ALRIGHTY THEN.........It seems the current topic is Emergency Rescue Packs or "Independent Air Supplies" as the rule makers would have it. So I will offer some suggestions........ In my opinion, the use of, and the ability of the RIT team members to operate an emergency rescue pack is the single most important function of a Rapid Intervention Team. With a firefighter entrapment, a bad situation has just turned hostile because not only do we have to perform a firefighter extrication, we now have to provide breathing air to the victim to keep them alive during the rescue and removal in an IDLH atmosphere. If you are not trained and prepared to do this, you will not be successful in your attempt to rescue the trapped firefighter alive. I recommend the RIT team deploy with at least 2 rescue packs on a MAYDAY due to the fire service working in pairs, you may have multiple entrapments or you can use the extra rescue pack as a back up to the first if it fails inside the structure due to damage from the search, etc. You should always ascertain before you enter the structure how many firefighters are involved in the MAYDAY so that you will know exactly how many rescue packs to bring into the structure. If you are using a standard SCBA tighten all the straps and tie them up to create a lower profile for the pack and lessen the chance of it becomming tangled on debris. Dedicated rescue packs usually have all unnecessary straps removed. Try to use longer duration SCBA cylinders for your rescue packs. There are 3 basic methods of performing a "CHANGEOVER" inside a burning structure; switching breathing tubes, switching MMR's, and connecting auxiliary airline hoses, (labeled buddy breathers), the latter being the only so called approved method due to the victim not being exposed to the smoke environment. Be sure to bring in the facepiece with the rescue pack as the injured firefighters facepiece may have been damaged from a debris collapse. It will not do anyone any good to deploy to the rescue room with a rescue pack and no facepiece only to find the pinned firefighter with a cracked lens on his facepiece leaking air. You must deploy with the spare facepiece. It also solves the problem with incompatible SCBA's. Just change out the entire SCBA to get them breathing air. But you must practice this procedure, if you think you are going to perform this procedure at 3 in the morning inside a burning building without ever training with it, you are sadly mistaken. Once the extrication has been completed, be sure to secure the rescue pack to the injured firefighter before dragging. If the rescue pack is allowed to drag on the floor it will pull the facepiece off of the firefighter or become tangled on objects or debris. A few methods of securing a rescue pack are as follows; attaching a beaner or clip to the rescue pack and clipping it to the SCBA waist belt of the downed firefighter, running the SCBA waist belt of the rescue pack thru the SCBA waist belt of the downed firefighter and connecting it, securing the SCBA waist belt of the rescue pack around the leg or legs of the downed firefighter. I have tried many ways to secure a rescue pack but these seem to be the most efficient. I do not recommend using your own air supply as the rescue pack, (unless you have "strange" feelings for your victim), due to the air being burned up to quickly and placing you in danger unless it is an extreme last resort. This is not an approved method and could possibly be used against you somehow. I also do not recommend replacing depleted air cylinders on a rescue pack within the IDLH. This is a very difficult procedure and can possibly cause the victim to inhale large amounts of products of combustion. I recommend bringing in another rescue pack or two and changing out the rescue pack. It is much quicker and safer. I also recommend to remove the PASS device from the rescue pack to eliminate any more confusion inside the building due to it activating accidentally. Remember, Rescue Packs are just another "TOOL" for the RIT team, it should always be with you, but if you don't need it, don't use it. If you deploy on a MAYDAY as a RIT and find the untrapped, downed firefighter 15 feet inside the doorway do you need to do a changeover? No, simply drag and go. It would be a much quicker removal time which is your end result. Remember, the trapped firefighter is relying on you to "BRING EM AIR" and keep them alive during the rescue and removal. If you do not, or cannot, provide or operate a rescue pack within a smoke filled environment stay in bed, you are not qualified to be on a Rapid Intervention Team. You must also know SCBA's and how to troubleshoot them in a bad situation. I recommend an advanced SCBA course for members of a RIT. Let's all take RIT as serious as we take "GETTIN FIRST WATER", I feel it is more important because WE COME FIRST. I unfortunately had the experience of helping to rescue 3 PBF colleagues from a burning building. The rescue turned out to be a multiple funeral. You do not want that experience on your belt, trust me. Remember guys, train, train, train in RIT. It doesn't happen often, but when it does we have to be experts at it. If I can help anyone with RIT training ideas or procedures please feel free to contact me. "REMEMBER, NO ONE IS COMING IN FOR US, BUT US!!!" Stay safe.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
Truck Company #33
President, FIRE TRAINING ASSOCIATES
Specializing in RIT training
Hey Jim, good to see you here. Thanks for posting the reply and clearing up some questions. The information you just supplied cleared up about 3 weeks worth questions. Thanks and shall we burn another house on a Sunday??? J/K <-- I wont go there) Take Care and be safe.
Clairton Fire Dept (swPA)
Jim you're right on the money! just finished another RIT program called "Saving Our Own" a response to downed or trapped firefighters. The air cylinder issue is one of the big ones... if you don't have air for these guys they're basically a statistic. One thing we found that works no matter what type of SCBA your department is using is to adapt a large syringe (50cc or 60cc. Be sure to cut a large hole in the plunger to fit around the cylinder valve)on an air cylinder and O2 tubing fitted on the end of the syringe and the other end inserted in the seal of the mask (provided the mask is still in decent shape)for rapid air replacement untill their SCBA cylkinder or pack can be replaced for any lengthy extractions. Bring in tools and equipment for the job! get in, extract and get out! All of the techniques and procedures our RIT crews learned as a minimum requirement were a direct result of a firefighter entrappment of fatality. Min. requirements are a must. Crews need to understand the rigorous demands both psychologically and physically on members in a FF entrappment. Have a plan and practice over and over. How we react to the real thing depends on how we train for the real thing. Good luck on your FAST/RIT and be Safe.
Go BIG or Go HOME Capt. Ed
I have to reply to e33's comments because some of you need to know all the facts!!. I happen to belong to the North team in which he speaks off. The biggest load of silliness is what he named it i believe. For your information we have had extensive training for a year before even going into service. Our training includes but not limited to: F.A.S.T. training, engine co. op's, truck co. op's, firefighter survival training, and much more which would take up to much space to list. We have a a RIT line upon entering the bldg and will not operate with out a back up team standing-by when the first team is put into operation. We do not take a spare air in with us unless we know we need it, this saves wear and tear on the members. Our job is to get in and get the injuried firefighter out a quick as possible!! Maybe e33 should come and attend one of our drills and find out the whole story before posting something for the world to see. I think this was very unprofessional to make a comment like this on the internet!! Especially coming from a guy who's department has saved nothing but foundations this year alone. In closing I invite e33 to attend one of our drills we have them once or twice a month depending on our need to expand our skills which we all know is a never ending process!! I hope Firehouse will reconsider these message forums, as you can see there are people out there that are only going to use these in a nonproductive way and have NO CLUE what they are talking about. I too could go on and trash his departments however I am a trained professional and will not lower myself to his way of life!!!!
I have received an apolige from the person who made the post and hope that people learn from this that this is not the correctplace to sling mud at other depatments. thanks and everyone stay safe!!
[This message has been edited by Capt_46 (edited December 11, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited December 08, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited 11-10-2000).]
Ive been doing FAST Ops for the better part of 6 years now. Im 24y/o and I will start by saying real FAST training is HARD ! Extremely physically demanding. Training cannot be done in an open engine bay or in your members room (if you're a volunteer debt). We do alot of inhouse training, but its done in ladder wells(staircases), closets, hallways and even behind the bar in our members room. We are totally blacked out, with a smoke machine working and we utilize an ACTUAL downed firefighter, not rescue Randy. Rescue Randy doesnt get mad if you drop him ! Another point Id like to add to the numerous ones previously stated by other members here is that a FAST Team should, and seems to work best if consisted of 2 pieces of devoted apparatus. Our first FAST box is an Engine/Pumper and a Truck. Obviously Engine is ground and lower levels and Truck is upper levels. Minor things like tools we carry and how we lay them out need not be stated, if you are not aware of that, then take FAST awarness/basic class and get back to me. Our driver DOES NOT LEAVE THE TRUCK. The FAST officer will report to command and gain intel while the team takes tools from our FAST compartment. One major point that Id like to make is you do NOT have time to change blades on your K-12s. Obviously sawzall blades are quick. During your initial size up, which EVERY team member should be doing, you will determine which saw blade will probably be used. But, you need to have 3 sawz ready to go on your mat. One with a Wood blade, one with metal and one with a tungsten or diamond blade. That way, you can quickly grab a different saw rather than change the blade. Start ALL of your gas operated tools once your get on scene. Thanks guys. Be safe, God Bless !!
