Thread: R.I.T./F.A.S.T Requirements
08-24-1999, 12:12 AM #1Pat222Firehouse.com Guest
I have been reading all the messages that you all have written about equipment and what type of apparatus to respond and have found them very helpful. My town, which is volunteer, has a dedicated F.A.S.T. Team started and is trying to get a little direction in setting it up further. As of now, we dispatch a second ladder to the scene as the F.A.S.T. truck. Although, I do like the idea of using a heavy rescue for the F.A.S.T truck. What I would really like to know though, does anybody have minimum requirements and training for the firefighters to be on a F.A.S.T. Team? If nobody does, then I would appreciate some opinions or ideas on the subject. Thanks.
[This message has been edited by Pat222 (edited August 24, 1999).]
09-21-1999, 02:01 AM #2joe dilmoreFirehouse.com Guest
My volunteer department has trained in FAST team operations for some time now. Obvoiusly we meet the minimum certification. From there, the FAST team members train together as a team. Only experienced members who have worked together, know their equipment, and know how each other operate can perform the most vital rescue operation in the worst of circumstances. When a fellow brother goes down, you need people who have the experience to overcome some unusual obstacles. Sure enough what ever can go wrong, most likely will. When training, look at your area and the type of areas you respond to, and also the type of hazards you may encounter, and revolve your drills around them. Best of all talk to teams that can pass on their experiences to you. Good luck, and be safe!
10-01-1999, 01:09 PM #3edfcFirehouse.com Guest
I recently completed a 16 hour basic course on RIT procedures and I can tell you after 25 years in the business both career and volunteer it was the most physically demanding class I have ever taken. My station is now in the process of putting a team together and we have found that it will take more than eight folks to be effective. We have also determined that rather than us buying a bunch of new equipment, we will be able to gather some of the item needed from other rigs once we arrive on scene. Our box alarm system will help in this effort. I would suggest that you call Pat Pauly at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy by calling 717 248 1115 he has been instrumental in helping us and helping throughout Pa.
10-05-1999, 08:07 AM #4Hupp1Firehouse.com Guest
Our county in Central New York has adopted a minimum standard for RIT response. There should be no less than 4 SCBA qualified personnel aboard the unit. Responding vehicle can be determined by the responding agency as long as the basic equipment is on board. Our deparment responds with our rescue-pumper. Each team to have portable radios, scba, saws, lights, ropes, irons, etc. Team to respond to the scene, locate at or near CP and perform a size up - units on scene, building type, team locations, resources available, access and egress. Set up equipment and monitor fireground channel. Team splits up and performs 360s of building. Accountability tags go to IC. Our team also takes our TIC. When training, we stress the team concept, set up a simulated collapse scenario with lots of debris, work on locating PASS alarms, F/F locating and removal. Usually this is done with SCBA totally blacked out by using Nomex hood.
It is a new concept and we have a lot to learn. We put the RIT on the 1st alarm of all of our box alarms. Just some ideas for thought.
10-24-1999, 09:48 PM #5UPNOVER1Firehouse.com Guest
I recently attended a seminar given by Mick Conboy (FDNY)and Bc Cobb(Jersey City) and it was awesome.Good Luck.
10-25-1999, 06:08 PM #6BRADFirehouse.com Guest
UPNOVER1: Thats great you got to attend that seminar but what did you learn ? What did they discuss about 2-in 2-out and FAST or RIT teams. Can you pass on the info to others of what you learned from that seminar? Some of us live up here in the arctic and are not as lucky as others who are able to attend seminars with top notch people like them. There are many people who may be able to benefit from what you learned or know, so why not pass it around and share the wealth!
11-02-1999, 10:21 AM #7jr17716921Firehouse.com Guest
I need ideas. Anyone that has training ideas for a r.i.t. please e-mail at jr17716921 @aol.com
[This message has been edited by jr17716921 (edited November 02, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by jr17716921 (edited November 02, 1999).]
