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