RIT in large buildings
A recent drill has raised a few questions.
How do you conduct RIT search operations in larger warehouse or factory buildings. Is their a good FAST way that you have found to search these large spaces. After all we are searching for our brothers.
Using a TIC and a serch rope the evolution was quick and went well. Our second senerio was with a blacked out mask. Even with a PASS sounding crews were slow and had a hard time getting to the downed FF.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences.
Good question. If it is the policy of your department to have as many RIT crews in readiness as there are interior attack teams inside the building, then it should just be a matter of the RIT Officer breaking up the building into preassigned grids and letting each RIT team take a grid. That is how I would possible conduct the search.
You may want to try www.rapidintervention.com and try their forums there, you might get some very good info there.
You have conquered one tactic (it sounds like) that many other departments can't "pull off" in front of the fire building and that is to mount a team search. A search rope must be used in occupancies in which there is a fire with severe smoke conditions when any room is larger that 15 feet in its smallest dimension! Why? Write and ask.
Second is that you should find a way to be blind in a facepiece that lets some light in (realistic) there are some search instruction tools out there that perform this quality in first rate fashion.
Next remember that you are a RIT or FAST or whatever they call it now. You should have been tracking each location of operation and sizing up all alternate entry points. If the crap hits the fan chances are that the normal routes that the firefighters took may not be an option for you. Fire escapes, portable and aerial devices and even breach should have been preplanned.
The rit team has to change their size up focus from positive to negative. The firefighting teams plan to win! The RIT teams plan to operate in a losing condition.
Just some tips and randoms.
Just as with high rises, its also a good idea to have adequate RITeams in place for these. But it also takes a lot of practice to learn to operate like this and hammer out communciation and operational problems. The biggest thing to remember is Risk vs. Benefit. If its a simple FF lost, okay but if the roof goes you have weigh (I know I've been there I hate saying it) the benefit of sending 1 RIT, less 2 or 3. We also keep 1 outside for what I'll explain later, and then again, who will protect the RIT, RIT squared that's who. lol
Basically we use rope searches in 2 teams of 3, and 1 person on each team has a spare bottle. Just like EMS, ABC's if we can keep him breathing, we will then size up any additional problems, and then the last RIT can come in with more incident specific equipment to remedy the problem.