Effectiveness of Fire Service Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Tactics

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Launches Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Online Training

UL FSRI is proud to announce the release of “Effectiveness of Fire Service Vertical Ventilation and Suppression Tactics in Single Family Homes” – an online course that serves as a culmination of the work performed under the 2010 Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program.  The interactive training walks learners through the research approach, experimental setup, test results, and tactical considerations derived from the test results.  This course supplements the project’s technical report through fire service commentary on the impact UL research has on firefighting tactics, interactive fire scenarios, video from all 17 full scale residential structure fires, and numerous photos.

UL FSRI Director Steve Kerber shared, “This training program presents the most up to date fire dynamics research in a way firefighters at all levels can comprehend.  It is more interactive and flexible than ever providing a path through the course for a company drill or for the firefighter or instructors who want to dive into the material and form their own tactical considerations.”

There are many features to the course.  Three separate paths are available (abbreviated, complete, and instructor), ranging in duration from one hour to more than two hours. An overview of modern fire challenges facing the fire service provides a summary of factors impacting fire dynamics – increased fuel loads, large open spaces and lightweight construction. To enhance the educational experience, an introduction to the key concepts of heat release rate, flow paths, and stages of fire development is included.  The twelve tactical considerations developed from the research results are illustrated to aid the fire service with integration into their education and fire ground tactics where applicable.

Students have the opportunity to use interactive models to develop an in-depth understanding of the impact of ventilation and water application on fire dynamics. Instructors are provided links to related research material to aid in tailoring the research results to specific fire service operations.   Access the course by clicking the picture below.  For mobile users, the course is compatible with iPad via the Articulate Media Player application in the App Store.

To share this with colleagues pass on the following Press Release:  UL FSRI Online Training Press Release

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.



Leave a Comment

  1. Marco Torres says:

    My name is Marco I’m not a fire fighter jet and I’m wondering if I can sign up for this course .

    • Stephen Kerber says: (Author)

      Marco, no need to sign up, just click on the picture in the blog post to launch the course.

  2. Curt Isakson says:

    Thanks for all your work and dedication.

  3. Phil Macmillan says:

    I am a building inspector and Fire Marshal in a Township in PA. I am also a state fire instructor and have put together a Light-weight Building class for the fire service in my area. Is it possible to get a hard copy of this training. Some of the small towns I teach in do not have enternet service. I would like to add this program to my class.

  4. Adam Story says:

    Is there a place to download the training? It is taking a really long time to buffer from the website and our city has a really good internet connection.

  5. Stephen Kerber says: (Author)

    Some people have shared that the program has been running slow or not working, We had a large number of people accessing it at the same time so we reloaded the course so those problems should diminish. If you could not access the program, that should be fixed.

  6. Bob Grabinski says:

    Stephen, I am trying to access the training program and the site appears to have blocked me stating that I am a blocked IP address. Not sure what that is about.

  7. CHris Piepenburg says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am about 3/4 of the way through the Instructor version and I got locked out. Gives me this message: The Web server you are attempting to reach has a list of IP addresses that are not allowed to access the Web site, and the IP address of your browsing computer is on this list.

    If you could give me a hand with this I would greatly appreciate it.



    p.s. Great program so far

  8. Stephen Kerber says: (Author)

    Thank you all for your interest in this course and for sharing error messages. We are working through technical difficulties and trying to keep the course up as hundreds are accessing it at the same time. As of 4:20 EST we are back up and running. If that changes, let us know.

  9. Darel Logue says:

    This Course was well organized and was full of important data and facts. I encourage everyone to find the time to go through it.

  10. Juan Carlos Campaña says:

    It’s a great material to understand many, many things in our work….. great job to Steve and all the team….. thanks a lot for your time, dedication and passion. We need more people like you in the fire servicer arround the world.
    Juan Carlos.

  11. Arlene Zang says:

    I am an Ohio certified EMS/Fire Instructor/training coordinator at Great Oaks school, Division of Public Safety in Ohio. because we are a public school and have experienced several funding cuts, our internet service is less than deseriable and I have been unable to access your program. Would you please notify me when a downloadable version becsomes available? Thank you for developing this excellent training tool.

    • Stephen Kerber says: (Author)

      Arlene, We certainly understand the limitations of funding cuts and internet access. As we develop the downloadable version we will post it here on the blog. Thank you for your feedback.

  12. Murray Fenton says:

    Intersting Program.

    I hope you follow it up with a study on Positive Pressure Attack scenarios.
    Do you really want to put a firefighter on the roof with ligh weight construction and a time to ventilate of 15 minutes after ignition.
    PPA can create a cooling effect as well as ventilation.

    The program is interesting and well laid out. Excellent data.

  13. Ron Clower says:

    Great information. I had just read a brief article in Fire House by John Salka that lightly covered the topic and it left me wanting to know more but it did not reference anywhere to go. I subscribe to Firefighter Close Calls and found the link. I’m a house Captain and bagpiper that has been to to many LODD’s. It is my hope that the word gets out about this information and hopefully it helps to limit any more firefighter injuries or deaths. I for sure will pass the word to my department and adopt some of the tactics learned. I took the two hour tour and plan on having my crew go through the study. My only complaint is that it would have been good to have received a completion certificate at the end to place on file as part of any continuing ED hours some guys may need. Good job and thanks!

  14. Jon Hunter says:

    hi, I can completely understand the science behind this research however…where was Positive Pressure Attack? Positive Pressure Pressurization? Positive Pressure Ventilation? I may have missed it, but positive pressure is a much safer and more effective technique than vertical venting which puts FFs at a high risk above the fire. Just sayin

  15. Mike Kimmerling says:

    Steve-Thank you and all involved for all the work and for making this available as an online class.The information contained is real research that will enhance life safety for all involved in fire suppression operations.

  16. Frank says:

    Thank you for making available on line

  17. I like the valuable info you provide on ulfirefightersafety.com . I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next! wish you luck in New Year!

  18. Bill Hoover says:

    Mr. Kerber,

    Thank you; I appreciate you and your co-workers dedication to improving the American Fire service. The combined efforts of UL and NIST and your tireless work to make our industry safer won’t be fully realized for years to come, but the effects so far are profound. I have had the pleasure of seeing you, Dan M. and Chief Healy speak in different venues and again, you are all doing good work.

    In my job as a training officer I am challenged frequently regarding the results of this particular test, and the Governors Island tests. Specifically, regarding the use of vertical ventilation. There has been misinterpretation of your collective works. This misinterpretation centers on a suggestion that Vertical Ventilation is unsafe and ineffective and then small excerpts are taken from various studies and woven to support this assertion. I know that they are misquoting you and your co-workers.

    I am requesting a summary sheet be created in a Q &A is format addressing these incorrect assertions.
    Q. Does this study conclude that fire departments should no longer vertically ventilate?
    A. No, this study found that coordination of ventilation is critical to keep firefighters safe and not unnecessarily aid in fire growth.
    Q. These studies show that fire departments can attack fire from the exterior and interior attacks are an unnecessary risk.
    A. While exterior attack is an effective way to slow fire growth and improve conditions, an interior attack is necessary to mitigate the fire problem.

    If such a document already exists I would love to be directed towards it. These assertions are usually from a very vocal minority however they a distractor from the work and a hindrance to its full use and application, particularly to policies and practices and changing fire ground tactics and resource utilization. Your help would be appreciated.



Trackbacks for this post

  1. We Don’t Know as Much as We Think | Hook 'n Halligan
  2. » Ventilation Limited Fire: Keeping it Rich and Other Tactics Based Off Science

Leave a Comment