Truck Company

PPV in Single-Family Dwellings: Not the Only Option

Issue 10 and Volume 162.

BY BRIAN ARNOLD The Oklahoma City (OK) Fire Department introduced positive pressure ventilation (PPV) during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It began removing from the apparatus old smoke ejector fans, which moved approximately 3,200 cubic feet per minute (cfm), and replaced them with new, gasoline-operated positive pressure fans that move between 15,000 and 23,900 cfm. Our department has had some success in our newfound tool; it is considered only one of several ventilation options for truck crews arriving on-scene. But over the past several years, I have seen a trend developing in many departments that may one day result in a catastrophe. PPV is sometimes the only ventilation method they use on well-developed fires that would be better handled using vertical or horizontal ventilation. Some consider PPV the only way to ventilate at many incidents, instead of just one option among others. I see fewer structures vertically or horizontally…

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