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.  

  • Jon Hasman says:

    I actually learned about VES from a Lieutenant from Gary Indiana one hot summer weekend night me and my buddy Kevin were both volunteers and use to go places and ride along to try and learn, we had always heard stories about a guy a Lt from Gary Indiana Fire Dept that was a good fireman and very nice guy who let guys come in and ride with him and his crew, his name was Tony Buckrop, he was in his 50s kind of a slim in shape muscular guy grey hair and mustache he looked the part of a firefighter, well when we met you could tell right off the bat this guy was a tride and true hard core fireman. he was very humble never bragged about himself or the many of rescues he had made in his career, whenever you mentioned his name it was always the same, Oh man that guy is hard core he is a super firefighter, a very tough guy, they said not only could he fight fires but he was one heck of a fighter, tougher than nails meaner than a snake definitely not a guy you would want to tangle with, anyway I remember our 2nd fire was early in the morning around 3 am report of a dwelling fire with people trapped, when we were on the way they started getting a lot of radio reports people were trapped on the 2nd floor, I remember him telling me to have my tools and stay right with him. we pulled up and heavy fire on the 1st floor I was a nervous wreck, the truck stopped and he was off and going like a bat out of hell, he made his way to the front door where the line was just being pulled, he yelled at a guy from another company to get a Bleeping ladder to the 2nd floor window right now! soon as it was in place up he went, he took his haligan bar and busted and broke all of the window out very quickly, and I remember watching that very thick solid black smoke pouring out of the window. he told me to get low and stay by the window then he crawled in, you couldn’t see anything at all it was so black and very very hot, I was scared to death I lost sight of him, it was just seconds and he returned to the window dragging a small child.

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