1. #1
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    fftrainer's Avatar
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    Default Establishing a dedicated rescue team within a FD

    In an effort to avoid reinventing the wheel, I am looking for information on establishing a rescue/extrication team within a fire dept.

    Currently, we perform rescue type calls as we do fire calls and that is anyone who meets the minimum qualification standard is eligible. Some have more training than others, but all have at least the minimum. With the increase in rescue responses over the years and the huge increase in knowledge required for 'safe' vehicle extrication we have come to the decision to establish a rescue team that could train together, etc in order to take their skills to another level above Joe Fireman who simply does the minimum to get by.

    I am sort of going out on a limb and assuming that some of the principles we used in establishing a FAST/RIT team could be incorporated into the new Rescue teams SOG's, but I am looking for words of wisdom from some of you out there that have already done something similar.

    Any thoughts??

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    No words of wisdom, but will watch this thread closely as we will be going along the same route within next year or so.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Fair enough.... This is part of the reason I put this out there. Not only to get pointer on how to do it but also to solicit why not to do it!

    Keep em coming if you have thoughts on the subject!

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    You might review NFPA 1670. It defines the different types of rescue and sets a guideline for the three skill levels for each type of rescue (Awareness, Operational, Technician).

    We have established rescue teams in our different organizations (City Fire [several cities], County Fire, S&R), and then train together as a cohesive unit. Rescue Techs have a separate tone in their pagers for rescue dispatches, and are tracked in our Command Center so their units are dispatched to Rescues. Since it is almost impossible to train to the highest level in all fields AND maintain proficiency, team members tend to gravitate to their specialties, and become leaders in those types of rescue (Extrication, Water, Collapse, Trench, Ice, Confined Space, Technical Rope, etc).

    Depending on who you get on a given day, primary responsibilities should go to the skilled rescuers (Technicians), with the lower skilled and non-rescue trained personnel acting in support roles. This is the wrong time for feelings or unskilled but senior personnel to get in the way of a good rescue.

    Hope this helps...

    Tim

    www.rescue42.com

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    HOWEVER, all the sticker really means is that you get first priority for a seat on the truck
    I believe this is the path we are going to follow also, at least, that's the one we followed for our RIT responses. Everyone has the opportunity and is welcome at the training and drills. Only those that complete the training and make the required drills get the stickers. If we have room on the truck, the others get to ride and assist. So far, it has not caused any ill feelings as the members realize the committment needs to be met and if they can't meet it, they have accepted that.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Taking into account that I've been a career firefighter my entire fire dept life, I do not see how you can possibly pull this off in a vollie dept. You guys never know who, or how many people will show on calls. It seems to me you would have to train everyone to the level you seek. It appears you want a few people with a "basic" level of vehicle extrication and RIT know-how. In my opinion, every member should be trained to this point anyway for YOUR safety as well as the public.

    If people want to expand their training beyond that, then fine, but you should not have a system that relies on a select few trained to carry the most basic (& critical) fire ground functions. That's asking for a disaster.

    If you are looking to establish a dedicated team that will ALWAYS be available, then that's another story.

    In my dept, every firefighter is trained in basic vehicle extrication and RIT responsibilities. Every piece of apparatus has vehicle extrication tools for the average "pop the door" call and saws, axes, bars, etc if they are assigned to be the RIT on the fire ground. In addition, we have specially trained (& staffed)rescue companies that carry all the "heavy duty" vehicle extrication gear as well as bigger saws, ropes, and multiple other tools that can be used by whatever company is assigned to be the RIT. Also, each rescue company has a "specialty" that they are trained and equippped for. One rescue is responsible for water work, one for haz-mat, and one for technical rescue. Each rescue is trained to an "operations" level to support the other 2 rescues if needed, but the advanced training (& scene command) is left to the primary rescue. On the fire ground,the rescue company's primary responsibility is search and rescue. Once that is completed we are assigned whatever task needs to be done ranging from taking another hose line, to ventilation, to ladders, to RIT, to whatever.

    Don't know if that helps, but good luck!!
    IAFF 995
    When it has to be done right,
    CALL THE RESCUE CO.!!!!!

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    Well, after reading some of these posts, I am guessing you are talking about setting up a rescue program in a vollie department. There has been a lot of great information, especially the suggestion to check 1670- after all, that is the standard for operations and training (but not for professional qualifications, and some people don't quite get that). The first thing you have done, I hope, is performed a needs assessment and determined what your biggest problems are. From there, it's a matter of department size: If your department is small, I recommend starting by making sure EVERYONE has at least Awareness level training, THEN working on developing teams at the Operations and then at the Tech levels.

    You can get away with having a few Ops level people and working at that level, since most of your calls will be at that level anyway. Then I would suggest entering into mutual aid agreements with other departments and forming regional teams. Saves your taxpayers money, there's not a duplication of effort, and you get to play more often (nothing like a little ride over to South Jonesville for the day to do a Conspace Rescue in their jurisdiction).

    Good luck.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

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    O.K. - I wanted to let this topic "cook" a little while before I tossed my $.02 into the pot.

    Where I run, the EMS Agencies are called Rescue Squads and they are responsible for The Rescue Truck & Vehicle Extrication. There are 9 Different EMS Jurisdictions and 10 for Fire.

    There are 3 basic ways that the whole Extrication issue gets handled here.

    Method 1 (and the one that my agencies use):
    Rescue Squad Owns & Equips truck. Truck is stationed in FD quarters and FD operates truck. (In return the FD also gets equipment space on the truck and uses it for Lighting & SCBA cylinder transport on fire calls). We use this method due to manpower limitations on the Rescue Squad.

    Method 2: The Rescue Squad has the majority of it's people trained in extrication and they will field and operate the truck themselves. However the FD in their area is also extrication trained and will assist as needed.

    Method 3: The dedicated "crash team" approach. There is one agency here in the county that has a pseudo extrication team. Some of the members are general rescue squad members who do Pt. care (and run EMS calls. etc) while others only do extrication - nothing else.

    This approach allows them to recruit some very knowledgeable people who otherwise have no interest in EMS or Fire related work (Like Auto Body, Auto Mechanics, metal workers, etc.) to assist with extrication.

    What better resource to have than someone who takes cars apart & puts them back together day in & day out?

    I think this is a prime example of the old adage "What works for your Dept. may not work for mine". Each approach has it's merits and it's drawbacks. Regardless of all the advice you get here (both pro & con), ultimately you are going to have to evaluate your situation and see what works for you. Besides if you try it and it doesn't work out you can always go back to the way you're doing things now.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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