Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rapid Intervention Team Basics

While it is bad to say that there needs to be a focus on firefighter self rescue and RIT operations, it is a reality that comes out of new construction, inadequate training, and unchanging commander abilities/training. We are going to need to develop better and best programs for training each other to help get people out long term.

The first ugly development that needs a flush down the toilet is the idea that RIT teams or whatever you want to call them should spend time on scene sitting in the front yard with the commander and all their tools sitting by his greatnesses side. RIT must have a leader with experience and great commitment to training that will get the job done actively. That means he or she is conducting their own size-up, listening to communications and confirming important communications, directing personnel to set up,open up with the necessary equipment to possibly rescue a trapped,disoriented firefighter. This all has to be happening as the scene develops and should have some standard actions like if your at a working fire in a two story house then by all common sense means get some ladders to the alpha and charlie sides and make sure they are set up below the window sill at an escape enhancing angle.

Secondly the RIT may need to be interior to be close enough to the operational area that might be a hazard to firefighters so that when ugly happens they can save that oh so precious time that we need when we get into trouble. You could even say here that the second line in is a conditional RIT team acting to make conditions better for the firefighters inside beating back the enemy. I know this goes against many entrenched ideas made by Chiefs who may have never even fought todays enemy but start looking at things like it is really happening and a firefighter is really trapped under a ceiling and see where that leads you.

Last thing is communications about and related to your location are critical for commanders and RIT so dont forget them. Sure we all want less supervision but this has nothing to do with that and is all about your rear end making it home each and everytime you go to do the job, Stay Safe Boys!

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