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Thread: Mask fogging while on RIT standby

  1. #51
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    IMO, for RIT leave the masks off till you get the call, then keep them off till you're where you need to be ie: in the back of the building or wherever. RIT companies need to be set up early and that company needs to stay RIT till it is determined that RIT's not needed anymore. That company gets to watch the incident progress and can kind of keep track of who's where. Also by having your mask on it makes it hard to communicate with the rest of the team because you have to speak loud enough to over come wearing the mask. Every incident is different, in a fire in a SFD you may be out front where as in an apartment you may be on the floor below the fire with your equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6Duron1 View Post
    lol, in VA when I was observing they kept their truck doors open in the bay to minimize response time. Really if it takes you ten seconds to open a door, then you don't need to be a driver. Saving time isn't that necessary, but you should be confident in your speed and skills that you shouldn't have to worry about those extra five second. Kind of like the CPAT.

    Sorry, i disagree. Save time where ever you can. Leaving the doors open saves time. Saving 5 or 10 seconds here and there adds up. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by THEENGINEGOES; 12-26-2011 at 07:55 PM.

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    It's not like BPFD1 is going to make entry any time soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Good idea- rub a flammable liquid into your mask.
    Is it a flammable liquid after it's dried and wiped off??

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Is it a flammable liquid after it's dried and wiped off??
    Do you want to find out using YOUR mask?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREguy2011 View Post
    It's not like BPFD1 is going to make entry any time soon.
    Oh really ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Is it a flammable liquid after it's dried and wiped off??
    isn't the stuff that you clean the masks with flammable?
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    Oh really ...
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    While we dont carry actual blueprints of buildings, we do carry what we call VBIs. These are forms generated by the companies that give valuable information pertaining to locations of standpipes, stairwells, elevators, utilities and other pertinant information. They may contain an actual drawing of the building with floor layouts and such. They are carried on all engines in the city. Each engine carries a copy of their first and second due VBIs in a binder broken down by address. They should be updated yearly or as often as changes need to be made. A copy is forwarded to the second due engine when a change is made in the VBI. The VBI for the building is retrieved by the IC when he feels its warranted. This generally means and all hands fire or multiple alarm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    Upon arrival our dept. has the RIT team fully geared up with the exception of going on air. Of course our masks fog up extremely quickly in this situation and before you know it we can barely see a thing. Obviously, this makes it very difficult to see exactly what is going on with the fire. Of course you can give it a few shots of air every now and again, but that depletes the amount you actually have available if you have to go to work.

    Other than just not masking up, any ideas on how to maintain situational awareness under these circumstances?

    Thanks.
    About the best way to combat this occurring is doing exactly what you said-Taking some shots of air.
    The nose piece in the mask serves a purpose, which is to decrease the lens fogging but as we all know it doesn't do enough. I have noticed that if I am off air and am concentrating on my breathing I can control it enough to where the fogging is minimal, but that all goes out the window once I go to work. But since you are on the RIT team, I'm sure the SOP is to stay in one place and be on alert at all times while there are crew(s) inside the structure. I would use this as an advantage to concentrate on your breathing, while staying alert at the same time. Just takes practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    About the best way to combat this occurring is doing exactly what you said-Taking some shots of air.
    I go back to my other posts... the best way is to put the mask on when you need it.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I go back to my other posts... the best way is to put the mask on when you need it.
    Wow. That is so simple. But it has nothing to do with what he was asking in the first post. He wanted to know a way other than just not masking up to prevent it from fogging. And as you should know, being a "Chief" and all, the RIT team should always have their masks on while on standby. So in the event they are needed, the just snap the face piece on and they are ready to go in.
    Last edited by Beach Head; 02-01-2012 at 07:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    The RIT should NOT be masked up.

    I see no grey in this, so forgive me.

    Wearing a mask you have artificially narrowed your situational awareness. The RIT should be fully engaged, using all their senses, to monitor the fire. Not looking through a tunnel with ALL their senses compromised.

    Wearing a mask and being fully outfitted is a great way to wear out the RIT before they even get called to be used. I'd rather they take an extra 20 seconds to mask/hood up then to be heat stressed to an even worse degree. Think of the 90 degree days when just being turned out wears you down... now add a mask/hood and stand around for 30 minutes. Stupid.

