Make a Vent, Enter, Search (VES) Ladder


By @thomastonfire

We chopped down an old roof ladder to make a VES (vent, enter, search) ladder for higher than normal first floor windows. A lot of our legacy buildings in the Northeast have the sill 4-5 feet off the ground. This is a fast and easy way for firefighters to get in and out quickly.

Knowing your fire department’s response district will be critical to determining need for a custom vent, enter, search ladder.

This was originally posted on Instagram @fdhacks.

Additional Reading on Vent, Enter, Search (VES)

We were going to include instructional commentary on vent, enter, search tactics, but there is already plenty of information out there on VES. Here are a few good overviews if you’re interested in more vent, enter, search information:

  • A Refresher Course in VES by Jim McCormack, Fire Rescue Magazine: “VES is an approach to searching an area on the fireground where there’s a pretty good chance that there’s a victim in that area. Remember the basics when it comes to searching: After shutting the door, try to find the bed and search it (over and under). Remember that some children will try to hide, so after searching the bed, make your way to the closet, checking the floor area along the way…The three basic skills are Venting a window, Entering a window and Searching a room.”

  • How to Perform VEIS by Randy Frasetto, Fire Rescue Magazine: “Vent-Enter-Isolate-Search (VEIS)—formerly called VES prior to recent changes stressing the importance of isolating the area—is used by many departments, and it can be extremely effective when firefighters are properly trained and can implement the tactic appropriately.” This article provides a good overview in chronological context of an emergency scene.

Let let us know what you think. Leave a comment or contact us. If you have your own Hack, submit it to us!

Disclaimer: You must always consider your own personal safety, as well as department policies and procedures. Always wear full PPE. For informational purposes only.