Thread: RIT Team procedure
11-02-1999, 06:17 PM #1FF BrinFirehouse.com Guest
RIT Team procedure
Well, this can be for all entries into IDLH. But, it came up from RIT drills. The team goes into a structure with a guiderope secured to the last person on the attack team; (yes the nozzle man has a fully charged line). Does the guide rope get secured to the last person and the bag stays outside to be secured to a stationary object, or does the rope get tied off and the team brings the whole bag into the building, say hooked across the SCBA. Capeeche? We welcome your input http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/smile.gif
11-02-1999, 06:48 PM #2fireemt03Firehouse.com Guest
i teach to take the bag in with you that way you can take up the rope on exit AND it wont tangle up as much that way.
Corey J. Molinelli NREMT
Asst. Fire Chief
11-02-1999, 09:19 PM #3Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
I wouldn't mess around with a separate search rope for a crew equipped with an attack line. Would probably cause more problems than it is worth. To be honest, with all this RIT/FAST stuff, some guys are trying to use a rope EVERY time... it's a TOOL.. use it when you need it. As far where to put the bag.. anchor it outside and carry it in. No one needs to be physically attached to it with a clip, just like you wouldn't with a hose line. Pulling the rope from a bag at the door is asking for trouble. Keeping it taut and allowing it to play out of the bag eliminates snags.
11-02-1999, 10:23 PM #4FF BrinFirehouse.com Guest
Asst Chief Molinelli, Halligan: Thanks for your replies, I can see that bringing in a rope and a handline is a bit much.
11-03-1999, 03:49 PM #5fyrescueFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with Halligan, you don't need one with the hoseline, just follow the hose out. We've tried doing the search rope several different ways and have ended up using the following method. We have a search rope kit, made up of 150' of 3/8" static rope. We have knots tied every 10', one knot at ten, two knots at 20', etc., all packed in a rope bag. inside the kit we have 4 tagline kits with 25' of rope with snap clips on each end. This is used for doing the warehouse type searches. We have found it difficult to advance the knotted rope when using it as a guide rope, the knots hangup on corners. So when we use it as a guide rope (RIT functions)we have the second man in carry the bag in, right behind our guy with the TIC. This way everyone on the team is on the rope if they need to retreat in a hurry. (this is assuming the rope man and the TIC man are in physical contact). We tried it with the last guy doing the rope and have found this works better, also carying the bag in eliminated the problem of the rope getting hung up. Using this method we are able to use the one rope kit.
11-04-1999, 12:17 AM #6FF BrinFirehouse.com Guest
Thank you fyrescue for the help, I like your idea of marking the rope every ten feet, not sure if we would use a knot to do this but agree marking the rope is a great idea. Would you do it every ten feet?? How about 25 or 50'? What else can we use besides a knot?
11-04-1999, 04:44 PM #7fireseekerFirehouse.com Guest
I can appreciate the use of a guideline in large structures where you need to cover a large open area. However, when dealing with single family dwellings I would need to consider if the rope would be a hinderence as much as a help. Having to go around, over, even under obstacles could cause a problem. Since the RIT is already attached to a charged hoseline, our we overdoing it. Remembering that the RIT should have already done their homework when they firtst arrived on the scene with throwing ladders, identifying alternative exits from the structure, ect. It is my view that we need to keep the team as rapid as possible and yes, as safe as we can. If the team leader feels the need for rope for the safety of his crew, than by all means, use one and determine how or if it should be secured as the situation dictates. I don't believe that you can have a blanket policy. Allow the officer to use his judgement. That is why he is there. Finally, let me say that I would love to use every bit safety equipment available. I would also like to have a minimum of 6 or 7 firefighters on my RIT. But sometimes you need to modify your approach and keep your options open
12-03-1999, 12:15 AM #8PBFTRK33Firehouse.com Guest
O.K. Gentlemen, Let me stir the pot.........I have read most of the posts in here on search ropes and am actually quite surprised at some of the replies. Let me start off with a question........ How can you actually call your Rapid Intervention Team "RAPID" if you have them pulling and dragging a charged hoseline into a building? This is by far NOT one of the primary tools of a "first in" RIT deploying to a MAYDAY. When a RIT is deployed into a structure, the RIT team leader must ensure that the IC is sending a hose team in behind them for protection. To have a "First in" RIT take a charged line in with them when a firefighter is declaring an interior emergency is craziness. When a firefighter is down in a building every second that ticks past will determine the fate of their outcome. If it takes you an extra 3 minutes to locate the trapped firefighter due to you lugging a charged hoseline to your destination it is 3 minutes to long. What if the firefighter was out of air when he called his MAYDAY? By the time you react, gather your tools, enter the structure, perform your search, and add the extra time on for "hauling the hose" how much time do you honestly think you chewed up? How much smoke and carbon monoxide did the firefighter victim inhale? The initial RIT's job is to search, locate, and provide an independent air supply to the firefighter victim. This must be done as "RAPIDLY" as possible to increase the chances of survival for the firefighter victim. Every second, and I mean every second, counts. The clock starts when the injury or MAYDAY goes out and does not stop for anyone. Of course some situations will dictate your operation such as a flashover with a MAYDAY or unusual fire or smoke conditions. In this case you will more than likely need to advance a charged line with the team. But ordinarily, a hoseline being advanced with the team, in my opinion, is a costly mistake. Ensuring that a hose team with a charged hoseline enters behind the RIT is a much more appropriate procedure. As for the search rope, I believe in using a search rope every time because I do not teach having a RIT advance a line. Not only will the search rope help to quickly guide the team to safety if something goes wrong, but more importantly it will bring a second in team carrying the rescue equipment and the hoseline to the rescue room much quicker. All they have to do is follow the search rope directly to the area the team is in. They will not have to search or "follow the PASS" to get there which takes more time. This is a "RAPID" approach to initial RIT operations. No one said this job is safe or easy, it is nice to "ALWAYS" have a charged line, but let's be honest here, it isn't always the "BEST" way. Your search ropes should have the 1-armslength-2 knot system tied into them. Tie 1 knot, then at arms length away tie 2 knots side-by-side. Do this every 10 feet or so throughout the length of the rope. When you come upon this type of search rope, simply pick up the rope, follow it until you arrive at a knot, place the knot in your hand and slide the rope thru your other hand. If a knot shows up and it's arms length apart, follow the 1 knot in - 2 knots out method (one way in-two ways out). The hand holding the 2 knots is the way out. Be sure to pack the rope into the ropebag in the proper feed out method or you will have the system reversed. The rope should be secured at the entry point, I recommend a beaner attached to the end, and the bag deployed into the building "BY THE LAST TEAM MEMBER IN". This will eliminate the team from becoming entangled in the search rope. When the team arrives to the rescue room, the rope person "holds the door" keeping the rope at the doorway. When its time to withdrawl, the ropeman yells out to the team so that they can hone in on his voice which will lead them to the door. The ropeman can also watch for fire spread towards their location which would not be accomplished with all team members in the rescue room. In my opinion, the search rope should not be advanced into a normal residential room with the victim, when it is time to withdrawl, the possibility of entangling the victim in the search rope while dragging is very likely causing a serious problem. Now the ropeman simply turns around and guides the team out of the building using the search rope as the other team members perform the drag for removal. This procedure, just as any other, must be practiced by your RIT teams to ensure proficiency. I also endorse the use of the lighted search rope. If you are not familiar with this "Miracle rope" it is a clear plastic tube with small christmas lights inside along the length of the tube. It plugs into your generator cord at the front door and the entire rope "lights up". Every 10 feet or so a red & green light indicate your entrance and exit routes. If you get lost in a smoke filled building using this rope you have no business being in the fire service. It is made by FLEXLITE of NJ and is called LITELINE 360. Expensive, but worth it. In Pittsburgh, we carry one on all 11 ladder trucks. Remember guys,"NO ONE IS COMING IN FOR US, BUT US". We have to be good at this. If I can help anyone with RIT training ideas or procedures, please feel free to contact me. Stay safe!
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
Truck Company #33
President, FIRE TRAINING ASSOCIATES
Specializing in RIT training
12-05-1999, 04:14 PM #9fireseekerFirehouse.com Guest
Jim, I found your views very interesting and well explained. I first would like to agree with your assesment that the RIT needs to be fast and efficient. Hauling a hose line does not lend itself to that type of operation very well. What I would like to see in lieu of actually taking the hose line with them is to have a line specifically designated for the RIT. If they go, the line goes. I don't care who the IC assigns the task to, as long as he tells somebody to take it and to follow the RIT. This gives the RIT and the trapped or lost firefighter some protection if necessay without the costly delay. One point that I would like to bring out is that the firefighter needs to be aware of his/her surroundings and conditions. The firefighter needs to be taught from day 1 that if he or she thinks they might be in troulble, call for a Mayday. Don't wait until you are totally helpless. Being lost or trapped can cause panic in a hurry. If they have been trained properly, they will be able to fall back on their skills and knowledge which should help them to figure things out. We need to teach our new people that it is ok to ask for help. Let me re-phrase that. We need to teach our new people and re-train our senior people.