My FAST response 2 days ago, our truck parked 2 blocks away from the scene. Why the heck would I leave my driver back there?
I'm with Bones. Once we arrive on scene as the RIT , our driver puts an scba on and becomes part of the RIT crew. Why leave a quailfied guy babysitting the truck?
Plus if you need something from the truck, that's why you have a junior ride with you ;)
Leaving your driver with the truck isn't going to do anything. That's one less man to utuilize if something does in fact go wrong. Let's say your company gets moved up to mutual aid instead of FAST, then the driver can get the truck and reposition if it's away from the scene or needs a new location. But also in a case like that, the rest of the crew might need to head to the truck to get additional equipment, or maybe stretch a line. In that case, the crew needs to re-assemble, because in most cases the crew will be split up into Search and Rescue teams and positioned in tactical spots around the perimeter of the fire-building.
To be on the FAST team, some simple requirements.
FAST class from approved training program
All mandatories up to date (fit-test, scba refresher, FAST refresher, etc)
Two years since graduation from FF1
Able to operate all equipment and tools.
Fast Team Leader will have all that and will be a company officer or the most experienced ff.
Some basic points from our SOP and my rules of thumb.
We do not cover our own response area for FAST, mutual aid is always utilized. We have two departments that we utilize for FAST. My preference is to ask for a FAST from both and use them for FAST and as a reserve company o/s. If it's a small job, then we'll ask the second due FAST to stage at our house as a move up. Doesn't always happen that way, but it's how I'd like to see it done.
When we respond as FAST, it is out of town.
We send the ladder company with min of four firefighters. The chaff has the option to join the FAST if qualified, or if not qualified will assist the FAST.
A Chief officer or ranking officer will respond to the command post, check in and "hover" (make his presence known). This officer will also find out the strategy and tactics being used, where firefighters are present in the building and gather other intelligence.
FAST Team leader will do a 360, while the team assembles the gear. Team leader will then come back, brief the team on hazards and responsiblities, send half the team (or a pair) to hoist ladders or do quick interventions.
We operate on our own fireground channel and will communicate to our chief at the command post.
Seems pretty standard.
PAT222- where are you from? if anywhere near New York you could try calling the Syracuse Fire Department Training division. if you need the #let me know
F.a.s.t / R.i.c.c. Sog's
Does anyone have sog's that tey could share with us we are in the middle of writing new guidlines for our rapid intervention teams. Thank you, Capt. Paul Lindfors, Sedona Fire AZ.
my dept. FAST has 12 guys. all FF1, FF survival, and FAST training, with numerous inhouse and mutual aid training at the minimum. when we respond we take an engine, that carries out FAST ropes and extra packs ( we do no have a ladder to take). we take as many guys that show up. can always use extra hands in doing things. our driver stays with the truck, usually the driver is only a driver and not FAST certified. we assemble our gear while our team leader alerts command that we are on scene. then as a team we all do a 360 walk around and hoist ladders, clear exit point of obstructions. Then we stage near command with our equipment and wait till we are called upon. once called upon (depending on the number of guys) 2 or 3 guys so in as search to find the victim. once the victim is found 2 or 3 more guys go in to help as rescue. the point is to maximize the air time and not to tire out a firefighter searching when there may be a quick way in to the victim. extra manpower can be sent in with the search or rescue as needed. This system to works pretty well to ease confusion and make timely extrication of victims.