Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Print Comment RSS

Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

Vertical ventilation can be a risky evolution

Incident commanders must always weigh the costs and benefits of vertical ventilation

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's note: Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Todd Krodle died Sunday after falling through the roof of a burning apartment building. While investigations will be ongoing, the tragedy is a general reminder of the dangers involved when conducting vertical ventilation says our Editorial Advisor Chief Adam K. Thiel.

As with any firefighter line-of-duty-death, it will take quite a while before the details of this incident are completely understood.

Regardless of the specific circumstances around this tragic event, we already know that vertical ventilation can be a risky evolution, even when performed by experienced and skilled firefighters.

Incident commanders must always weigh the costs and benefits of vertical ventilation, along with other ventilation options, when selecting fireground strategy and tactics.

Garden apartment buildings of this vintage and construction type can be found all across the United States, in cities and counties of all sizes.

Along with the usual list of size-up considerations, understanding building construction features is critically important for both ICs and company officers tasked with performing vertical ventilation.

Developing this familiarity requires ongoing professional development, area familiarization, and a constant willingness to train. As the late Frank Brannigan used to say, "know the enemy."

We all stand with Dallas Fire-Rescue and Lt. Krodle's family...

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel FireRescue1's editorial advisor is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.

FireRescue1 Offers

Fire Attack
Fire Attack

Sponsored by

Connect with FireRescue1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 Fire eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample