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  1. #21
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    We also do RIT for our surrounding depts. Its pretty much standard for Long Island. We all go to the same two academies, either Nassau or Suffolk county fire academies. We take the same classes and are trained to the same level. Let me tell you that level is pretty high considering the instructors in both academies are FDNY members and the programs are based on their experiences. To give you an example last year when I took an ice rescue course, the asst. instructor had been at the plane in the Hudson river call only days before.


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    Our system is similar to Harve's. We added a 4th engine to the initial assignment. SOP is for the 4th arriving engine to perform RIT duties. This gets them started so that they are there a reasonable time. We don't wait until a fire is confirmed to get them started.

  3. #23
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    New Haven, which is the closest paid city department to me does that ^^. The 4th due engine on a box is the RIT crew. This words fine because its a big paid department where they're all staffed and responding at the same time. The RIT crew is on scene within minutes of dispatch.

    Whereas my department being rural and part of a regional group of rural departments, a "4th due engine" might be 15 miles away.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #24
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    If you truly believe that being assigned as RIT/RIC/FAST/etc is not a big deal and of little importance...you have never actually been involved with a FF rescue. It is a big deal. It is something to do "the right way".
    I agree, and that's why one of our departments has chosen to develop those skills highly, including specialized techniques and gear. They have a larger group of members, and a larger number interested in advanced RIT work, so they do that and we have them on automatic-aid for structure fires.

    The same crew also offers survival and RIT training at the department level, to encourage more firefighters to have the basics down. We haven't had them down for that yet, but it's in my training plan for this year
    "I've met lots of volunteer firefighters, but I've never seen a volunteer fire!"
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  5. #25
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    We have specific requirements to be on the RIT team for mutual aid calls.

    You have to be a firefighter for a few years (I believe 2). The rational is that we don't get that many working fires, and not everyone makes every call. This allows the person who may be asked to go into a very dangerous situation to rescue a fellow firefighter to have some fires under their belt and have some comfort level.

    You have to attend a designated RIT class at a fire academy.

    You have to attend the annual RIT drill/referesher at the firehouse.

    We will have our own personnel on scene cover the RIT responsibility until M/A shows. They are only about 5-7 miles away, so they get there pretty timely.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  6. #26
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    R.I.T. truely does work in a 2 tier system. When we arrive on scene we are all responsible for this until a formal or dedicated R.I.T. team is in place, meaning the first engine makes entry and something happens the next unit in is then responsable for being R.I.T. What seems to be working in this area is adding another company on the run card and designating them ie: the 4th engine or 2nd truck is R.I.T. The other aspect of this is to try and have that R.I.T. company on scene within 9 minutes of dispatch ie NFPA 1710 reccommendation for response times for units responding to an incident. Some of the areas have gone to a standardized basic R.I.T. training where everyone on the department and surrounding departments are all trained from the same ciriculum and there is yearly CE and quarterly training with the departments. One of the nice things with this is everyone works together and due to different response areas you will not always get the same R.I.T. company but they all have been trained the same. hope this makes sense for everyone.

  7. #27
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    OK, cooled down a bit. I used to work for years with the volunteer system where a neighboring city was called for RIT, drove me nutz!

    I think the biggest point is, somebody has to cover the RIT assignment in the inital attack (we get around this a lot by going into a "Fast Attack Mode" but it really is over used). If you have a specific unit in route for RIT, that is great, as long as it is not overlooked till this company arrives.

  8. #28
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    OK, cooled down a bit. I used to work for years with the volunteer system where a neighboring city was called for RIT, drove me nutz!

    I think the biggest point is, somebody has to cover the RIT assignment in the inital attack (we get around this a lot by going into a "Fast Attack Mode" but it really is over used). If you have a specific unit in route for RIT, that is great, as long as it is not overlooked till this company arrives.
    Sorry if I missed it, but what is "fast attack mode"?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  9. #29
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Sorry if I missed it, but what is "fast attack mode"?
    It is our SOPs, sorry, sometimes forget that everyone operates differently. Silly me.

    On an OFFENSIVE fire we have three different command strategies for the first in company.

    1- Command Mode. First in company arrives and will assume command, crew does it's 360 sets up it's attack line and waits for more units to arrive. This method insures RIT will be in place prior to making entry for fire attack or primary search. Most fires SHOULD be this

    2- Rescue Mode. When there is a report of trapped victims first in company can go into rescue mode, go for the grab before anyone else shows up on scene. The second in company will assume command. This method pushes the risk/benefit envelope, putting the crew at risk to save a life.

