Portland Fire and Rescue's (PF&R) Station 1 was able to practice vertical ventilation techniques thanks to the Portland Development Commission (PDC). The PDC donated the use of a building in SE Portland that is slated for demolition to PF&R. One of the most important functions of firefighting is to provide a vertical ventilation hole in a building that is on fire. This hole allows the smoke and heat to leave the building much like a chimney does for a fireplace. The removal of smoke and heat allows other firefighters to enter the building with an increased amount of visibility due to the reduction of dense smoke. Heat also exits the building through the vertical hole which allows for lower, less dangerous temperatures inside the building.
The challenge when cutting holes in a roof, especially flat roofs, is to not cut the part of the framing of the roof which holds up the roof. If these structural members are cut, the roof could collapse into the fire, taking the firefighters with it. That is why training on a building that is not on fire is so important. Station 1, the Technical Rescue Station, were able to practice cutting holes in the roof of this building.
PF&R thanks PDC for the generous building donation that in turn allow PF&R firefighters to practice important ventilation tactics and techniques.
Blog story courtesy of Lieutenant Rich Tyler, Station 1.
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 13, 2010