You're cutting a hole for ventilation, not slicing off half a pound of Pimento loaf.
Depth gauges on saws, like them or not, do have a useful function. When training and experience can teach some form of perception about the thickness of the roof decking, it is believed that the depth gauge can keep the roof firefighter from cutting through the joists and sending him plunging into the fiery depths below. Those who oppose the use of depth gauges say that "feel" is all you need to know as you cut.
Fast forward to the 8:50 mark and watch from that point onward
It should be a general rule regardless of your department specifics, unless you already have detailed firefighting SOPs, that when going to the roof in order to perform vertical ventilation, two firefighters must bring the minimum tools: 1 saw, 1 flat head or pick head axe, 2 six foot hooks.
It should also be a rule that the opening should be a minimum of 4' x 4' for a basic vent, unless you are intent on doing the larger and various coffin, louver, extended trench, reverse shutter, half-nelson style cuts where you can take the pieces removed and make an origami swan (sarcasm).
Back and forth like a handsaw and only for a slightly larger than 1' x 1' opening is good enough I imagine in some locations.
But what are we accepting as "good enough"?
Is "good enough a sign of proficiency or the level of training that is delivered (not here in the departments shown in the video, but everywhere)?
Are our skills little more than average and are we content on being average or do we continually look to be better?
If this occurred on your fireground, what lessons are there to teach and learn?
Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the FireEMSBlogs.com network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Also on Backstep Firefighter …
- Vallejo Ventilation Video – June 22, 2012
- Shot In The Arm:
FDNY L.111, Rescue 2 Ride-Along ’92 – January 3, 2013
- Why We Search:
Rescue at Colorado Springs Church Fire – November 10, 2012
- San Francisco Working:
Audio, Video of Four-Alarm Fire on Ocean Avenue – August 9, 2012