Why all these terms??
Why is it that we use all of these different terms....
I have seen, and heard of different fire departments requesting personell for 2-in/ 2-out -- AND -- RIT/FAST Teams.
Before I get mis-quoted - let me tell you that I believe in the need for RIT/FAST teams- they are a fireground necessity for saving our own, however....
If you have a RIT team- then you are complying with OSHA's 2-in/2-out regulation.
So why do departments request personell for both - when they are one in the same?
Let me try to simplify it. If the RIT arrives with the first arriving unit then you do have 2 in- 2 out. If it doesnt (which is most often the case) then you have to comply with 2 in- 2 out, which is basically having 2 firefighters ready on the outside to rescue the crews on the inside that are advancing hose, etc. in case they get into trouble before a RIT is there. Once the RIT arrives, you now have a dedicated team to handle the 2 in-2 out, a pro-active team to look for signs of trouble, and a team to mitigate any potential problems such as steel bars on windows and no ladders thrown to the structure. For the individuals that believe a dedicated RIT should just stand back and watch, you need to reevaluate your own philosophy about Rapid Intervention. Think of it from the aspect of you being trapped, lost, or disoriented in a zero visibility environment with no apparent way out. I want a team that is looking for potential problems to take care of before I get into a situation that would require them to become slowed down to rescue me. I don't believe in the team performing operations that would totally tire them out or take them completely out of the RIT standby mode, but they must be pro-active. Hope that answers your question, if not let me know.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
I would like to add that the 2in/2out rule and RIT are two different things. You must have a back up team and also have a RIT on scene. The back up team dose firefighting and the RIT is there for the rescue of a down , lost or traped firefighter. If you look in the regs. it is two different things.
If you have any comments please respond.