Firefighting, Fireground Safety

Flashover! A Near Miss During a Vent-Enter-Search

Issue 3 and Volume 170.

BY JONATHAN A. RIGOLO On January 16, 2014, the Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department (VBFD) responded to a well-advanced and fast-moving single-family structure fire that challenged first-arriving officers and crews. Two civilians perished and one was injured. Four firefighters were also injured, and two experienced a near miss while conducting the vent-enter-isolate-search (VEIS) tactic. (1-4) Photos by the Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department. Because of the decision to use the high-risk VEIS tactic, the VBFD reviewed and discussed the decisions made on the fireground that evening. What went right? What could the officers and crews do to improve? The fire service will risk a lot to save a lot, as did the VBFD that evening. The department wants to share the officers’ decisions and actions with the goal to improve fireground decision making in the fire service. Initial Response The incident occurred in the Salem Woods section, which is densely…

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