11-02-1999, 12:04 PM #8EPFD-ALFirehouse.com Guest
I've exchanged FAST/RIT SOPs with a lot of fire departments and believe it has become necessary to point out that while it is to the FAST/RIT team's advantage to have saws, handlines, ropes, and etc and etc and etc, one of the items you are overlooking and MUST carry in with the team are SPARE AIR BOTTLES!! Having myself been pulled out from under a fallen suspended ceiling and from other nasty jams I can tell you that the people you're going in after need A-I-R. So please, carry some bottles!
11-02-1999, 09:14 PM #9Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
We stole a pretty good idea from some guys out in Pittsburgh who did the RIT/Fast thing for Working Fire Video. They use an "emergency SCBA" which is basically a stripped down MSA unit with just a backplate, bottle and regulator. Since we didn't have that at our disposal, we tried using a normal scott pak inside of a rope bag. This worked real well, is easy to carry and doesn't get all the straps tangled. Once the downed firefighter is located the regulators are swapped and the rope bag is attached to his existing waist strap. Scott just came out with something very similar called a carry air I believe. Your right though.. gotta get air in there.
11-08-1999, 01:04 PM #10Scene25Firehouse.com Guest
One thing to remember when running a R.I.T, F.A.S.T. or Go team. For all the companies that run alot of mutual aid, train with these other companies, utilize their brand S.C.B.A., and become familiar with the tools they have. Ive been on the R.I.T. team for over 2 years now, and Im with a farely busy company. We recently purchased a Custom 6man cab pumper, and it is utilized for Heavy Rescue, and RIT calls, as well as our air unit. We trained with the Pittsburgh Guys, and for those of you who have not had the time to read the article in one of the past firehouses, or actually met the guy, Jim Crawford who is a Firefighter for Truck Company 33 in Pittsburgh, he knows his stuff, and he shares it with everyone. How many firefighters do you know that carry wirecutters in their TOG. Well, if you take the class, trust me, you will after the class is over. But this is my first visit, and it is very important to include into your arriving instructions to the fireground, what type of SCBA are being utilized inside the structure, and this way if you dont have it, you can swap one from onother unit on the scene. Its nice to know that if you are disoriented, that at least you know the SCBA that the RIT team has, is one that you are familiar with. jnw
11-08-1999, 11:21 PM #11e33Firehouse.com Guest
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited 11-10-2000).]
11-10-1999, 10:01 AM #12LT 1E4Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks to all for the comments on r.i.t. and f.a.s.t. In my oppinion, on my department, r.i.t. is at best a cluster ****.
There are no set guidelines in the SOP. No specific training in r.i.t. No "r.i.t." teams or speacial equipment. The idea of taking extra air and a backup hoseline with the r.i.t. team is something I never thought of. I will put it into practice my next shift. At least my engine company will be better prepared if the IC assigns us to r.i.t. I am a leiutenant with a green crew, all less than 2 years on and one with only six months. The captain of our engine and myself both have 26 years on. The last thing I want to hear is someone's wife screeming "you killed my husband" at me. So, thank you for the ideas on r.i.t. duty and can anyone recomend some good, readable reference material for rapid intervention traianing and resources that are not too expensive? Thanks again, after this, we will do a better job.
