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Journey to IFO: Tactical Ventilation

Catherine Best

2 min read

Mar 30

489

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Tactical Ventilation is the removal of hot air, smoke and toxic gases that become airborne during a structure fire. It's used to help firefighters control the fire, to make the interior tenable for crews and then again during overhaul (after the fire is extinguished). When combined with water, tactical ventilation (creating or closing openings) gives the firefighter the ability to control the fire.


NOTE: Never create an opening without prior consent and always be ready with charged lines. Freelancing jeopardizes the crew and increases the potential to lose control of the fire. Situational Awareness is KEY at all times.


There are two basic methods of tactical ventilation, horizontal and vertical are implemented using a variety of tools and equipment. This past Friday we spent some time reviewing the main principles of horizontal ventilation; natural, mechanical and hydraulic while completely diving into vertical ventilation-cutting the roof.


Vertical Ventilation


First let's start with some of the equipment we could use: Extension Ladders, Roof Ladders, Axe, Pike Pole, Halligan, and a variety of saws; gas powered, electric, circular, and chain saws. Some are used for just wood, metal and concrete, while other saws can cut all three.





We created an "imaginary" scenario, by assuming that IC-Chief directed a team of two firefighters to cut an opening on the C-D side of the roof. The team grabbed an extension ladder, roof ladder, chain saw, axe and a Halligan. After checking for overhead wires, (situational awareness) we set up the extension ladder with at least three rungs above the edge of the roof and sounded the surface for integrity before stepping off the ladder. After securing the roof ladder onto the pitched roof and using the Halligan for additional footing, we cut an inspection hole using the chain saw. Then, as directed continued to cut an opening for a better view and ventilation. (Triangle and 7-9-8) Always overlap the cuts so you can pop out the triangle and continue to add openings but ONLY as directed.






Ultimately, it should look something like this. I know it's not the best picture. But you get the idea.



Many thanks to my fellow Jasper for the 2-hours of instruction! It was a great BEFO refresher and a preview of what's to come during IFO.


Next up... Dancin' with the Devil...... The Manikin Victim Drag. Someone put a shirt on this guy....



Catherine Best

2 min read

Mar 30

489

1

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