Don't Change Channels For Rapid Intervention

I’ve had many discussions and spent many hours thinking through the issue of radio tactics for fireground rapid intervention teams (RITs). Of course, like many other fire- and rescue-related tactics, there are many ways to perform RIT tactics with a...


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Another problem with having two separate radio channels in operation is that lots of information will have to be relayed from channel to channel. If there is a problem involving the attack hoseline that could endanger the RIT or the lost firefighter, this information will have to be transmitted to command, who will have to either physically or via another radio relay to the RIT channel for their safety. If the RIT needs the help of a company or firefighter not on the RIT channel, it will have to ask for that assistance on its channel, then the message will have to be relayed to command so they can contact their unit on the other tactical channel. The “change your channel” concept is dangerous, cumbersome, impractical and unnecessary.

If you want to ensure your RIT can operate effectively, then train and practice with the RIT as another team on the primary tactical channel where a single commander can control communications and every other unit can continue operations with a seamless single fireground radio channel.