Training for VES

How many of you do VES?

How many of you do VES?

How many of you and your organizations routinely perform Vent, Enter and Search Operations?

When discussing this tactic in some circles there is great debate.  In fact, I have heard outright intolerance for VES.

It boils down to training and experience.  Believe it or not, I have had firefighters actually have to ask what the acronym meant.  Obviously, they don’t perform it.

It certainly has it’s place and is something that can be incorporated into the Outside Vent position.  Especially in jurisdictions that don’t have dedicated Engines and Trucks, this position is even more critical.  In these areas, one fire you may be performing engine company operations while the same day at a different fire you may be the truck company based on the order of your arrival.

I am curious what your policies are and what your training is for this position?

How does your department run in terms of companies and assignments?

Share what you do and how you operate so that we can all learn new ideas and methods to keep us safe.

Take care and train hard and smart.


  • Skip Coleman says:

    If VES is conducted utilizing two firefighters using the Oriented method, then it’s an effective tool. Using it with only one firefighter as it was originally designed is very dangerous and can lead to injury/death and law suits.

  • Lt. Tony Buckrop GFD SQ 2 says:

    WOW I thought being a FIREMAN was supposed to be dangerous! and our job is very risky and I for one dont think about law suits when Im searching for a trapped occupant or having a guy preform VES. Boy the fire service is really going to the dogs!! it really makes me sick anymore!!!

  • FireInTheHole says:

    Lt. Tony…..You SHOULD start thinking about lawsuits! With your attitude towards firefighter safety, I’m sure you’ll be involved in one. Risk assessment dude!

  • Brad Terry says:

    Our Dept had 2 saves in about 5 years due to VES. We have trained it along with Boise Fire. Get in, shut the door, QUICK search and back out again with your other guy at the window. Stay in that room. Don’t search the house from your window access. We have used it several times. Like most issues we have Train and Communicate. VES is a great tool, know when and how to use it.

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    VES conducted properly, is a very effective tool. It is just that a tool in our toolbox that we can use, to better do our job. Leave VES or any other tool in the rain and it will rust!

    Train as if you life and the lives of other depend on it, becauseit does!

    Stay safe!

  • dc802 says:

    I like how you explain that Jeff. Thanks for you thoughtful input, as always.

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  • Brandon Rosebrock says:

    I actually just learned about this method of searching in a fire tactics class I took last year. I think it is a good, fast method of getting to victims quicker without having to find your way around inside the house, and you are instantly inside the room. It is definatley something that you will have train on and in some cases it may not be the best option depending on fire conditions. If you dont have to take out the window it would be silly to use this method.  

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