Last weeks post on some ventilation training (Read Here) spurred an idea Phil Burden and some other seasoned firefighters have wanted to try. The idea was to cut the roof between the first and second trusses from gutter to gutter over the ridge. Then pull the entire gable end off for ventilating the attic space. A bunch of questions about why we would do that on the fireground came up initially within the crew, but we decided to see if it was practical before addressing tactics. Plus, we like a challenge.
We used a chainsaw to start the cut on one side and used The Pig on the other. Even with the modular construction and a 2×2 truss system we found kickers between the outside wall of the gable peak and the second truss. Those were cut with a sawzall. In addition, 2 laminated header beams where directly below the ridge on the bottom side of the truss system. The outside OSB was nailed strong to the beams. Once the gable peak wall was weakened, a rope was used to have a firefighter on the ground attempt to pull the wall. Additional pushing from above was needed to get the gable to fall.
In the end, we decided there isn’t much practical use for this technique on the fireground due to time and needed manpower, however the training did put a variety of tools in the crew members hands. We also had several discussions about building construction related to truss systems and laminated beams.
This gift was from Brother Steve Westcott. Now we just need a full size one for tackle.
Pass it on!