    Seriously, if you are deployed, do you think that extra 20 seconds is THAT critical? I don't.
    Ok I'm going to reply to this and just ignore you because you just seem like the type of person who thinks no one else knows what they are talking about and anything someone says contrary to your opinion is blasphemy. The whole point of a RIT or RIC (RAPID Intervention Team/Crew) is to have a group of people ready to go in at any second if a crew is trapped/compromised. So absolutely 20 seconds at a fire matters. We are taught that every second matters during the stages of a fire. Whether it be the chance of survivability for a person or the structure. Not to mention, I've never been on a RIT team where I was fully packed up for 30 straight minutes. RIT teams are only needed when crews are working inside of a structure, you are looking at this all wrong. Your argument of being fully geared while on standby wears the crew out makes no sense. They are far better off fully geared and on standby than the crews inside the burning structure. Everyone at a fire scene is going to get fatigued, especially in 90 degree weather. It's just a fact of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    Ok I'm going to reply to this and just ignore you because you just seem like the type of person who thinks no one else knows what they are talking about and anything someone says contrary to your opinion is blasphemy. The whole point of a RIT or RIC (RAPID Intervention Team/Crew) is to have a group of people ready to go in at any second if a crew is trapped/compromised. So absolutely 20 seconds at a fire matters. We are taught that every second matters during the stages of a fire. Whether it be the chance of survivability for a person or the structure. Not to mention, I've never been on a RIT team where I was fully packed up for 30 straight minutes. RIT teams are only needed when crews are working inside of a structure, you are looking at this all wrong. Your argument of being fully geared while on standby wears the crew out makes no sense. They are far better off fully geared and on standby than the crews inside the burning structure. Everyone at a fire scene is going to get fatigued, especially in 90 degree weather. It's just a fact of life.
    It's a shame you can't just have a dialogue. I'll reply, because that is kind of the point of this whole forum. Most people who make statements like you did, do so because they know they can't back up their "final comment" and choose to run and hide. Go hide, Nancy.

    If you can't walk from the staging area, get a briefing, develop a plan, and put your mask on, then you are a simpleton.

    Using your approach, I'm guessing the RIT team also RUNS at TOP SPEED to get to the structure, right? As you said, every second counts. Now, we know they don't, right? Why? Because it is unsafe. Kind of like sitting around, fully masked up, losing your situational awareness and getting needlessly fatigued.

    To think that the RIT will just go running into a building when a mayday is called is just exposing your lack of any real experience.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    ...Not to mention, I've never been on a RIT team where I was fully packed up for 30 straight minutes...
    and for those of us that have....it is a very valid point.


    When you are RiT/RIC/FAST...do you just stand in one location observing and waiting to be put into action?

    or do you assess the building, ladder where needed, open windows/doors fully where needed, etc. (you know, things that should be done in advance of having to perform a rescue) Guess the main question is....are you reactive or proactive?


    Cuz if you are proactive...standing around practicing your breathing techniques with a mask in place (but not air) is not gonna happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    As you said, every second counts. Now, we know they don't, right? Why? Because it is unsafe. Kind of like sitting around, fully masked up, losing your situational awareness and getting needlessly fatigued.

    To think that the RIT will just go running into a building when a mayday is called is just exposing your lack of any real experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    and for those of us that have....it is a very valid point.
    Cuz if you are proactive...standing around practicing your breathing techniques with a mask in place (but not air) is not gonna happen.
    I have to completely agree with my brothers from the Garden State. RIT isn't a stand-in-place function, it requires situational awareness along with the completion of other fireground tasks. Doing these things with your mask on is a way to expedite your exhaustion and fatigue.

    Yes, many of us have been assigned to RIT in excess of 30 minutes.

    I'm curious, how many times have you been on an RIT team that was activated and went to work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    And as you should know, being a "Chief" and all, the RIT team should always have their masks on while on standby. .
    And what you do not know, due to your 22 years of age and 3 years in the fire service in Iowa is what we have been trying to explain- that the height of readyness falls upon all members of the FAST team to maintain situational awareness at all times- be mindful of all actions and events on the fireground. Contribute suggestions to the IC verbally ("Hey boss, maybe throw another ground ladder to the third floor?") and maintain a watchful eye at all times.......This cannot be done with your mask on.......It only takes a few seconds to throw your mask on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    ....... RIT teams are only needed when crews are working inside of a structure, you are looking at this all wrong. .......
    As a RIT instructor, I'm gonna call you out on this one. Your wrong in the fact that RIT crews are not only needed when crews are working inside a structure, they are for crews all over the fireground, inside and OUT.

    If you need any proof of what I'm saying, feel free to PM me and I'll share with you the happenings of our fellow IOWA fire fighters up near Parkersburg. They weren't inside but still, RIT was needed; outside.

    Regarding the original poster's "mask on, mask off", my view is mask off. Provided they're lucky enough to have the time to do so, a properly staged RIT team(s) have their equipment ready to go and laid out. They don't huddle near the same door the hoseline(s) are going in as they might not use that egress point. They standby, ready to react. While they should be geared up, I agree that masking up shouldn't take them more than 20 seconds to put on and begin their entry. If it does, then they need to either practice more or consider excusing themselves from the team(s).

    Rapid, yes. But not beyond the point of abandoning their own safety first.
    Last edited by WBFD25; 02-02-2012 at 10:56 PM.

