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.
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.
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?
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.
Hey beachboy -- dont back down - skool them fools - three sixty all the way.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.....