FDIC 2014 Recap: Hydrovent Makes its Mark

At FDIC 2014, Fire Engineering Associate Editor Derek Rosenfeld visited the Indianapolis Convention Center booth for Hydrovent, where he received a first-hand demonstration of the tool from its co-creator, Hoffman Estates (IL) Fire Department Lieutenant Kevin O’Donnell.



HydroVent allows a proven concept (hydraulic ventilation) and suppression combined in one tool to be used in ways that are going to make firefighters safer, make burning structures more tenable for longer, and make more rescues happen. It’s fast, flexible, and can provide ventilation AND suppression in almost any opening in a building.



To view more videos of the Hydrovent tool in action, visit http://hydrovent.us



James “Jaws” O’Donnell, 40 year veteran of the Chicago Fire Dept, worked on a truck most of his career starting on the west side. He drove Truck 3 for 15 years and spent six years on Flying Manpower Squad 6. He worked at O’Hare Airport for two years and retired from Engine 79 in 1990.

While working on the west side in the early 60′s, he was in a bad fire. He was venting with the nozzle (while breathing off the stream- no air packs) and listening to the crew behind him. The crew stated “We got it, we got it.” At this time he saw a larger window and stopped ventilation momentarily to break out the glass. During this time the attack crew stated, “We’re losing it! We’re losing it!” He resumed vent out the larger window and the attack crew stated, “We got it.” That was when he started to think there has to be a better and safer way.

1985: JAmes started work on Hydrovent with son Kevin. They Created and tested many prototypes. Ventilation only Kevin “Little Jaws” O’Donnell joined Franklin Park Fire Department in 1988 and Hoffman Estates Fire Department in 1990. He was promoted to Lieutenant and Technical Rescue Team Leader in 2005.

During testing of the Hydrovent, it was found that another nozzle facing inward would greatly increase the effectiveness of the Hydrovent. The inward nozzle decreased temperatures and suppressed the fire greatly. The enhanced prototypes have been made and repeatedly tested.

Hydrovent was made for Firefighters by Firefighters to make our job safer.


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