11-10-1999, 12:53 PM #13Scene25Firehouse.com Guest
I understand your concerns about R.I.T. But, let me say a few things that I feel you should do. 1 is check with your insurance company for the department about members not being trained, and being on a R.I.T. Some insurances WILL NOT cover persons involved in a accident, which is an accident waiting to happen. Also, do you feel safe going into a house fire not knowing who will get you out if the need would arise? If I am disoriented, lost, trapped etc, I dont care who gets me out, just get me out of there... BUT it feels a hell of a lot better knowing you have experienced firefighters on the exterior waiting to hear someone in need of help. Someone with limited experience in the fire service, let alone actual structure fires, should not be on a R.I.T., unless for equipment assistance etc. All persons on a R.I.T. understand how much equipment is needed if the need would arise, for collapse with entrapment etc. On my department, we have a stokes basket which has numerous equipment inside, needed to perform the basic rescue of a firefighter. Now when you get into needing airbags, Jaws, or whatever, you need the extra manpower. BUT this should be an experienced person also that knows what the equipment is. As far as SOP's go, my department pretty much copied the SOP's that the City of Pittsburgh uses, thanks to Jimmy Crawford, FF Trk CO 33. He was one of the originally persons that actually wrote the course for R.I.T. And as far as the training goes, its a 16 hour course, which is very intense, and before you take this at my deparment, you must also have Essentials of Firefighting, SCBA with advanced, a structure burn class, Vehicle Rescue (due to the use of hydraulics), and firefighter safety and survival. And to go along with this, the chief, who is a career chief, must approve of the person wanting to get on the R.I.T. Along with this, we train once every 2-3 weeks at a training facility that our neiboring company is so nice to let us use free of charge : ), on different rescue techniques etc. So, before running a R.I.T., please keep in mind the insurance issue, and the experience issue. The first priority is no firefighters trapped, and if you have one trapped, keep it that way, dont make it two. If you would like a copy of our SOP's, feel free to email me and I can give you my deparments copy, or I will connect you with Jim Crawford from Pittsburgh, and you guys can go over there set. Keep safe and take care
Clairton Fire Dept sw PA
11-10-1999, 06:45 PM #14Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
E33 - All I can say is wow!.. that about redefines overkill. We try to work with 4-5 guys here, standard truck company tools, extra scba, a search rope and a stokes basket. FAST company stays near the IC, usually work in and assist with accountability. Keeps the wandering minds on the job and keeps us informed all the time who is working where. How do your mega teams get assigned? Who picked em? One thing Im pushing for is automatic dispatch when the dispatcher recognizes a working fire. Currently we have to say the magic words "All Hands Fire" to get the FAST and various other special calls in on the fire.
11-17-1999, 02:23 PM #15WhipFirehouse.com Guest
YOu could check with you local or state fire commission or acadamy, see if they offer any classes that others have been discussing.
[This message has been edited by Whip (edited November 17, 1999).]
11-22-1999, 02:02 PM #16resqbossFirehouse.com Guest
Looking for rit,ric,fast training e-mail me
11-22-1999, 07:28 PM #17Break-N-EntryFirehouse.com Guest
In my case, the good news was that the RIT team found us. The bad news is they didn't bring in any air. Remember to bring in air bottles!
11-29-1999, 05:56 PM #18PBFTRK33Firehouse.com Guest
If anyone has any questions on RIT or would like info on my RIT practical training program please feel free to contact me at PBFTRK33@aol.com or call me at 412-766-0977 I would be more than happy to shoot-the-**** with anyone on RIT.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
Truck Co. #33
11-30-1999, 08:24 PM #19FF BrinFirehouse.com Guest
From everything I have heard or read about RIT, it seems you wrote the book!!!
Thank you for the offer!!!!!!
11-30-1999, 10:28 PM #20FiRsqDvr45Firehouse.com Guest
Having just finished a FAST/RIT course I found that the anaconym of AWARE keeps the basics in my mind on a scene.
A: air..extra scba/bottles..
W: water..a charged handline to defend the victim(S)
A & R: A Radio for the victim to maintain contact..
E: Extrication...tools/equip to start removal of victim..
Myself and a few other members are trying to get thru the processes of getting SOG's for our department much as yous is now, Pat222, so anything I learn I will pass along and hope to hear from you also as you go into it all.
Here in NH they are starting to teach the basics of being in an RIT or FAST team in the FF2 class and it seems to be well accepted.
12-02-1999, 02:10 AM #21PBFTRK33Firehouse.com Guest
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
12-02-1999, 04:13 PM #22Scene25Firehouse.com Guest
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)
12-02-1999, 06:34 PM #23CaptEdFirehouse.com Guest
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
12-06-1999, 11:51 AM #24Capt_46Firehouse.com Guest
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).]
12-06-1999, 12:01 PM #25e33Firehouse.com Guest
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited December 08, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited 11-10-2000).]
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