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Thread: RIT Standby Question - facepiece on or off?

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    Default RIT Standby Question - facepiece on or off?

    When you and your crew are assigned to RIT, do you put your facepieces on (but not on air), or do you keep it off?

    The rationale for keeping it on is to be immediately able to respond to a RIT activation, where the only action needed is to click in and go.

    The rationales for not wearing the facepiece the entire time:

    The facepiece fogs up. The RIT team needs to do repetitive laps around the structure to watch for changing conditions, as well as force (but leave closed for flow path purposes) any necessary doors, ladder windows, and put together a tool cache. The facepiece will typically fog up. A few breaths on air will clear it up, but now you're lowering your air supply.

    So, which is more important, being masked the whole time up to save 30 seconds or less with an activation and use air to maintain visibility, or keep the mask off, save your air, and have a clearer view of the surroundings and changing conditions?

    Please discuss, and add any additional rationales that you find important.

    Personally, I'm for keeping the mask off, and saving my air. Now, if the company officer wants their crew to mask up, would it be defensible to go against this for the purpose of air conservation?

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    Off for better visibility. Honestly if a firefighter can't don their facepiece hood and helmet in under 30 seconds they need some retraining.

    Follow your SOPs or officer's orders regarding the facepiece.
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    I agree with FryedUp. Have your mask plugged into regulator and bottle on. It takes seconds to mask up. Plus certain masks unplugged do require a little bit of effort to breath. RIT team needs to be fresh and ready to go.

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    I agree, off.
    We like to have the RIT crew perform their own 360 if possible, seeing where crews have entered, seeing where crews may bail, soften up the building, and/or toss secondary egress ladders if they see a critical need. All the while maintain contact with their company officer who is on deck at the command area getting a feel of what going on and where crews are at.
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    We send 2 crews for RIT/FAST. Highest officer, usually a Chief, goes to command post. Crews break into 2 teams, a Search team and a Rescue team. Officer from each team go together on a 360 and then report back to the teams. The Search team is fully geared up, not wearing facepieces, and ready to go. Rescue team will usually have full gear on, may not have SCBA on but they are right near them. Search team is the first activated...they locate and assess any further needs and relay that to Rescue team. Once the Search team is activated, Rescue team gets ready. Rescue team may also widen openings, clear obstructions, verify utilities off, etc.

    But no one stands by with face piece on. Too much loss of vision, awareness, etc.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    We send 2 crews for RIT/FAST. Highest officer, usually a Chief, goes to command post. Crews break into 2 teams, a Search team and a Rescue team. Officer from each team go together on a 360 and then report back to the teams. The Search team is fully geared up, not wearing facepieces, and ready to go. Rescue team will usually have full gear on, may not have SCBA on but they are right near them. Search team is the first activated...they locate and assess any further needs and relay that to Rescue team. Once the Search team is activated, Rescue team gets ready. Rescue team may also widen openings, clear obstructions, verify utilities off, etc.

    But no one stands by with face piece on. Too much loss of vision, awareness, etc.
    I like your 2 team concept. How many on a team? And does the search team stage by the point of entry while the rescue team stays by command?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    How about they leave their tanks shut off? Today's packs automatically engage the PASS, meaning the RIT team members have to be doing the usual wiggle to keep their alarms silenced. Nothing is more annoying than a PASS going off for no reason, and it dilutes the urgency level if one actually does go off because a firefighter needs help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    We send 2 crews for RIT/FAST. Highest officer, usually a Chief, goes to command post. Crews break into 2 teams, a Search team and a Rescue team. Officer from each team go together on a 360 and then report back to the teams. The Search team is fully geared up, not wearing facepieces, and ready to go. Rescue team will usually have full gear on, may not have SCBA on but they are right near them. Search team is the first activated...they locate and assess any further needs and relay that to Rescue team. Once the Search team is activated, Rescue team gets ready. Rescue team may also widen openings, clear obstructions, verify utilities off, etc.

    But no one stands by with face piece on. Too much loss of vision, awareness, etc.
    I like the option of splitting the RIT into two groups for different reason. You can have the RIT attempt to locate or access the firefighter in distress from two different paths. Also, if the rescue team waits for the search team to find the distressed firefighter, doesn't the clock on actual removal reset to zero? I would think quickest method would be to find him and remove him ASAP. With possible voice contact with distressed member, possible voice contact with other member(s) of interior team, prior knowledge of his assignment and PASS device sounding you could have a pretty good idea of his location from the start.
    I have not tried or been exposed to your method, so I don't mean to knock it.

    To answer original question, face pieces off for reasons already mentioned by others.

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    Search team is minimum of 3, Rescue will usually be 5. When we have more we will make 2nd search team, 2nd rescue team. Both search and rescue team will stage together near the entry point.

    Biggest reason we found for using the 2 teams is that it may take quite a while for search to find/locate/assess the guy. They bring a RIT pack with them to give the guy air if needed, but they may have used half of their air supply just in locating him. They also attach and drag a search rope with them so they can find their way out and the search team can follow that rope right to them.

    As a drill, set it up so that a 2 man team has fallen through a floor but aren't able to transmit they are lost. By the time it's realized they are missing and then a team locates them....how much air will your RIT have to get them out? That's why we split the teams.

    tree68, our Search team will have their SCBA pressurized but the Rescue team won't. Yes, they need to be moving enough to keep the PASS from alarming.

    IF the link works...this is our SOP for RIT/FAST
    http://www.ofc1.org/pdfsogs/FAST%20Response.pdf
    Last edited by Bones42; 02-13-2014 at 09:45 AM.
    "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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