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  1. #1
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    Default On-Scene RIT vs. Neighboring dept. RIT...

    Could someone please explain the logic behind this?...

    There seems to be a local southern county practice of dispatching a certain department for every single structure fire for the purpose of them being RIT. They claim to be "RIT Specialists..." Now, I truly do not understand the idea behind calling for another dept. just for RIT when you've already made entry and have begun attacking the fire and so on and so forth...do you get what I'm saying?

    I was under the impression it's EVERY department's responsibility to have proper RIT training for all members? What happens if (God forbid) a FF goes down in the time between these "specialists" being dispatched and arriving on seen? Does everyone just stand around with their hands in their pockets?
    I'm VERY glad my dept has RIT training in place and we go over it constantly so we do not participate in that issue of ridiculousness...


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We do the same, actually, we are the ones called.

    2 types of "RIT". Initial that is on scene with the department and is involved with fighting the fire, and the 2nd, which is the team tasked with all the RIT operations. Until our RIT is on scene, a couple of members are standing by, but they are not as fully staffed and equipped as the responding RIT. That simple fact is that we don't have that much "extra" manpower and/or equipment. We figure its better to have our guys fighting the fire instead of standing by. The outside department sends a team that will bring sufficient manpower and all the equipment they should need.

    Separation of tasks/resources.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    2 types of "RIT". Initial that is on scene with the department and is involved with fighting the fire, and the 2nd, which is the team tasked with all the RIT operations. Until our RIT is on scene, a couple of members are standing by, but they are not as fully staffed and equipped as the responding RIT. That simple fact is that we don't have that much "extra" manpower and/or equipment. We figure its better to have our guys fighting the fire instead of standing by. The outside department sends a team that will bring sufficient manpower and all the equipment they should need.

    Separation of tasks/resources.
    Agreed and makes sense if it is utilized the same way in the OP's county.

    I have also seen areas where a paid department or one with more active volunteers are given this task throughout the county to justify their response to the areas politicians in order to guarantee that at least someone shows up eventually. If they get their first, then they perform as a regular first in company.
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  4. #4
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    Around here another dept. is used as RIT, but its for manpower. When are already calling 1 or 2 mutual aid depts for a fire, you probably don't have enough personnel to fully staff a RIT and complete fire ground tasks. This is done on a rotating basis dependent on the location of the fire. Like others have said a few firefighters will be outside available for RIT before the MA company arrives, but calling someone to bring 4-6 people for a RIT beats what we can do with our manning levels.


    I agree its a little silly to have these "RIT specialists" that think they always have to do it. If you are ALWAYS going MA for RIT and not for manpower, the only fires you are fighting are probably your first ins. If thats the case, you probably haven't spent enough time in burning buildings or go into them often enough, to do RIT. The RIT is going into the fire to save a firefighter probably when conditions are extremely crappy, you need to be very proficient.

  5. #5
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    I get called out all over the world, but generally cancelled whilst still in the airport.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  6. #6
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    We actually do something very similar. We use a nieghboring department as our RIT on all 2nd alarm or greater fires. We require all our firefighters to have basic RIT skills training along with annual refresher (basic drags, mask and regulator change outs, etc..). On small working fires we maintain at least 2 out and try to assemble a 4 person RIT from our responding crews. Once a 2nd alarm is dispatched a mutual aid company (who we train with regularly) sends a 4-6 man company to serve as the RIT. When they arrive (usually in 8-10 minutes) they relieve our 2 out/RIT crew. Our department also provides this service to our nieghboring mutual aid departments. We have been doing this for 2 years now and it seems to work well for us.

  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Same practice in my region. A neighboring town will be called in for RIT. I think its pointless and I personally refuse to bother with it. I'm not sacrificing weekend after weekend for specialized RIT training for a program that will never accomplish anything. I seriously do not understand what good it does to call a RIT team from 15 miles away. By the time we respond from home/work/wherever, get geared up, pile in the truck, and start rolling, they might as well not bother. The fire will be out of the trapped firefighters will be dead long before a mutual aid RIT team ever arrives.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #8
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    It's common in a county to remain annonymous near me. They travel for dozens of miles to get to fires. Unfortunately, no other companies have taken the time to get trained.

    As has been said, really, what's the point. It's purely CYA. "Look we called for a RIT, they just didn't get here in time".
    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. #9
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    Around here we use the neareast RIT trained dept. The towns are close together so the next one usually knows there is a worker and their members start Nexteling each other and head to their dept. As soon as we have confirmation the m/a is banged out for the RIT team. Usually the dept on the other side of town is called for a stand by engine and ambulance to our headquarters to cover any addt. calls.

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    The only remotely good thing about our regional system here is several departments put mutual aid tankers and RIT on their first alarm for reported structure fires. So the RIT department is dispatched at the same time as everyone else but still coming from 10-15 miles away.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
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    It works well in areas where the volly houses aren't so distant from each other. Put them on the initial assignment and usually they aren't all to far behind the first in companies 2nd or 3rd piece.

  12. #12
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post And..............

    We Run 4 Engines, 2 (Ladder) Trucks and a (Heavy Rescue) Squad on a Building Fire. Unless modified by the I.C. The Squad is the RIT. Several things may cause a variation, such as a Third Truck running in place of the Squad, or the Squad arrives ahead of one or both Trucks. Works for us..........
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  13. #13
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    As soon as it confirmed, we dispatch one of two RIT's depending on which end of our area the job is in.