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    Hey beachboy -- dont back down - skool them fools - three sixty all the way.
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    I need to say after reading some posts... never put any thing (solution, soap, shaving cream tooth paste ext.) on your mask if i didnt come from the manufacture, or isnt recomended by the manufacture. that being said, and please forgive me if this has been covered, there is a mask clearing device that works graet... it is simply two magnets with peices of fabric attached. one goes on the out side one on the inside. when you move the outside on the inside one follows.... most scba manufactures make them....also i say mask off...

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    I've got to agree with those who say mask off. It only takes a few seconds to put your face piece on. Sometimes slowing down is speeding up. Too many guys want to just rush into everything.

    Like others have said, RIT should be pro-active; ground ladders, forcing exterior doors & gates, removing fence sections if needed. And, it's true that RIT may be needed outside. I've seen is quite a few times. Ice is not ones friend on the fire ground. Saw a chief slip on the ice and break his leg so bad it ended his career.

    Keep in mind that RIT is a dynamic, ever changing resource. Just because your dept trains for it a certain way doesn't mean the conditions on the fire ground will allow for it. You might find you need to activate two teams at the same time, reassign a company as an additional RIT, position a RIT engine company with a line to support the search team, or even fill out an additional alarm assignment as RIT. The situation determines.

    I'll add this too; get yourself in a crucial RIT situation where one of your brothers is actually in trouble, and the sound of a PASS device going off will have a different meaning to you forever. When you're crawling though the black and the heat that sound transforms from the annoyance of someone not turning their bottle off to something more sinister. If I never hear another PASS sounding ever again, it'll still be too soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    And as you should know, being a "Chief" and all, the RIT team should always have their masks on while on standby.
    That's it huh, end of story? And who professes this is the "best way"? In my view this totally impairs the RIT's ability to continually size-up the fireground to the best of their abilities. How long does masking up take that we'll ignore/hamper the our best sense while standing by? Maybe youi've spent to much time in the sun on the beach?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Head View Post
    Ok I'm going to reply to this and just ignore you because you just seem like the type of person who thinks no one else knows what they are talking about and anything someone says contrary to your opinion is blasphemy. The whole point of a RIT or RIC (RAPID Intervention Team/Crew) is to have a group of people ready to go in at any second if a crew is trapped/compromised. So absolutely 20 seconds at a fire matters. We are taught that every second matters during the stages of a fire. Whether it be the chance of survivability for a person or the structure. Not to mention, I've never been on a RIT team where I was fully packed up for 30 straight minutes. RIT teams are only needed when crews are working inside of a structure, you are looking at this all wrong. Your argument of being fully geared while on standby wears the crew out makes no sense. They are far better off fully geared and on standby than the crews inside the burning structure. Everyone at a fire scene is going to get fatigued, especially in 90 degree weather. It's just a fact of life.
    And some wonder why we still average 100 LODD's a year? Yeah, yeah, most of them have little to do with the fireground, but it's the attitude and silly "logic" that is pervasive in our ranks that causes far too many injuries, close-calls and fatalities.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 05-04-2012 at 12:12 PM. Reason: my keyboard caused misspelled words

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    I see the mask issue in my area frequently, and not just in RIT standby. In my dept we've done a good job of getting our members to leave their facepieces off until they are actually preparing to enter the IDLH. As far as RIT goes, I agree with RFDACM02, in most fires the primary function of the RIT company is to continually assess the building and the fire. RIT is a dynamic assignment, the RIT team should know as much about what's going on inside as the IC and command staff do, with a focus on prevention of the need to actually deploy the RIT team! You can't do that being a lawn shepherd with a facepiece on and accomplish those tasks to full effectiveness, I don't care who you are. If you have trained properly with your SCBA and are "combat ready", you should be able to mask up in a matter of seconds, even with your gloves on. Also, that extra few seconds gives you a quick "reset".

    Our culture has started to get "RIT happy" and we forget that 75% of their job is PREVENTION.
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    I have to say that we do not mask up as the RIC team... We have full gear on and are ready to go to work if need. We hope not!
    As the RIC team we do have some work we do while on "stand-by". We do not just stand there by the truck and wait. We will go around the building and see if there are any hazards for the fire ground. Examples are screen doors still on the house, bars over windows, change in fire conditions, opening up egress doors or windows, throwing ladders for firefighter egress, etc. We look at ourselves as kind of a safety officer on the fire ground. Right wrong or indeferent... It works for us. I have seen where we have taken bars off of windows and that window being used as a egress point an we were all happy we got the bars off of the window!
    The only thing that I can think of is NO MASK! I know that did not really answere your question but that is what i would have to say.

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    I feel the RIT FAST RIC team members should absolutely remained unmasked. Being masked/ hooded up causes them to be hotter causing them to sweat therefore dehydration becomes an unneeded risk..... Also a few breaths worth the air every few minutes could turn your half hour bottle that last 20 Minutes? Into 18 minutes so the 30 seconds you "saved" become a minute and a half loss..... And I would NEVER put something on my mask that is not recommended by its manufacturer, but then again it's only keeping you alive...... Just my opinion.....

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