    3- Fast Attack Mode. If fire is small or contained to a single room and the officer's discression is that a quick hit will mitigate the hazards then that unit goes and makes the attack before other units arrive. Again second in will assume command.

    Both Rescue and Fast Attack modes use the officer's discression to decide that the situation is safe enough and the benefit of going right away will outweigh the risks. But our next due units are usually under a minute away, most of the time Fast Attack is backed by a RIT team anyways.

    Hope I explained it well. Let me know what your thought's are.

  10. #30
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    we set up inital RIT (iRIT) as defined by our polices upon first arriving unit. meaning we have two people outside. however they are proforming other duties. the 4th quint on the ticket is assigned RIT. They form a three man RIT upon arrival (driver has other duties). once a working fire is confirmed we send a 5th and 6th quint. upon arrival of the 5th quint they join up with the RIT team to form a 7 man RIT team (that is if the fire is still not marked under control). In the event of a mayday resulting a RIT activation DEC hits a automatic 2 more alarms. sending 6 more quints and 2 more rescues to the scene.

    Thats the plan atleast.

    One thing to keep in mind is that most maydays are within the first 7 mins onscene. with that said it takes many people to recuse the trapped firefighter.

    I can see a system such as mutual aid RIT working. however that inital RIT team must be formed to protect the members. I can see using the other RIT team to proform the extrication and remove of trapped firefighters. however first the team needs to find the firefighter and get him on a fixed air supply, like right now. the inital team can do that. then the mutual aid team can remove the firefighter. it is going to take several teams anyways.

    every firefighter needs training in RIT and firefighter rescue. the basics of rit are firefighter rescue

  11. #31
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    It is our SOPs, sorry, sometimes forget that everyone operates differently. Silly me.

    On an OFFENSIVE fire we have three different command strategies for the first in company.

    1- Command Mode. First in company arrives and will assume command, crew does it's 360 sets up it's attack line and waits for more units to arrive. This method insures RIT will be in place prior to making entry for fire attack or primary search. Most fires SHOULD be this

    2- Rescue Mode. When there is a report of trapped victims first in company can go into rescue mode, go for the grab before anyone else shows up on scene. The second in company will assume command. This method pushes the risk/benefit envelope, putting the crew at risk to save a life.

    3- Fast Attack Mode. If fire is small or contained to a single room and the officer's discression is that a quick hit will mitigate the hazards then that unit goes and makes the attack before other units arrive. Again second in will assume command.

    Both Rescue and Fast Attack modes use the officer's discression to decide that the situation is safe enough and the benefit of going right away will outweigh the risks. But our next due units are usually under a minute away, most of the time Fast Attack is backed by a RIT team anyways.

    Hope I explained it well. Let me know what your thought's are.
    Interesting... I like it. It makes sense.

    However, making sense has little to do with how OSHA, etc look at these things.

    My sense is that most departments operate this way, although they may not formalize it via policy.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  12. #32
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    We aren't allowed to use the term "fast attack", anymore because of the way it sounds to outsiders (read: "media").
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  13. #33
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    RIT has been a problem in our area for some time and no one seems to know how to fix it. Our one full time department in the area does not have the staff to have a dedicated RIT team. The other volunteer departments do not have any sort of organized RIT team. There are a group that have the training but no one around my area uses it.

    We have talked at the County Chief's meetings in organizing a county wide RIT team, or as others have mentioned, mutual aid RIT teams that would be dispatched simultaneously as the initial dispatch. So far, nothing has come from that at all. I agree that a "mutual aid" RIT team does not do any good unless they can be there very quickly, at the same or just very shortly after the initial attack crew or they won't be any good. I also have another issue with what is being taught in the RIT class at our local technical college. It seems that it is set up and intended for full time fire departments where staffing is not an issue and neither is the equipment budget. I am curious as to the content of other RIT classes. Our departments are mostly paid on call here.

    The idea here was to page a neighboring department for RIT at the same time of the initial dispatch. Select members who have had RIT training would respond. However, you cannot guarantee those trained members will show up for each and every page. It was mentioned to have them be on call, like a dedicated on call type of thing which opens up all kinds of issues by itself of compensation, who pays for it, scheduling, carrying two pagers...etc.