You mentioned that you always use a rope with your RIT. I like the concept, but not the rigidity. I have found that a rope is great on some structures, and an absolute pain in the neck on others. I would like to subscribe to the notion that a good RIT is one of the busiest crews on the fireground. Constantly re-evaluating the situation, always knowing where the interior crews are at all times, locating exit points, postioning ladders, gathering equipment, developing initial action plans, and a host of other duties. This is where I would allow my RIT officer to determine what his/her crew needs, and how to best use it. If he/she wants to use a rope, than so be it. If he/she feels that other equipment is needed for a particular portion of the operation than I would allow him/her the flexibity to make that call. Am I trusting totally in my officer. Yep. Does that mean that I better make darn sure who I make my RIT. You know it. I believe that making hard and fast rules can be detremental. I need to realize that the RIT may be needed in other than fireground oerations, such as hazmat,confined space, below or above grade rescues, ect. Thus, they need to be able to adapt to each and every situation differently. I don't want them to think that they have to use a specific method every time. I want them to be creative and take in all the information available to them to develop a sensible and effective action plan. Therefore I feel that the IC needs to think about each and every incident and assign his/her RIT accordingly. And trust that their training has prepared them for this situation.
I appreciate your views on this. They cause me to think and evaluate my thought process. I know I don't have all the answers and I appreciate the time you took to express your ideas. I welcome the opportunity to hear from other professionals in the field. We know that this is a dangerous job, exchanging ideas like this will hopfully help us all in the long run.....Take care my friend
12-05-1999, 07:34 PM #10FF BrinFirehouse.com Guest
Jim and Fireseeker, thanmk you very much for your replies. I have printed them out and made copies for the officers to discuss with the department at our next Thursday meeting. My next goal, Jim, is to get the dept to pay for your training program. RIT is something this dept is taking very seriously since we are the RIT team for a city dept. near by.
Another Question...We are a five person RIT team with one member staying out with the Engine, we don't have a ladder truck. 1. Does that person NEED to be married to the truck even if we aren't using a handline off it? And 2. What if the first two RIT guys follow the handline to the victims (with air), and the second two RIT guys follow with a handline? All four will carry various equipment--axe, halligan, air, guide rope, etc....
With the Worcester tragedy in Massachusetts Friday, I think the rope should be used more often!
12-05-1999, 10:56 PM #11PBFTRK33Firehouse.com Guest
I will attempt to answer your first question, in my opinion, I feel that if you are not using your engine for hoselines then use the 5th person for RIT purposes. Only you will be able to decide what that function will be depending on your RIT operational procedures. I have found that using a 5 person RIT in a residential setting is alittle to large and will cause problems on the inside. You might want to consider making that 5th person the IC sector rescue officer for the firefighter rescue operation. I think that we all would agree that one incident commander will in no way be able to handle calling the shots for a working fire AND a firefighter rescue at the same time. This person could also assist in staging incoming crews that will be assisting with the rescue effort. As for your second question, I see no problem with what you explained with splitting your team. As long as it does not interfere with your RIT operation and everyone is familiar with the procedure. I would like to thank fireseeker for adding his comments, I totally agree with him with the exception of one point. I strongly feel that a RIT must always leave an escape trail. Whether it be a hoseline, rope, electric cord, or bread crumbs, you have to mark your way out somehow, always! When I heard about the Worcester tragedy I felt sick to my stomach. I feel their pain as I have lived it before. We all lost a part of our family on friday. The Worcester Fire Department has a long road ahead of them before the pain will subside, and I grieve with them. I can't stop thinking about them. I hope that this incident does not put a black eye on the Rapid Intervention Team concept, we all know that in this business sometimes things just happen for no apparent reason. Look at our firefighter fatality incident in 95, the American fire service does that type of fire on a daily basis, a common house fire. We all need to appreciate life and do the best job that we possibly can when we go to work at the firehouse or when the tones go off. You never know what is waiting around that corner at every fire. MAY THE FALLEN WORCESTER FIREFIGHTERS REST IN PEACE IN THE HANDS OF OUR LORD, I FOR ONE, WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
Truck Company #33
[This message has been edited by PBFTRK33 (edited December 05, 1999).]
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