Victim Care by RIT Team
I know that the purpose of the RIT Team is for firefighter rescue, but what if a victim is dragged out? We had an incident where a truckie dragged out a victim and the I.C. made that truckie treat the victim when there were four members of the RIT team standing right there. The worst part was that the truckie had to go and find EMS equipment off the rigs because the I.C. wouldn't let him use the gear from the RIT Team. There is a debate going on now because many people, myself included, think the truckie should go and finish the search, especially since he knows where he and his partner were when they found the victim. If you took two people off the RIT Team and let them treat the patient this would leave you with at least two people to be the RIT Team until you could get a second alarm company there to be the RIT Team. Any comments or experiences in this situation would be appreciated.
I'd agree with having the RIT grab the victim and get something going. Our policy says we can assist with civilian rescues (ie. firefighter shows up at a 2nd floor window with a victim) The way I see it, if something happens we can still break free and get inside. As far as EMS gear, I'd like to see EMS already at the scene in a place to help, or failing that I like our guys to take the EMS gear and defib to the scene when they are the RIT.
I agree somewhat with the IC but not overall. He was correct in not breaking apart the RIT team and their gear. They are a unit that is there to be put in service all at once or not at all. HOWEVER, if a fire is large enough to require an RIT team then it is also large enough to require a BLS unit. Therefor, the IC should have had a BLS crew there ready to help the victim when the truck crew got him out. In addition, if there is confirmed entrapment at a structure fire, or if a firefighter goes down inside and RIT initiated, an ALS unit should be put on the street INSTANTLY as well as a second RIT unit.
I think that Incident Commander needs some refresher courses on "patient" care. The way I see it, EMS wasn't available. Not good! What if the truckie came out with a firefighter instead of a civilian? Oops! S*** hits the fan? Remember, the IC is responsible for all segments in the IC structure until he delegates them to another individual. One IC can't run a major incident, this is the purpose of Incident Command. I'd feel safe with that guy in command-NOT!
--FF Brin-prof trained call firefighter http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/smile.gif
I'll agree with the other replies that a EMS unit should be on scene once a fire has been confirmed. Our 1st alarm assignment calls for one ALS Ambulance dispatched to the scene - if not for patient care, at least they'll be their for one of our own if we are unfortunate enough to need there assistance. We are located about 15 minutes from the nearest Ambulance service's base station. The EMS personnel also set up our incident rehab on scene and assist with the SCBA station - majority of our EMS providers are also firefighters with other FD in the county.
I agree.remember the old saying.LIFE FIRST.Here he had a victim and that should have been his first priorty. Sounds like a good time to review the SOP.
Any way , good save by the truck crew!!!!
Good Point D., while you try to anticipate every situation you will encounter you never cover them all. Sometimes you need to flex the SOP's to help a victim. An old EMS instructor I had 17 years ago once said, "error on the side of the patient". Basically, if you need to bend the rules or SOP's a little in order to help the victim, so be it. Obviously next time there will be EMS on the scene standing by. Remember what we are all there for first, protecting life.
We have been training regularly on RIT procedures for almost a year now. I can say this, every drill we learn something new. It may be use of the thermal camera, which way the search rope works best, team member assignments and roles, radio procedures, etc. We have not thought of your situation though. Thanks for sharing. I know what the topic will be at this evenings Officer's meeting!
[This message has been edited by fyrescue (edited January 31, 2000).]