"Finally a new tactic that is both safe and effective. A must read for the fire ground Officer."
"A thorough explanation of the technique of Postitive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) and its application as a fire attack tool (PPA). THE book on positive pressure ventilation."
This book is available from:
Pennwell Online Bookstore
About the Authors
Kriss has served in the fire service for 25 years and currently holds the positions of Battalion Chief with the Salt Lake City Fire Department and Chief of the Tooele City Volunteer Fire Department. He has a Bachelor Degree in Public Adminstration, is a National Fire Academy Instructor, paramedic and was a licensed engineering contractor. He serves on the NFPA 1021 Committee and is a voting member of the Air Movement Control Association. His interest in positive pressure ventilation and then in positive pressure attack began in 1989.
Reinhard retired in 2008 as a Battalion Chief for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. His career with the department spanned over 30 years and included service as a Paramedic, Interim Fire Chief, and Airport Fire Chief. He has a Bachelor Degree in Microbiology. His work in positive pressure methods for firefighting began in 1989.
Ray is retired after a 29 year career as a Salt Lake City firefighter. He has an Associate Degree in Fire Science and a B.S. in Communications. His experience includes work as an editor for several magazines. He has authored and edited numerous fire service articles and training materials.
Positive Pressure Attack
Ventilation and Firefighting
The Book, Positive Pressure Attack for Ventilation and Firefighting, became reality after a six-year effort by Battalion Chiefs Kriss Garcia and Reinhard Kauffmann of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, with Ray Schelble, who was also with the SLCFD. It is available through a wide range of retailers, including the Pennwell Online Bookstore and Amazon.com.
The text explores the various aspects of positive pressure including:
- Basics of positive pressure and how to maximize its effectiveness for fireground ventilation.
- PPA: how effective ventilation can be coordinated to support an aggressive fire attack.
- Safety considerations and limitations of PPA and positive pressure.
- Other ways positive pressure blowers can be used to help victims and firefighters in a variety of situations.
- Implementing PPA on a department, and how to train each engine company to become its own firefighting force that can accomplish both ventilation and fire attack.
Book excerpt: Introduction
The workplace of firefighters has been undergoing a dramatic transformation. Slowly, steadily over decades the materials used to build and furnish homes, commercial buildings, warehouses, high-rises and just about everything else have been changing. More and more mass has been shaved from structural materials. Plastics have replaced natural materials for furniture and decorating. As a result, buildings do not withstand fire for long, and fires burn far hotter and faster than in the past producing far more deadly gases.
For decades, leaders in the fire service like Francis L. Brannigan and John Mittendorf have been educating firefighters on early collapse hazards and poisonous products of combustion. Victims trapped in these buildings are at risk from burning synthetic materials that very quickly create lethal conditions.
The faster that heat and products of combustion can be removed from a burning building interior, the better for everyone. Ideally, ventilation started early and coordinated with fire attack provides the ultimate benefit for firefighters searching for victims and attacking the fire. It also helps unprotected victims survive until rescuers can find them. This is a difficult ideal to accomplish, so most firefighters have learned to work as well as we can in limited visibility until the interior eventually clears.
This book presents a way we can make ventilation work how and when it can do the most good. Positive Pressure Attack provides safe, effective ventilation that can be accomplished in time to benefit firefighters and victims. PPA works in new buildings and old, can be applied to a wide variety of situations, and does not require special staffing or expensive equipment.
We decided to write this book because there is confusion and misinformation within the fire service about PPA, and there are many firefighters who do not have access to accurate information. We are firefighters. Since we started this project, our intent has been to write a practical guide that would benefit the broad spectrum of the fire service — from the firefighters who position the blowers to the incident commander who directs the operation; from the urban career firefighter to the rural volunteer. To this end, we have avoided technical jargon and have tried to keep the ideas and language as straightforward as possible.
The book is divided into three sections. The first discusses the ideal of ventilation coordinated with fire attack and examines traditional methods against this ideal. The second section is the nuts and bolts of positive pressure: PPV, PPA and precautions that will make positive pressure a safe choice for firefighters and the public. The third section deals with how to adapt positive pressure to specific situations, practical training and education issues, and answers to 20 of the most common questions we hear regarding PPV and PPA.
If you are already convinced of the benefits of positive pressure, this book can put you on a path to better understand how it works and how to make it work more effectively. If you are skeptical, please read it with an open mind. Of course, part of this book is our opinions, but we have tried hard to explain the basis for those opinions as objectively as possible.
We sincerely hope this book helps you to a better understanding of positive pressure and PPA, and becomes a valued reference as you continue to develop your skills and knowledge.