    I would like to hear other thoughts and set ups of RIT teams. How do they work and a world of other details.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    I also have another issue with what is being taught in the RIT class at our local technical college. It seems that it is set up and intended for full time fire departments where staffing is not an issue and neither is the equipment budget. I am curious as to the content of other RIT classes. Our departments are mostly paid on call here.

    I would like to hear other thoughts and set ups of RIT teams. How do they work and a world of other details.
    Dickey,
    I have yet to see a dedicated RIT class from the tech school level here or really anything so formalized as to call for some sort of extra training in RIT. For the most part, it shouldn't be an issue to set up a RIT crew. I'm having difficulty understanding some of the mantra on this thread that seemily make RIT seem like some complicated monster.

    For the most part all you need is a bit of training on some techniques to get a downed FF out, IE Denver drill, etc. This is not really elaborate stuff here. You don't need a ton of specialized equipment either, most stuff is already carried on a rig. For the most part you just need extra manpower to come in to have enough for fire attack, back up, vent/ search, and RIT.

    For us, the 3rd pump in is the RIT crew. We do an active RIT where we will do utility control, throw ladders, etc and we can also monitor the building by having a person at each corner (depending on structure size). When fire attack comes out, back up moves to attack, the old attack crew changes bottles and in many cases takes over RIT. The RIT crew moves to back up and the cycle goes on. Personally I think being in first and taking over RIT helps because in the event something does happen, you have a general idea of the conditions.

    Now I highly recommend a FF self survival class and RIT, but this is something that can be accomplished. However, I wouldn't let the holdup of formalized training to prevent the establishment of a RIT crew on a scene, nor even look at finding some type of specialized team. Anyone should be able to do RIT and such training can be done in house.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    I'm having difficulty understanding some of the mantra on this thread that seemily make RIT seem like some complicated monster.
    Crabby, I think this is partly where the problem lies regarding RIT and the fire service, in general.
    It isn't a complicated monster, but it is a beast that must be taken very seriously. I believe it to be absolutely essential to get out and take high speed, high pressure classes, such as "RIT Under Fire", at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    For the most part all you need is a bit of training on some techniques to get a downed FF out, IE Denver drill, etc. This is not really elaborate stuff here. You don't need a ton of specialized equipment either, most stuff is already carried on a rig. For the most part you just need extra manpower to come in to have enough for fire attack, back up, vent/ search, and RIT.

    A lot of places tend to take this attitude, and no I'm not trying to put you or your department down. If I will put any departments overall RIT op's down, I will publicly slam mine.

    I disagree with your statement in that this attitude is fine for the run of the mill "downed" member. This is good for the guy who gets lost, disoriented, or has a heart attack and needs to be helped or carried out of a building. But what about a collapse or significant catastrophic failure of a building, and your member has a 3,000 lbs hunk of building pinning them inside? What happens if there is some type of secondary collapse while a rescue is being attempted?
    How is non-specialized equipment going to help you out then? How are your members going to extricate that member under high heat and zero visibility?

    Has anyone even thought of that scenario as a part of RIT training? Have any of your members ever trained in doing heavy lifting under high heat and zero visibility? What tools are going to be used in order to accomplish this? How many members are going to be needed in order to accomplish this? Are your members well practiced at monitoring their air and having proper levels of back up members readily available?



    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Anyone should be able to do RIT and such training can be done in house.
    Anyone should be able to do RIT, but the foundation needs to be taught from outside. I dare say that less than 5% of the departments out there are actually what could be called "RIT capable", for any kind of complicated rescue attempt. Many of the basics can be taught from in house, but so many, many more can not be. It takes a formalized curriculum from an established school, in which many of these heavy lifting/breaching principles will not only be taught, but also employed thru practical evolutions.

    There are a host of tools needed to properly plan for any kind of scenario, outside of the "run of the mill" RIT incident. (if there is any)

    Why train and plan for the easiest scenario? It's the complicated scenario that is going to kill multiple members attempting the rescue, or allow those members to watch their trapped colleague die in front of them.
    Believe me, we have fought long and hard with multiple administrations here over RIT, and what we feel is needed and necessary. We have also fought long and hard to get our members properly trained,and supply them with with proper tools, such as the HURST "mini-lite" kit, all to no avail.

    http://prod.hurstjaws.com/Main/Produ...es,128,46.aspx


    The city of Chicago, and it's approach to RIT is, in my opinion a model for all departments to follow with RIT. I know that not many have that kind of staffing or resources, but they rely on outside training and specialty tools.

    Just some thoughts on an important topic.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    I disagree with your statement in that this attitude is fine for the run of the mill "downed" member. This is good for the guy who gets lost, disoriented, or has a heart attack and needs to be helped or carried out of a building. But what about a collapse or significant catastrophic failure of a building, and your member has a 3,000 lbs hunk of building pinning them inside? What happens if there is some type of secondary collapse while a rescue is being attempted?
    How is non-specialized equipment going to help you out then? How are your members going to extricate that member under high heat and zero visibility?
    Jasper, you definately bring up some good points and while our dept did go through an extensive FF self rescue and RIT course, the majority of the training dealt with a quick techniques to remove a downed FF. The collapse scenario and so forth while considered, was pushed back to that of a USAR call. Unlike you guys and Madison we don't have a heavy rescue, nor would I say most other depts (along with staffing) to bring everything to a scene. Along with that there are really a handful of trained members in USAR to mitigate such a rescue and as you know, in many cases it can take awhile to get in to where there are people trapped. So for the most part firefighting operations is key, get the fire out, to be able to go in.


    Anyone should be able to do RIT, but the foundation needs to be taught from outside. I dare say that less than 5% of the departments out there are actually what could be called "RIT capable", for any kind of complicated rescue attempt.
    Why train and plan for the easiest scenario? It's the complicated scenario that is going to kill multiple members attempting the rescue, or allow those members to watch their trapped colleague die in front of them.
    The point I was trying to make out there is that it doesn't take a lot to be RIT capable and it is quite possible for a MAYDAY to occur even before an outside "specialized" RIT team gets to the scene. To me I find the aspect of utilizing another dept for their RIT as a cop out to not train to be able to learn the basics, even if it is the easiest scenario. When considering many of the LODD's and MAYDAY situations, the immediate situations typically consisted of locating and removing a downed FF, without a lot of equipment.

    That is why some stuff is easily studied and can be trained on, such as the Denver drill, Brent Tarver scenario and so forth. This is why the training is important because these scenarios address an otherwise "simple" scenario, but complications involved. I can see many thinking "RIT, ok, go in and drag em out" approach, but it is a challenge to get a downed FF out a window, from a basement, etc. Concentrating on the simple type of scenarios does make you stop and think a bit and learn simple techniques to remove a FF, such as a hoseline, ropes, using a roof ladder and so forth.

    The only issue I can see being a problem with having a lot of extra equipment and training on the worst case scenario, is if guys feel they have to try every option and may further jeopardize their own safety for "one more chance". Something like the decision the Batt Chief had to make in Worcester, and for the most part, Green Bay as well. Along with RIT training should also be the consideration when you may have to pull companies out, to prevent even more being lost. It can probably be the hardest decision to ever make, but it may be necessary. (In my own experience I can say I was angered, not for the decision, but the sense of failure and letting everyone down. Looking back after the fire and seeing what we encountered, the right decision was made. Although losing one is hard, it had potential to be much worse)

    I don't disagree with your position because you do make a very good point and just brought up some ideas to bring up and to look at. The only point I'm trying to make here is that RIT does not have to be a monster, nor even this cost hinderance (such as buying new equipment) or a staffing issue which are easily balked at from the powers at be. I would love to see a heavy rescue and all the equipment at every fire, along with enough staffing to mitigate the emergency. The realist in me believes that if it costs money, it doesn't become a priority, so why use such issues as an excuse not to train and not to learn RIT, even if it is the simple scenarios? The fire won't care about staffing or equipment on scene, nor even training, but there is no reason any FF can't do RIT, or wait for a "specialized" team as a reason to not worry about training on it.

    I do agree with you that it is best to receive training from the outside if possible.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  17. #37
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Unlike you guys and Madison we don't have a heavy rescue, nor would I say most other depts (along with staffing) to bring everything to a scene. Along with that there are really a handful of trained members in USAR to mitigate such a rescue and as you know, in many cases it can take awhile to get in to where there are people trapped. So for the most part firefighting operations is key, get the fire out, to be able to go in.