    When I was calling shots, I used to ask for both. Whoever got there first was RIT, whoever got there second was an extra engine. I'd stage them or put them in our house for cover.
    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.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  14. #14
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    The scary thing I am seeing here is the aspect that some depts are using another dept because they don't have RIT training. Is there any reason whatsoevver to not have such training? Is this too much of a topic to train on that you need to call in a "specialist"? Seriously, RIT training is really not that tough to train on and something that every FF should be knowledgeable in, because as mentioned here, if waiting for a RIT company to show up from so many miles away etc, they might as well be recovery if something happened. There really isn't a need for all sorts of specialized tools or equipment to perfom a rescue, much of what is needed is pretty much carried by any fire rig.

    Now I understand the issue about staffing and have seen the mention of 2 in 2 out. (Of which a recent Fire Engineering article addressed this and recommends looking back into this rule, because the reality is it will take much more than 2 people to perfom a rescue) However, 2 in 2 out is there and it can be easily satisfied to start suppression ops. While I do see depts that will establish a mutual aid RIT team, it doesn't mean such training shouldn't also be conducted for all. It is quite possible to have a MAYDAY situation even before a "specialist" gets on scene.

    We are a FT dept and recently been a dedicated mutual aid RIT engine for a neighboring dept and have responded a few times. Their dept does have RIT training and we really don't have much more specialties over them, but it is quite possible that our mutual aid rigs could be utilized within the city and the other dept has to depend on someone else to come in. RIT is something every FF should know and there is no reason to depend upon others to provide that service. When requesting such a crew it should be the issue for adequate staffing to provide the RIT function vs because of a "specialty".
    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.

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    Here upon confirmation of a working fire or when multiple calls are recieved for the alarm, the the next unit up (usually an Engine) on the CAD is dispatched as RIT automatically. Usual assignment to a structural box is 3, 1 and 1

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    How far out is this neighboring RIT company? Most catastrophic fire events that require a RIT team to rescue a firefighter happen during the initial attack and primary search. I don't care how "specialized RIT" they are, effecting a firefighter rescue while 8 miles out is a highly unlikely scenario.

  17. #17
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    I don't care how "specialized RIT" they are, effecting a firefighter rescue while 8 miles out is a highly unlikely scenario.
    This is exactly why I think our system is flawed and not serving anything but a false sense of security.

    Now with all my ranting, I will conceed that with a volunteer system, you may not have enough people on a first alarm to have a fire attack, S&R, vent, run the pumps, etc etc. I'm not sure what the solution is but I know the present way as discussed in this thread isn't doing jack.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  18. #18
    Forum Member DubyaVFF's Avatar
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    Our volunteer outfits do this because of manning - out mutual-aid group consists of about a dozen full unpaid volunteer departments. In our area, there are six stations with an average of about 30km between them. One department at the edge of this group has a lower call rate and a smaller district than its neighbours, and has focused on RIT skills.

    Our station has 4 to 6 interior-qualified guys at any given call, so we have the department with the RIT skills and gear on automatic aid. We go 2-in/2-out for initial entry, and by the time the first team comes our, additional manpower and the RIT are on-scene.

    I agree wholeheartedly that RIT skills are attainable - and desirable - in every station, but with small memberships it's a challenge. I'm trying to start dialogue on developing RIT capability in a broader area, possibly with a multiple-station team. That way even if we're still bringing in the mutual-aid RIT, we'd have capability to offer additional RIT coverage beyond what that one department can reasonably reach. Anyone have experience in building such a composite team?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    How far out is this neighboring RIT company? Most catastrophic fire events that require a RIT team to rescue a firefighter happen during the initial attack and primary search. I don't care how "specialized RIT" they are, effecting a firefighter rescue while 8 miles out is a highly unlikely scenario.
    This is absolutely true...a FAST/RIT is only useful if it's on scene.

    Although I have some issues with RIT I have to say it is now what I would consider a basic skill that EVERY line firefighter should not only know but practice regularly. Specializing in RIT seems to me to be "putting all your egss in one basket", a basket that simply may not be there when needed...especially in the volunteer world. Train everyone in it, drill everyone at it and then you have a ready resource departmentwide.

  20. #20
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Never heard of anyone "specializing" in RIT. Firefighter self-survival skills are taught in basic school and are drilled on regularly. Finding a lost FF is not a skill much unlike searching for lost victims. Removal of FF's can/will lead to some options that are not available for normal victim removal. Are there some extra skills that can be learned? Sure. Are they necessary? Nope.

    All of our guys have training. I do have some guys that won't respond when we are called for RIT. They are not comfortable enough with their skills to put themselves in that position. And being in that position, the ones tasked with rescuing a FF in possibly the worst conditions, should not be taken lightly.

    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".

    My Department, and those that we respond to, do not wait to get on scene and determine if it's needed, the dispatch is made at same time host department is dispatched. No, it's not for every call, just for certain reported types. example, 911 gets a call reporting a structure fire. FD and EMS is dispatched, and appropriate FAST is dispatched. When FD gets on scene, if they find no need, FAST will be recalled.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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