The first four installments of this series described preliminary items that must be understood to have a successful rapid intervention team (RIT) on the fireground. Posing the question “What is the true rapid intervention capability for your fire department?” and using National Fire Protection...
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Operating above the fire, such as on the roof, can be very risky. Not only can firefighters fall into attic spaces due to construction failure, but a RIT can be faced with firefighters becoming disabled due to medical problems as well. What techniques are your people familiar with to accomplish a removal such as this when an aerial device is not available or able to be used?
The concept of the 2:1 mechanical advantage previously mentioned can be applied to helping us remove a firefighter from an upper-level window or from a constricted space while keeping a minimum of rescuers in an immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) environment. Mechanical advantage with a high-point anchor can assist in lifting the downed firefighter over the windowsill or obstacle. The same system can be set up to be converted to control the descent of the downed firefighter (Figure 3).
Training is the key to successful RIT operations and staying out of trouble on the fireground. Knowing the basics needed for RIT operations can mean the difference between life and death. Any specific principles and techniques discussed in this series are not the only ones that exist. There are many other different variations that also work. The important thing is to train on them safely and know them well. The fireground is not the place to learn new skills.