1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post R.I.T. Need Your Pro and Cons

    Looking for opinions, pros, cons, and experience dealing with Rapid Intervention Teams. Any and all input welcome..please. Thank you.


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The number one con of a RIT is there is an assumption you'll know someone needs help. Case after case has proven that is not the case Pittsburg, Memphis, Lake Worth, Marks, etc. Even when we know someone is down the team is not equipped to find the person. Unless you are using electronic real time tracking your chances are slim. Look at Kansas City, New Jersey, Lake Worth, and Seattle and now Houston.

    Too often the victims are recovered in overhaul or after the fire is out. You don't need a RIT team for that.

    Do you have a system that gives the firefighter a chance to survive? PAR's all assume you can hold your breath until sommeone discovers you are down. A 10 or 20 minute PAR assumes everyone has a radio and the building won't burn down around them and they can somehow survive the last 10 to 20 minutes.

    Recent deaths prove 900 radios in the department and the person who needed it didn't have one. Other cases prove they won't call for help.

    Can we really believe all the cow tags and Velcrro will work in a large event? Can the victim hold their breath long enough while they wait for someone to discover they are the missing? How long does it take to gather all the tags, call everyone on a radio, form up into companies for a head count? A while some would say way too long. Look at KC 30 minutes before the victim stopped talking and he was not found. They used everyone to locate not just a RIT. An electronic tracking system could have located the victim in in instant.

    A couple hundred per firefighter and a grand per chiefs car will provide the electronic tracking system. It is an off the shelf product. $500 will provide automatic accountability of every team every 12 seconds with $6000 on the chiefs cars. In Worchester reportedly they didn't know one of their RIT teams was down. With electronic monitoring in 12 seconds they could have known by name who was down.

    Reportedly, another recent event took 15 to 17 minutes before the company officer knew his crew was still in the building. How long do you suppose it took to gather crews to go locate the trapped? One member couldn't call for help and possibly burned to death. This isn't right. We deserve better.

    I'm not preaching pie in the sky I've been lucky enough to set my home town up years ago, towns in other states and a cities of 100,000 and 500,000 up to do what I'm talking about. I don't sell this stuff or have any interest it just seems to make more sense than business as usual.

    The combination of real time monitoring of every employee, multi-channel transmitting thermal imagers on the insideand outside all broadcasting what they see and all being recorded, radios in everyone's hands and good training goes a long way.


    Every firefighter has a transmitting pass that send to a receiver on every single engine.


    The receiver tracks everyone onscene and mutual or automatic aid. Video recorders track all inside and outside companies.

    Only the antenna tells you they are transmitting pass devices.

    [This message has been edited by LHS (edited February 23, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    LHS, Thank you very much for reply! Excellent info and illustrations. My dept. will soon start RIT.

    Everyone else keep em coming. Thanks.
    Be safe.


  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with LHS that this system will save lives and that we all need it. I am familiar with this system and like it. I must be honest in saying that in my opinion you will not see to many of these systems in the field any time soon. Fire department budgets are being reduced on a daily basis. We simply cannot afford to turn in all of our old pass devices for this new modern wonder. Don't get me wrong, I wish that we could. I am all for saving lives, but we have to be realistic. I believe that we must concentrate on training our RIT teams in advanced search procedures, survival skills, search rope techniques, specialized rescue tool operations in smoke environments, and removal skills. This is all we have at the present time and we must arm our teams with this knowledge to help keep them alive. We must force our firefighters to activate and use their pass devices. I wish that we all could afford to have these modern tools, but in this money crunch era, we have to stick with what we do best, train our people with what we know. "REMEMBER, NO ONE IS COMING IN FOR US, BUT US!!!!!!

    Jim Crawford
    Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
    Truck Co.#33
    FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE contributing editor

    [This message has been edited by PBFTRK33 (edited February 24, 2000).]

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