Vent, Enter and Search

Is this a situation that VES would be deployed?

Is this a situation that VES would be deployed?

This building looks to be a very large residential home, or more likely a mutli-family dwelling.

It appears that the majority of fire is on the second floor.

It is night time and the chance that it is occupied is good.

This could be a good time to use interior crews to start an aggressive search with a hose line since we really can’t see any fire.

At the same time, we can have some outside vent guys laddering these windows and performing vent, enter, search tactics since the building appears to be large.

Now, this is somewhat controversial in some parts, like mine, but I think it is an effective tactic.  The key here is to have adequately trained personnel who have experience and can make good decisions in the risk vs. benefit area.

Additionally, there needs to be coordination with the interior crew. And, hey, if you have enough on scene to send in an attack line and a search crew, good for you.  That just isn’t always the case.

Just remember, if you are performing VES, know where you are, have a tool. You may only be able to sweep the room with a tool because of heat.  If you do get in a room, your first bit of business is to shut the door to the adjoining spaces. Oh, make sure you have got  a radio.

What do you think out there?  Any other ideas?  Let us know and share your knowledge.

As always, thanks for stopping by train everyday.

Photo by:


  • Truckie says:

    we did a dept wide VES about a year ago,not for every fire or everyone to do. but needed. let command know what side your entering,sound floor & it’s always done with 2 firefighters.

  • dc802 says:

    Excellent points. What did you train with and how does your department decide who does and does not perform VES?

    Thanks for replying and stay safe.

  • Glen Bracken says:

    always do 360 of your building,so that you get a picture in your head of what your dealing with and make sure you relay this info to your sector officers.What you see from the alfa side may be completely different on the charlie side.
    Big building..big manpower.
    Remember to read your smoke as well.IT appears as stated fire is likely on second floor,but is just smoldering at this point.You dont want to introduce too much air all at once,it might make fire increase.An agressive first floor and basement search coordinated with Laddering each window could be very effective..if you have the manpower.
    Call in as much or more than enough help ,its easier to return vehicals than it is to get them on scene too late.
    A good incident commander and well trained officers could pull this off.
    Of coarse that is if you have the radios,manpower and apparatus at your disposal.
    remember your risk vs benefit ..everyone has a bad day,we can only try and improve that day,but in the end..we are number one,we came together,we go home together..

  • Truckie says:

    we had a apartment complex get hit by a tornado. before they renovated, we got permission to use one of the buildings for this training. as far as who goes & doesn’t, its up the Truck crew. We run 2 ladders on all structure fires & follow the 2 in & 2 out rule. As Glen said YOU have to weigh the RISK vs BENEFIT.

  • Baltimore Area says:

    Dont forget to check the floor before entering and as you go!!! VES saves lives and finds fire!!!

  • truck61 says:

    this one would be a definate. Clear out the entire window with the ladder and while you finish getting dressed on the ground: mask hood watch the window and see what happens. For us it’s a 2 man operation 1 going in and the other is the orientated man on the ladder with the T.I.C. Sound the floor before committing and after you enter get to the door so buy you some time. It has worked very well for us in trainings, we even smoked up the room so gus could watch the lift when they take the window. This biggest thing you will encounter is actually making the decision at the top of the ladder before you committ as to weather you’re going or not.

  • dc802 says:

    All great responses, thanks for posting.

  • markis says:

    well this fire was in the middle of the night and i am currently a member of the fire dept. for this town and that fire was about a block away from my house before i joined. it was started by i think a candle or fualty wiring but the whole house burned down. we are volunteers and dont go inside much because a few years back 4 local firefighters from another company die in the line of duty trying to make an attack on a fire in a comercial structure when the floor collapsed and they were unable to get out at all due to blocked exits. if u would like more pictures contact me @ if i remember corectly nobody perished in this fire but it was a rather bad fire and that picture is of the ‘charlie’ side of the 2 story residential structure. at one point while firefighters were on scene fire was through the roof and had to be hit wit a deck gun.

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *