1. #1
    ff161
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Rapid intervention techniques

    Hi Everyone, In last months FH magazine in the article on Rapid Intervention, the author made a suggestion that I feel could be a very dangerous. He stated that you should monitor the radio for distress calls. This is a great idea. Then he states that once you have radio contact with someone, you should tell them to switch to a tactical channel to avoid the radio traffic. In my opinion this would be a very poor practice. I would compare this to someone who is partially chokeing on something swallowed but still able to pass air. You don't attempt to clear the airway because you might make it worse. What if you lost the person you were just in contact with because you tried to change channels. The fire grounds should come to almost a complete standstill until the ff's are rescued. How many radios out there have a lighted channel selector that is bright enough to see in the dark, or smoke. Think about it. Don't change channels

  2. #2
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I agree that is a very bad practice!.. One of the firefighters who died in the Memphis high rise about 5 years ago did contact the dispatcher but was on the wrong channel and was told to switch over. He was never heard from again. Our radio policy calls for radio silence on the fireground frequency after receipt of a MAYDAY. This is announced by the dispatcher and keeps an open line between the rescuers and victim.

  3. #3
    Mike K
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Even though I have the utmost repect for the author of the article. I have taken the Rapid Intervention Class that he did develop. I would have to agree with ff161 & Halligan. However, maybe the statement should of been stated as, "If it is possible to change to a tactical channel, change" If not I would stay on the channel you were on.
    I do agree that the dispatcher should make an anouncement for all radio traffic to stop. I'm lucky if we have a spare channel to change to anyway..

    Let's just keep working together to keep our brothers & sisters from dying on the fire ground...

    Mike K

  4. #4
    FFE3BFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I agree with Hal84, once you have a "MAYDAY" all radio communications cease except for the R.I.T. and the victim. So why change Freq's.

    [This message has been edited by FFE3BFD (edited April 29, 1999).]

  5. #5
    jpm
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    re:radios

    just something to think about remember the new jersey car dealership fire. firefighters calls for help fell on deaf ears.just from memory it took forteen minutes to get a reply.three brave men died.

    remember warren trapped in a elevator. had his high teck motorola radio. could not get to him on time.
    r.i.p. brother.

    it is not that bad of an idea to have the f.a.s.t. team or r.i.t. operate on a different channel . this team must monitor radio for indications of firefighters in trouble. but when its time for them to go to work i would hope that not all fireground operations come to a hault. just suppose thats thier was a second call for help or an urgent message from the roof team or hose team.

    i am going to steal something from m.conboys handout.
    each department should establish plans that cover emergency radio procedures,search and rescue communications.

    the best answer is what works for you and the safety of your department.

    stay low stay safe



    [This message has been edited by jpm (edited April 29, 1999).]

  6. #6
    fyrescue
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I agree with you guys 100%. Our SOP states for radio silence when a mayday is declared, no traffic except the f/f in trouble and command. Our procedures on RIT call for a RIT laison to be assigned to the command post equipped with a UHF portable on a clean freq. Command gets information from the f/f in trouble, the laison communicates this to the RIT immediately on their freq. keeps the channels open. We are currently using both low band and UHF band protables for fireground operations, lowband channel 2 is for support sectors such as staging, water supply, manpower, etc. . Lowband channel 3 is for tactical operations, search/rescue, fire suppression, etc. . Our UHF portables are are strictly for tactical operations, freq. 1 repeats to lowband channel 3, freq. 2,3,4 are talk around channels for RIT, command, etc., and do not go through the repeater. We have been using this system for several years and has helped manage radio transmissions, especially at the "BIG ONE".

    Be Safe

  7. #7
    PBFTRK33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    TO FF161 & HALLIGAN 84: Time out guys! If you carefully read my article it states, "The RIT leader "should"(NOT MUST)also "ask"(NOT TELL)the firefighter to switch to a tactical channel, "IF POSSIBLE". The words "if possible" are used in a very broad way. There can be many determining factors that would make this procedure possible or not possible. The bottom line is I said you must ask the firefighter if he or she can switch, if they can't then don't. I agree that it is better to stay more times than not. RIT radio procedures can be a whole article in itself, but this specific article was on RIT search procedures and I chose not to elaborate on radio procedures. Not once did I elude that this policy should be written in stone. I learned many years ago that in the fire service, (especially in firefighter rescue), that we should "never say never or always". I agree with JPM in the philosophy that you should establish policies that will work for your department or area before a "MAYDAY" is called so that everyone is on the same page. Not every RIT procedure you read or see will work for every fire department. Use what you can and discard what you can't. I instruct departments that have only one radio channel to departments with several channels and staying on the primary channel may not work all the time. You need to have a backup plan in place and all members should be trained in radio procedures utilizing both methods (staying vs. switching) After our firefighter fatalities in 95 one of our lessons learned changes was moving the order of our channels on the portables so that you could switch in the dark (turning the switch all the way to the left or right would take you to the tactical channel, etc). As usual Mike K. I thank you for your support and enjoyed training your department. I have received hundreds of positive replies on this article and am glad that I can contribute to the fire service in a positive manner. I had to learn the hard way about firefighter rescue and I don't wish that on any firefighter. I believe a good author leaves a forwarding address or number in which I did. If anyone has a question about my writings please contact me and I will explain it in detail with you, no need to "beat me up" on the internet! By the way gentlemen, did you find anything positive from my article (April 99), "IF POSSIBLE"?

  8. #8
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    As I stated in the e-mail I sent I was only responding to the one specific point on radio usage. I have seen your work on video and you do a great job... No beatings intended...

  9. #9
    ff161
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    PBF, absolutely no beatings intended. I knew from the start that your article came from the heart with only the best intentions. I do feel though, that in general terms, changing radio frquencies in a bad situation like that would NOT be a good idea to attempt. I know that there are always exceptions to the rule, but my expirence with the portable radios tells me that it leaves too much room for something to go wrong. I am glad that you were able to respond to our little chat though. I think the topic brought out some great ideas. I hope to be involved in more with you. Stay safe everyone and PBF, keep smiling!

  10. #10
    PBFTRK33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I always smile 161

  11. #11
    eng2lt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Maybe a solution to the problem would be to have all units other than the F/F in trouble switch to another frequency. Then the F/F wouldn't have to do anything and the RIT could converse with him directly. If you switch everyone else then the necessary communications to attack the fire can go on. If you can get the fire out all your problems start to decrease. We all want to try and get to the brother that is in trouble but we can't forget about the fire. You have to develop and use whatever works best in your dept.. Just remember to train extensively on whatever you decide. Good Luck! Stay Safe!

  12. #12
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I'm a firm believer in the K.I.S.S. principle and would rather not further complicate an already complicated situation by changing frequencies. It is not necessary to stop fire attack because of a suspension of radio traffic. I can remember not that long ago when the only person on the fireground with a portable radio was the chief in charge. We communicated by hand signals, face to face communications, runners or messengers, even yelling. I'm not advocating a return to that but only suggest that it is possible to continue fire suppression operations without radio communications for the time necessary to effect rescue. As stated in some previous posts, all communications should stop upon the receipt of a MAYDAY message and the channel should remain clear until the MAYDAY is over. It goes without saying that freelancing is not allowed, but by having everyone monitor the same channel there is a greater chance of emergency messages being heard and responded to. I also understand that all departments do not have the same number of radios, channels, apparatus, manpower, etc. so each department must develop their own policies based on their situation. Whatever is decided, all members must know the procedure and follow it at every incident.

    ------------------
    mfg
    www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/PSAFETY/FIRE/firemain.htm

    http://home.fireservice.com/local841/


  13. #13
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I'm a firm believer in the K.I.S.S. principle and would rather not further complicate an already complicated situation by changing frequencies. It is not necessary to stop fire attack because of a suspension of radio traffic. I can remember not that long ago when the only person on the fireground with a portable radio was the chief in charge. We communicated by hand signals, face to face communications, runners or messengers, even yelling. I'm not advocating a return to that but only suggest that it is possible to continue fire suppression operations without radio communications for the time necessary to effect rescue. As stated in some previous posts, all communications should stop upon the receipt of a MAYDAY message and the channel should remain clear until the MAYDAY is over. It goes without saying that freelancing is not allowed, but by having everyone monitor the same channel there is a greater chance of emergency messages being heard and responded to. I also understand that all departments do not have the same number of radios, channels, apparatus, manpower, etc. so each department must develop their own policies based on their situation. Whatever is decided, all members must know the procedure and follow it at every incident.

    ------------------
    mfg
    www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/PSAFETY/FIRE/firemain.htm

    http://home.fireservice.com/local841/


  14. #14
    Chief 50
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Having just completed an excellent training session on FF Rescue and Survival instructed by Mike Baker (Ho. Co. Fire) and Joe Ross (A.A. Co. Fire) both MFRI Instructors, I would suggest using their teachings. Immediately switch all fire ground radio traffic to an alternate frequency. The FF may not be able to access the radio to switch freq., and everyone knows that doing so would almost be impossible under adverse fire conditions, wearing leather Fire Suppression style gloves. I think that this concept of taking a hard line look at FF Safety & Survival is an excellent one, and will continue to improve through the ingenious efforts of our brothers and sisters of the emergency services. Having a background in Safety, I would be remiss if I didn't remind all that the key to Safety are prevention and pre-planning. I will never forget the old adage......"Risk little to save little, consider risking a lot to save a life"......risk nothing to save nothing. Many times, I think our brothers and sisters risk it all with little or nothing to be saved. When all is said and done, Harry Homeowner will have insurance check in hand, and rebuild......while a void will be left forever in the lives of the families and friends of those who made the supreme sacrifice......make good decisions, and always error on the side of safety.

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