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Sunrise Beach VFD Defensive Fire Attack Operations And Sunrise Beach VFD Ventilation Procedures
The Sunrise Beach VFD has adopted “ Aggressive Defensive Firefighting” as our initial operations. Every fire is different and will require dynamic solutions as to the best initial actions, such as hose placement. The following SOG is not meant to deny the incident I. C. of any necessary decisions.
Offensive firefighting is entering the structure and performing interior firefighting tactics. Defensive firefighting is an aggressive fire attack from the exterior. The Sunrise Beach VFD is committed to these 3 principles Life Safety - Property Conservation - Exposure Protection In order to save a life - An Offensive Attack may be the proper attack option.
Some fires make the attack decision easy for the Incident Commander!
Building Collapse Todays building materials & interior finishes have changed the time frame for building collapse from 20 minutes to just “ 5 Minutes”. We cant get to the fire within 5 minutes How imminent is collapse in 15 minutes, when we arriving & pulling hose?
Part of the roof may have already collapsed The walls will soon follow. This structure is a goner - Don’t risk you life
Some fires will make you search for the seat of the fire. Pick an opening that you believe is nearest the fire and direct the initial attack lines.
Note to I. C. Everyone knows that we start initial structure operation in defensive attack mode. If you need to make a change - make sure everyone knows & state why. Perform a “Hot Lap” around the house to see all sides before making changes. Interview people around the fire to see if there may be anyone inside.
Life Safety is #1 Interior operations are inherently more dangerous to firefighters than Exterior Operation. Interior ops. require SCBA & 2 in - 2 out. Interior ops. require coordinated ventilation. Interior ops bring the possibility of building collapse into play. Life safety includes firefighters!
How do we conduct exterior fire attack? Always wear appropriate fire gear - PPE. In most cases SCBA will still be used by the attack teams. The initial attack line can be advanced without SCBA - Keep your distance and protect exposures or spray into the fire. As soon as possible, firefighters with SCBA should take the nozzle.
Make a decision as to the best place to begin Utilize doors and windows for attack When using windows - remove all the glass. When breaking glass use a pike pole and stand to the side, away from falling glass. “Do Not Use the Fire Nozzle”! Use an axe or halligan tool to clean out small glass shards on the edges.
This may be a good place to start. Knock down the fire with a straight stream.
Aggressive Exterior Attack begins with knocking down the fire through the window. Use a straight stream so you don’t push the fire into other rooms. Enter the building later when the fire is “knocked down” and the collapse hazard has been assessed.
Stay back - knock down the visible fire and then advance “to” the door frame. Do not enter until you check with I. C. Check for possible exposure protection needs.
Ventilation Tactics Positive Pressure Ventilation is - placing a fire service fan at an opening to the structure and forcing fresh air inward. If the structure has limited openings - a positive pressure will be created inside. Positive Pressure Ventilation should not be used during initial operations when attacking in defensive mode. The fan will introduce fresh air, possibly increasing the fire intensity. And the fan could push the fire into unburned areas. Additional forced ventilation should not begin until interior operation crews are in place.
The positive pressure created by the fan will push the fire into unburned areas. Without fire crews inside, the fan will propagate the flames. The more windows & doors that are open - the less effective positive pressure ventilation becomes.
Defensive Attack Tactics usually require windows and doors to be opened. The fire may also cause glass to break out. The fire can also burn through the roof causing a vertical ventilation condition. If the fire has burned through the roof - resist spaying water into the roof opening. Allow the natural ventilation to continue as it will assist with venting the smoke, giving fire crews better vision & breathing.
Notice how the fire has vented through the roof and the areas near the lower structural openings do not have any smoke. If you spray water into the roof opening - the vertical ventilation will stop and the smoke will return to the lower openings.
Without vertical ventilation the smoke will come out of any opening, creating difficult fire ground conditions. Utilize SCBA as soon as possible. Our department does not utilize or train for vertical roof ventilation. Without an internal crew and hose line, you can’t know where the fire will migrate to when vertical ventilation is used.
Be prepared to change locations The overview of the I. C. may provide a better location for the fire stream. Eventually a hose line will be moved for interior operations. A fan should be placed at the entrance used by the interior crew.
Ventilation Review Begin Ventilation close to the seat of the fire. Have a charged hose line ready before ventilating. Stay to the side and use a long tool. Use SCBA for protection. Only use positive pressure ventilation when interior crews are in place. If too many windows are opened you may not be able to create positive pressure ventilation. Set the fans to assist interior operations with fresh air.
When do we go inside? After the fire is knocked down & I. C. has given the OK! After the building has been inspected for possible collapse. After everyone the fire ground knows that we are changing to interior attack. After firefighter life safety is not an issue.
Nozzle Operations Use a straight stream during initial attack. Stay back and spray into the upper 1/4 of the room. Toward the ceiling. Move to the opening and extinguish any visible flames with a straight stream. A fog stream might push the fire into other rooms. Don’t spray into a roof vent hole.
Using A Fog Application Know upfront that the fog pattern can push the fire into other rooms before extinguishment takes place. However, the fog pattern used in short bursts toward the ceiling can expand into steam, which will extinguish a confined fire. This method must be used with short 1 sec. bursts - do not leave the nozzle open or whip the line in a circle.
Other Possible Tactics Use a “Piercing Nozzle” - drive the nozzle through a wall of the fire room. Use a “chain saw” to breach a wall or extend a window opening. Utilize vent holes for dryers etc. . .
Defensive tactics require a strong command system and coordination of controlled tactical assignments. The I. C. and fire crews must maintain a flow of communication with regular updates.
Sunrise Beach VFD - Exterior Ops. SOG