Video: Pressurization Technique for Clearing Smoke

Bill Gustin and firefighters with a plastic duct and fan

Bill Gustin and members of the Miami-Dade (FL) Fire Rescue Hazmat Bureau share a technique to clear smoke from an area using a pressurization concept derived from confined space ventilation scenarios.

The concept is adapted from confined space ventilation, such as an  underground electrical vault, that must be pressurized with a blower and duct to purge the space of contaminant gases and to enrich the supply of oxygen. The duct enables firefighters to pressurize and ventilate a space that has no  exhaust opening opposite of the inlet. The method was originally devised to purge anhydrous ammonia refrigerant vapors in cold storage warehouses but is most often used to vent back to back warehouse bays that have no exhaust openings in the rear. 

 is a 45-year veteran of the fire service and a captain with the Miami-Dade (FL) Fire/Rescue Department. He began his fire service career in the Chicago area and is a lead instructor in his department’s Officer Development Program. He teaches tactics and company officer training programs throughout North America. He is an advisory board member of FDIC International and a technical editor of Fire Engineering.


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