    I may not have been clear enough in my previous post, and didn't mean to imply that RIT is a USAR function. I do believe that RIT is a truck function, in many cities because that is generally what the "tool" box is. I just believe that additional tools, such as the Hurst mini-lite kit will give a RIT more flexibility and capability with a minimum extra weight/bulk. They need to be trained on though, in order to be useful.

    In my opinion, all firefighters should be able to build a box crib and conduct a lifting operation to get a pinned member out.

    You are completely correct though, and that is in making sure the fire goes out. That however, is a training issue and all members must understand their role during a mayday, so all jobs get done.




    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    To me I find the aspect of utilizing another dept for their RIT as a cop out to not train to be able to learn the basics, even if it is the easiest scenario. When considering many of the LODD's and MAYDAY situations, the immediate situations typically consisted of locating and removing a downed FF, without a lot of equipment.
    Absolutely. It was huge topic here for a long time, in how we would assign a company as RIT.
    Initially it was an additional engine company on every box. The problem is that our engines don't carry a lot of tools. Admin was finally convinced that an additional truck made more sense, giving us three instead of two. So then admin, in a bit of "free thought" decided to designate the second due truck as RIT, citing a rapid set up as being essential for the reasons you pointed out.

    We're finally getting to the point where some chiefs will actually use their rank, and more importantly their heads in assigning a company RIT duties. The problem is still that no real training has been conducted to make members more aware, and more often than not RIT is looked at as punishment. Or worse, companies that don't wish to work at a fire volunteer to be RIT so they can stand out front and be shepherds; just who I want coming to find me.


    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    The only issue I can see being a problem with having a lot of extra equipment and training on the worst case scenario, is if guys feel they have to try every option and may further jeopardize their own safety for "one more chance". Something like the decision the Batt Chief had to make in Worcester, and for the most part, Green Bay as well.

    Could not agree more. To me though, that is a training issue that all members must be a part of, from firefighters to chiefs. It is all a part of situational awareness, and I pray I never experience that kind of a decision first hand. It happened here in 1994, with Lionel Hoffer, and it wrecked several careers. On the other hand several lives were undoubtedly saved by the decision, even though his, sadly was not.
    But training is the key there, IMO. Members must be able to know their tools blind, manage their air and ensure a steady stream of fresh people.

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    I agree with everything you guys said Jasper and Crabby....some very good points and information.

    Our local tech. college (CVTC) was teaching a version of RIT class that seemed to be geared totally towards full time departments without consideration to paid on call/vollies. One of my guys went through one of the early classes and there seemed to be no consideration of mutual aid crews, equipment or anything for departments lacking staffing and the "special" equipment. Some instructors are incorporating some self rescue techniques in entry level and FF I class but I don't think there is much in the actual curriculum yet.

    I also believe it doesn't or shouldn't take any special equipment or extensive training like USAR or whatever. Some basic drills and skills and to be familiar with techniques should be a standard for every firefighter's training.

    We are having issues with how to set a countywide system up here. Eau Claire certainly doesn't have the manpower, they barely have the crews needed for a bread and butter structure fire. It's tough to cover the city with only 26 personnel on shift. The surrounding vollie/paid on call departments have a bigger pool of manpower to pull from but you cannot be certain that your "trained" people will show up, or depending on time of day, how many people would be available.
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    Dickey, if you guys are part of MABAS or even have a county chiefs association that's the place to bring it up and set a county wide standard for R.I.T. training, responses and responsabilities. If everyone is trained on even the basics and a set policy is in place for everyone to follow then you guys have a good platform to work from and build on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    Dickey, if you guys are part of MABAS or even have a county chiefs association that's the place to bring it up and set a county wide standard for R.I.T. training, responses and responsabilities. If everyone is trained on even the basics and a set policy is in place for everyone to follow then you guys have a good platform to work from and build on.
    Yup, we got that far...That's what we have been debating in the county chief's meetings for almost a year now. The training, how to set it up, etc. That's why I am paying attention to this thread to see how others have set it up.

    A year ago we have submitted a letter of intent and I am drafting the request letter to MABAS for division status this week as a matter of fact. We are going to it within the year and we need to come to some sort of standard within the county. I want to get everything worked out so when we start making our response cards, we can include a mutual aid RIT team on the initial dispatch.
    Jason Knecht
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