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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2002
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    Little Island off the coast of Massachusetts
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    Question RIC/RIT How to do it with 4 man shifts and single station?

    I work for a department that, with no one on vacation or out sick, can only run a 3 man engine. We are 4 person shifts and we do our own dispatch. We use call back for every report of fire, yet stillwhen our Ladder or 2nd engine rolls may only have 2 or 3 people on it. We have no mutual aid due to bein gon an island and dont have the manpower necessary to have people standing around doing nothing but watching. So how can We justify a RIT/RIC team?


  2. #2
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    966

    Default

    You have quite the dilemma.

    There are three reasons you HAVE to have RIT:
    1. OSHA demands a rescue team. Sure, RIT should be more than 2 guys, but 2 guys is a start. Federal law...and to the best of my knowledge, there is no exemption for island fire departments.
    2. You're an island...and mutual aid is not an option. If, God forbid, something did go wrong, you cannot count on back up. You have to be able to do it with the people you have on the ground at the time.
    3. You. And your brother firefighters. YOU are the reason to do RIT. RIT is the seatbelt for firefighters. No one expects to need a seatbelt, but boy when you do, isn't it nice to know it was there? It's much less painful too!

    This may mean changing how you vent and enter strucutres, but fighting fires without solid RIT commitment is like driving without a seatbelt: one day, you're gonna need it, and it will be too late to buckle up.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
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    May 2003
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    NFM, FL
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    50

    Default

    "So how can We justify a RIT/RIC team?"

    Beside it being a law, even more importantly is your members safety!!
    If it can't be accomplished then it's a exterior defensive operation.
    Unless there is a "true" life safety issue that requires an immediate rescue to be preformed. I'll assume your staff officers respond to fire incidents, if so they should have full PPE and SCBA's it may help you establish a IRIT (initial). Everyone should "dress for the party". You may feel you're in a bad spot, do too our typical aggressiveness as firefighters. How do you feel about making interior attacks with a crew of 3? (I realize you have little options) It's the routine fires that will get you in trouble! Be smart and stay safe.

    CaptD

  4. #4
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2000
    Location
    Candler, NC USA
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    88

    Default

    Sounds like this is a good time to approach the governing body of the fire department or municipality and request more firefighters per shift. Using the arguments and facts stated in the posts already, you have a good case to justify the need to hire more firefighters. at least one more per shift would be a great asset. That way, you would have two on a line doing entry, two on the RIT, and one to run the apparatus. Also, the idea of a chief officer in full gear is a great thing. if anything else, they should be able to run the truck and free up another line firefighter to do entry if necessary.

    My department has only two per shift, but we have automatic mutual aid agreements that bring us at least 2 or 4 more firefighters with a few more trucks.

    Give the higher-ups the facts, the rules, and the problem. If they have any concern about the safety of the firefighters, they will at least give you one more person per shift. If not full time, then maybe a part-time / PRN position can be created to fill the slot daily. Have the people sign up for shifts on a calendar and then assign them as needed. About 10 part-timers would be needed, but then overtime is usually not necessary, thereby saving money in the long run.

    Good luck!
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    4

    Default standing around

    Bob,
    It is not written in stone the RIT crew must stand around. There are a number of jobs that a RIT crew can do from the exterior of the building that are extremely useful. Horizontal ventilation,size up of the risks to interior crews, ladders for egress, deploying lines for follow on crews are just a few of these tasks. They can perform any task that does not require the depletion of their air supply. They can perform any task that the FGC deems necessary but not critical.The only requirement on the RIT crew is to be able to deploy rapidly with a preplan of the fire ground and full air tanks and equipment. I define rapidly as within one minute. I define equipment as a RIT kit containing a modified SCBA, rope, light and hand tools or light battery powered tools. You can always start by using a two man initial RIT designed to locate and secure your lost firefighter and buy time until you can organize a full RIT response. I agree with the brother who said the RIT is like a seat belt; you don't need it until you REALLY need it. If you are not wearing it, it is already to late.
    Sincerely, Jim

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    Prince Rupert, BC
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    Default

    I've been watching your post with great interest. I also work with 4 man shifts and am trying to develop a functional RIT. We have no mutual aid, and no vol's. I can appreciate that RIT operations should be done with a number of experienced FF's. We don't have that option, and need something to get our guys out now, that works for ten guys at a scene(after paging in shifts). May not be the prettiest, but it is better than what we have now which is ignorance and denial. If you come up with some solutions, please email me.

    Stay safe,

    Jeff

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    May 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio
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    1

    Default Fireonethree

    Do I understand that a 4(four) firefighter crew is it... No options for M/A, or calling in Vol's. Please explain... I meen there has to be an option for some type of M/A or call-in. Please elaberate.
    "F#@K THE MUTTS- PROTECT THE BROTHERS"

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2003
    Location
    Carberry, Manitoba, Canada
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    1

    Default RIT TEAM

    My crew runs with 5 men. We have a Platoon
    Chief who runs the grounds which takes us down to 4 working men. We run the ambulance service as well so the attendant becomes the nossle man on the initial attack team with the second in command backing him up. The rest of the jobs as well as the RIT team is left up to the ambulance driver which has to catch the hydrant if available, prepare medical equipment for any casualties, set up ppv and get a BA on to become RIT if needed and the pump op is pulling out second line, venting, and helping advance hose, as well as getting BA on and preparing to be 2nd on the RIT. We work for the DND which is the Department of National Defence for Canada and we have been told to work with what we got.

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