The sound of "Mayday, Mayday" heard over the radio on the fireground will bring a sense of uneasiness and urgency to every fireground commander, no matter what the commander's level of experience or expertise. One of our own is in trouble. Are we prepared at all levels of our...
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No matter what deployment model is used, it cannot be argued what the goals of the first RIT deployed should be. The most important action is to locate and get air to the downed firefighter. Air supply is the one resource we must make certain we maintain to ensure the downed firefighter's chances of survival. If an environment can be maintained tenable and we have air to the down firefighter, it can possibly buy us the time that is needed for extraction.
To this point, we have talked about a lot of the preliminary items that must be understood to have a successful RIT on the fireground. The most powerful item, however, is the attitude we take when it comes to rapid intervention. It truly is the crayon that colors our world. Firefighting is serious business that requires serious people.
If we approach rapid intervention with the attitude that it is important and have fire department members genuinely interested in filling the role in the proper manner on the fireground, we have overcome the first obstacle. The remaining parts of this series will focus on preparation, assessment and training.
JEFFREY PINDELSKI is the deputy chief of operations for the Downers Grove, IL, Fire Department and western regional director for the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He is the author of the text R.I.C.O.- Rapid Intervention Company Operations, a revising author of the third edition of the Firefighter's Handbook and a Firehouse.com contributing editor.